JFL40: Patton Oswalt Does It All... Including Weezer


There are so many reasons to love Patton Oswalt: His stand-up specials, his roles in films and TV, his voice work and his books, to name just a few.

And then there’s his epic turn in Weezer’s 2016 video for “I Love the USA.”

Decked out in the stars and stripes, Oswalt stands in for Rivers Cuomo as he rocks out in the Oval Office.

“They called me and they told me the concept of the video and I was like, ‘Oh, hell yes,’” Oswalt recalled, describing himself as a huge Weezer fan. (Like Weezer, he's a Grammy winner.)

“They sent me the song a couple of weeks beforehand and I listened to it and really got it down and figured out what my lip sync performance would be and then they let me belt it out in the Oval Office set that they built. It was great.”

Oswalt will rock the stage at Place des Arts on July 30 as host of the aptly named Patton Oswalt Gala at the Just For Laughs Festival. “I’m there to keep the flow going,” he said.

Oswalt made his JFL debut in the mid-‘90s. “It was just like comedian summer camp,” he recalled. “I saw everyone I knew wandering around and going to shows and going to clubs. It was really fun.”

There’s a simple reason Oswalt keeps coming back to the festival. “I just like doing comedy,” he said. “I like doing comedy anywhere and Montreal is a beautiful city and especially because that’s a comedy festival [so] the crowds are amped to see stand-up.”

Of all the things Oswalt does, stand-up remains his first love.

“I do everything else that I do so I can keep doing stand-up, basically,” he said, noting that everything else he does lets him do just the right amount of stand-up.

“I just go out on the weekends. I don’t do long tours. I don’t want to be away from the wife and daughter for that long.”

Oswalt’s shows are a mix of relatable personal stories and his thoughts on what’s happening in the world at a given time.

“I don’t try to consciously balance it. It’s whatever I’m feeling at the time,” he explained, “so that kind of works itself out naturally. But if the zeitgeist is bigger than my personal life, then that’s going to be commented on more. I let whatever is going on kind of dictate how the sets go.”

On Twitter, where he has an impressive 4.7 million followers, Oswalt is outspoken on social issues and transparent in his politics. He knows his demo and isn’t worried about alienating anyone.

“If they don’t like it they weren’t ever going to come see [a show],” he said. “Whenever I get those messages like ‘You just lost a fan,’ I’m like, ‘Come on, stop it dude, you were never going to show up.’ I’m fine.”

Patton Oswalt hosts a Just For Laughs gala on July 29 at Théâtre Maisonneuve at Place des Arts. Click here for tickets. Just For Laughs runs July 13-31.

Virgin Radio and CHOM are sponsors of the Just For Laughs festival, which is partly owned by parent company Bell Media. This article was adapted from a feature article at PopGoesTheNews.

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