Patton Oswalt : No Reason To Complain (DVD)
Stand up comedy has seen a number of so-called “alternative comics” pop up to acclaim and success over the last few years – Mitch Hedberg, Eugene Mirman, Sarah Silverman and especially David Cross and Dane Cook have had popular projects, whether they be one-person shows, DVDs or multi disc albums. One comedian that has not received nearly enough notoriety or respect is one Patton Oswalt, perhaps (unfortunately) best known for a recurring role on “King of Queens”, rather than his amazing album of a couple years back “Feelin’ Kinda Patton”, or its 2 and a half hour extended version known as “222”. Some think his troll-ish appearance has kept him back from being more widely known, however he’s just too funny for this to be a good excuse.
For my money, Patton is actually the best going, as he constantly kills while never getting preachy or pandering or resorting to observational humor that just barely separates itself from your average local club hack. Oh, he’ll do observational humor, however Patton has a more flowing, natural, almost conversational style that feels like storytelling, yet is punctuated by several memorable and quotable one liners and phrases. Bits about Black Angus’ angry menu, 80s music videos where Ted Nugent deflects bullets, and open mic nights contrast nicely with political segments that put jokes over a message.
Comedy Central in the past has paired comedy specials on DVD with some comedians’ albums (such as Hedberg and Cook) for a bonus value. Instead of a re-release of Patton’s record, which I was hoping for, we have a straight 45 minute feature presentation of Patton’s special for the channel. On the plus side, as he does on record, Patton constantly kills even though some of his bits have to be censored for TV. If you can’t get the record, the DVD is a great introduction to the man, and well worth the money despite the low running time. But there is a downside – Comedy Central could have easily shown the full uncut performance, but instead there are a number of unnecessary commercial cuts.
On the extras front, 15-20 minutes of these deleted scenes are there for you, and they’re just as good as anything on the special. You can’t hear the legendary “battered chapped pussy” on the feature, but you’ll get it, and a nice riff on how he can’t use that part, in the deleted section. A half hour special Patton made around 5 years earlier (looking uncomfortable in a suit) is also on there, and while its nowhere near as good as Patton’s newer material, its enjoyable. Finally a series of short films starring Patton and Blaine Capatch, known as host from “Beat the Geeks”, are provided. These short films are terrible, but have a strange cult appeal that must appeal to someone somewhere.
So it’s not what it could have been, but Patton is a comedian that’s so undeservedly overlooked that hopefully this DVD will gain him more of an audience. He deserves it. – Goon
Recommended If You Like: Mr. Show, Dane Cook, Sarah Silverman, Brian Posehn, Zach Galifianakis