Patton Oswalt: No Reason to Complain (2004)

TV Special  |  TV-14  |   |  Documentary, Short, Comedy
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Stand-up special from Patton Oswalt.

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Stand-up special from Patton Oswalt.

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5 star General of the funny Army
19 December 2009 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

Stand up comedy is about as subjective as it gets in entertainment. Certain performers who could be accurately described as half talents are raking in millions with really dumb routines, while the more intelligent voices have to take a somewhat different journey to become well known. Over the last fifty years, Lenny Bruce, Richard Pryor, George Carlin, Bill Hicks and others laid the track down for gutsier commentary on just about all subjects in society. The idea comedy should be relevant and not threatening to the psyche of some hypothetical five year old who might listen to or watch entertainment that isn't intended for their young minds is one big obstacle that execs like to use (something Carlin's classic bits, especially "Seven Dirty Words", were integral in), explaining why material for adults is not always presented in a firmly mature context and not interfered with.

Patton Oswalt is best known from "The King Of Queens" and as one of the original "MadTV" writers (and now "Big Fan", a film I'm dying to see, but hasn't been released in any theatres near me!). In this terrific disc, he's on fire, searing all the things which annoy him so much. If there are better comics working today, they can't number too many (maybe Chris Rock and Dave Atell, if we're considering only North American talent). Oswalt blows away his targets like an expert skeet shooter. I'd love to see Patton team up with Henry Rollins for a much more down to earth kind of news broadcast that they could co-anchor together.

"I want a famous face!", he cries out in mock despair near the beginning, elaborating on how some poor souls think looking like a celebrity is the answer to their life's problems. And the desperation of modern humans gives Mr. O endless material for satire (there's a shorter, almost equally good television spot from an earlier point in his career as a special feature). Friends sobering up, the art and science of titling films, sneaky e-mail strategies, open mike night memories, what makes a woman truly "crazy" as opposed to just movie style "nuts" and decoding 1980s dude imagery in music videos...they're all here and more.

My only reason to complain is that this amazing concert has to come to an end!


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