- Paul Davidson
The Real W.F.M.E. Interview: Patton Oswalt
Sooner or later it had to happen.
Months of imaginary interviews have now been taken over (at least, momentarily) by The Real WFME Interview — an opportunity for WFME to ask the questions that normal interviewers would probably never ask.
Today, WFME talks to comedian Patton Oswalt. Some may know him from his role on The King of Queens as Spence. Others may recognize his voice from Crank Yankers and others may be sitting on the edge of their seats waiting for his upcoming role in New Line Cinema’s Blade: Trinity. Whether he’s on TV, on stage performing comedy or being awfully prolific on his website the guy’s a force to, well, reckon with.
Me: Hi there.
Patton: Who, me?
Me: For someone who has been a regular on one of the higher-rated shows on TV (read: The King of Queens) as well as VH1’s variety of clip shows (read: I Love the 80’s and Best Week Ever) and whose voice graces a puppet on an infamous Comedy Central show (read: Crank Yankers) and who performs stand up comedy and appears in movies — how is it that people still don’t know who you are?
Patton: My plastic surgery addiction.
Me: You’ve played a disk jockey in two films (Starsky & Hutch and The Vinyl Battle) — can you really spin? If so, what’s your best transition you’ve ever done…you know, the kind of transition where NOBODY knows you’ve even switched songs?
Patton: I used to be a party deejay for an outfit in Sterling, Virginia called Sounds Unlimited so yeah, I can really spin. I worked there through the mid-80’s, so I’m sure I was doing a wedding where I switched between Go West and Johnny Hates Jazz without even me knowing it.
Me: Talk to us a little about being in the upcoming Blade: Trinity and working with the beautiful Jessica Biel (you know, if you even share a scene with her). And if you never even saw her from afar, how would you rate her performance in 7th Heaven and that horrible Freddie Prinze, Jr. movie about baseball?
Patton: We have a couple of scenes together and yeah, it’s not hard to stare at her. I didn’t see either one of those, so I can’t say. She was pretty kickass in BLADE: TRINITY, though.
Me: On The King of Queens you have been involved in a few storylines that pair you with the awesome Jerry Stiller. One involved you having to pretend that the guy was your dad. Does your real life dad and Jerry Stiller have anything in common?
Patton: No, not really. Jerry has more in common with my grandfathers than my dad, come to think of it.
Me: Have you ever just “hung out” with Stiller?
Patton: Yeah. I’ve talked with him in his dressing room for hours — stories about his early days doing nightclubs, meeting Lenny Bruce, stuff like that.
Me: And did the fact that you guys have worked together have something to do with your role in the younger-Stiller’s movie (read:Starsky and Hutch)?
Patton: No. I’ve known Ben longer than I’ve known Jerry.
Me: Are you sick of me using the phrase “(read: ______)” yet?
Patton: I was sick of it the first time I saw it.
Me: How does the whole Crank Yankers thing work? Where do you go to make the calls, who decides what the calls are going to be, how do you get your hand up the butt of your puppet?
Patton: We don’t work the puppets. We just go to Las Vegas, and do that calls — something about how it’s legal to record calls there — and then the producers call up the marks after the calls are done, and get their consent, and then the puppeteers put it together later.
Me: What kind of creative freedom do you have on this show?
Patton: I can say and do whatever I want. It’s their job to bleep and edit.
Me: On September 19th, you’re taping a “mostly-new” 1 hour special in New York City for Comedy Central. What old crap are you dusting off?
Patton: The “I Can’t Stop my Leg” bit.
Me: Other than seeing you in person, what else do the viewers have to look forward to? Raffles? Bingo?
Patton: Air conditioning.
Me: Can you talk briefly (under 400 words, please) about your comedy tour that’s being filmed as a documentary? Will Michael Moore be involved? If so, how?
Patton: It’s a five city tour with my friends, which is going to be shot (both onstage and offstage stuff) and then edited into a feature documentary next year. No Michael Moore.
Me: If the Producers of The King of Queens had a sitdown with you and allowed you to decide about one huge milestone your character would have in the upcoming season — what would you want to happen to Spence?
Patton: I’d want him to erotically asphyxiate at a cake party.
Me: In the last season of King of Queens, it was obvious to everyone and their mother that Leah Remini was SO PREGNANT, yet no one on the show mentioned it whatsoever. No question here, just wanted to say that.
Me: What other things do you have coming up that you’d like people to know about?
Patton: Jeez, that’s about it right now. I’m recording a new album in December, probably.
Me: You’ve got a website. Really, is it just for promotional purposes or do you really update that diary of yours?
Patton: Every couple of days, yeah. You can go back and read the archives. I’m sporadically prolific.
Me: What kinds of things can readers hope to experience on it?
Patton: Happiness and tension.
Me: Last question: You have to choose one of the following to happen to you:
a. You wake up and find out you have a raccoon carcass in your stomach that can NEVER be removed no matter what you think you know about modern medicine. It hangs low and constantly makes you feel full. Periodically, when you eat, you may burp and taste it. This will be with you the rest of your days.
b. Your left foot is amputated.
Patton: The raccoon thing. It might give me Indian shaman powers.
Thanks to Patton Oswalt for taking his time to answer our questions here at WFME. I’m sure he is way better off now, because of it.