Patton Oswalt owned the stage at the Beacon Theatre, Nov. 3, for his first headline show since his wife’s untimely passing. The comedian’s standup his best yet, because he was able to turn grief from Michelle McNamara’s death into comedic reflection, or ‘art.’ At the NY Comedy Fest., Patton spoke about how he broke the sad news to his daughter, Alice, and how he turned to pop culture for ‘solace.’
Renowned comedian, Patton Oswalt, 47, left it all out on the stage at the New York Comedy Festival, Nov. 3. Patton, in a sold out Beacon Theatre, kept his standup timely, relevant and pop culture driven. He cracked fresh, new jokes about the Cubs winning the World Series, Hamilton and more. He included audience members into his show as well, while reflecting on days of living in NYC. Patton even gave a slight hint that he was “with her,” revealing his opinion that “it’s totally going to be Hillary [Clinton, 69]” who will win the 2016 election! Although, he has voiced his praise for her on Twitter many times before.
— Patton Oswalt (@pattonoswalt) September 27, 2016
Although his jokes made the audience roar with laughter, it was when he brought up his wife’s [Michelle McNamara, AKA True Crime Diary] unexpected passing that really raised eyebrows. Michelle suddenly died in her sleep in April 2016. He admitted about 40 minutes into his standup that he had been “stalling” to bring up his late wife. “There’s no easy way to segue into this, but you know, six months and 12 days ago, my wife passed away… It’s just my life, it’s kind of all consuming and its sucks.” Not sure if we should laugh at first, Patton turned his grief into laughter, and allowed us all to come along on the comedic journey to celebrate Michelle’s life with him. Every single person in the sold out theatre had to be feeling and experiencing many things at once — sadness, inspiration, joy, laughter and so much more.
Patton started off by talking about how his grief is often mispronounced with ludicrous terminology. “If I hear the term ‘healing journey’ one more f–king time… It is not a ‘healing journey.’ It’s a ‘numb slog.’ It’s just a, ‘Well, it’s the end of another day — Guess I’ll do that tomorrow.’ It’s just a numb slog, until you start feeling s–t again. If they would call it a ‘numb slog’ instead of a ‘healing journey,’ it would make it a lot f–king easier. Because if they call it a ‘healing journey,’ it’s just a day of you eating Wheat Thins for breakfast in your underwear, you’re like ‘I guess I’m f–king up my healing journey.’ But if they would say you’re going to have a ‘numb slog,’ you could say ‘oh, I’m nailing it.'” The crowd clapped and cheered with laughter after that, as Patton screamed with joy.
Of the entire experience of losing his wife he described the “sickest irony” of it all. “I’m very very OCD,” he said. “I want logic and order and neatness. And sometimes I would fall into that cliché if I would say to my wife, ‘Ugh, everything happens for a reason I guess.’ And she would go, ‘No it doesn’t. It doesn’t happen for any [reason]. S–t just happens.'” He explained how she was a True Crime investigator and writer. Patton then said, his wife would tell him, “‘There’s no closure and there’s no order and there’s no meaning. It’s whatever meaning you try to put on it but nothing happens for any f–king reason. Get that out of your head.’ And now, that’s been proven to me in the s–test way possible,” he revealed. “She won the argument in the f–king worst way!”
The comedian finally explained that his wife’s passing still makes “no sense” to him. “If there is a supreme being — whatever it is, and this was part of their plan is she’s gone and I’m not? Then that’s a s—-y f–king plan or there’s no plan. Because again, I’m very happy with what I do — I tell d–k jokes. And she was trying to bring multiple killers to justice. And God looked down and said, ‘Let’s take her and leave him.’…That makes no f–king sense.”
The actor revealed how he was looking for “solace and help” while grieving, and turned to pop culture. But, he said it ultimately “failed” him and “completely s–t the bed.” He said every leading man in action movies like Batman, and comic books was either a widow or lost a woman in his life. Patton said those characters often turned their grief into working out and doing “cross fit.” However, his “healing journey” didn’t take him on that “path” to the gym. LOL. “Grief didn’t lead to sit-ups, weirdly enough,” he said as the crowd laughed uncontrollably.
“Now I’m a widower, I’m a f–king widower,” he said. “I’m every s—-ty 80’s sitcom. There’s always a dude or a couple of dudes where a woman has died.” (Um, Full House?). He explains how in the 30-minute shows, each family has their ‘ah-ha’ moment where they come together and figure out how to deal with a death. However, he said he hasn’t had that moment yet.
Alice wanted to be Raven for Halloween. Designed & sewed her own costume. "You have to be Raven's dad."
As you wish: pic.twitter.com/WP1bYy4DGM
— Patton Oswalt (@pattonoswalt) October 31, 2016
Patton even explained how he told his daughter, Alice, 7, about Michelle’s passing. She was at school when it all happened, he revealed. The comedian broke the tragic news to Alice the day after Michelle died. He took her out of school for a “daddy/daughter morning” so he could tell her in the early hours of the afternoon. He did this because, “you can’t go, ‘Hey your mom’s dead — Ok, sweet dreams,'” and then send her off to bed. Patton described the day he had to tell Alice as, “The worst f–king day of my life.” Adding, “I got that out of the way. Send any other s–t my way — it’s out of the f–king way. Worst day of my f–king life.” So sad.
Patton shared stories of how he and his daughter are dealing with the passing of Michelle. Although the first Mother’s Day since she’s been gone was particularly hard, where Alive was “hysterical,” they got through it together. And, Alice seems like she is doing very well now! He even managed to crack jokes throughout his emotional stories. Patton did share one story about how he visited Michelle’s grave stone in September 2016 for the first time since her funeral. He wanted it to be a touching visit where he would say, “This world doesn’t need to worry you any more — I got it. I got it. I’m going to do it.” But, instead, it turned into a bizarre day where other families carried on at other graves. Only Patton could turn a cemetery visit into the funniest story we’ve ever heard!
There probably wasn’t a dry eye in the entire Beacon Theatre but the comedian made it enjoyable for all. By the end of the performance we knew that although Patton struggles with the loss of his wife Michelle, he’s in good spirits. Patton’s an amazing father with a heart of gold, and unmatchable talent. We truly enjoyed every second of his sold out standup!
HollywoodLifers, what did you think of Patton’s standup? Tell us below!