Patton Oswalt on Playing a Social Media Monster in ‘I Love My Dad’ and How Elon Musk Is Killing Twitter

Patton Oswalt on Playing a Social Media Monster in ‘I Love My Dad’ and How Elon Musk Is Killing Twitter

Patton Oswalt’s position as a determined father who impersonates a stunning lady on social media to catfish his troubled son in the brand new movie I like my father may simply make him the right individual to weigh in on Elon Musk’s crackdown on Twitter parody.

In his return to The Last Laugh podcast, Oswalt talks about discovering the humanity in his “monstrous” character and why he would by no means pay $8 a month for a blue tick. The elder statesman of comedy additionally breaks down the inside track from his most up-to-date Netflix particular We All Scream about realizing he will not be “woke” without end, and shares what he discovered from the backlash he acquired for merely posting a picture of himself with buddy Dave Chappelle.

It’s the morning after the GOP’s “red wave” didn’t materialize and Oswalt feels a sense of aid. “It is encouraging,” he says. “I think it shows that many people are not looking for excitement and madness in place of admittedly dull but competent leadership. Hopefully people realize that government should not be on your list of entertainment and distraction options. You have video games, you have streaming shows, you have the internet. Government should be boring.”

In simply the previous few months, Oswalt has been busier than ever churning out content material of his personal, together with his eighth hour of stand-up and a concurrently hilarious and disturbing efficiency in James Morosini’s autobiographical comedy I like my father.

Oswalt was initially drawn to the movie as a result of it felt like the kind of “risky” venture that “could fail in a massive, spectacular way” however, if it labored, may very well be one thing actually particular. He noticed on the title web page of the script that it was primarily based on Morosini’s actual story, however the particulars appeared nearly too loopy to be true. When he acquired on the telephone with the 32-year-old author, director and co-star and “found out how true it actually was,” he says, “it just made me want to do it even more.”

What finally appealed to him was attempting to “find some real humanity in what really feels like kind of an inhuman character.” And as somebody who has been responsible of “doing the wrong thing for the right reasons,” Oswalt favored the concept of ​​getting inside the top of somebody who takes that impulse to extremes.

“There are some monstrous things that are done with good intentions,” he says of his character. “And I was guilty of that myself, because I thought I was the center, I was the protagonist, I was the wronged hero, and then I got my head kicked sideways.”

One of these occasions got here after Oswalt posted what he thought was an innocuous picture together with his arm round fellow comic Dave Chappelle on Instagram — earlier than he had a likelihood to evaluate the transphobic jokes in Chappelle’s The Closer particular. When the feedback poured in from followers upset that somebody they thought was an “ally” might assist Chappelle — together with some “alt-right chuds,” as Oswalt places it, welcoming him to their facet — he determined to problem an apology to those that felt “betrayed” whereas additionally defending his three-decade friendship with Chappelle.

“It was a very liberating experience,” he tells me, “because it showed that no matter how much nuance and thought you put into something, people are just going to be pissed off about it anyway. So you might as well try to do the best you can and apologize when you can.”

While Oswalt wishes Chappelle was more “open-minded about trans points,” he said he “cannot deny his genius on nearly each different fucking problem.” (Our conversation took place before Chappelle’s most recent SNL monologue.)

With that in mind, he said he had to “take the great with the dangerous,” adding: “He’s nonetheless my buddy, I’m nonetheless a fan, I do not agree together with his stance on trans folks, and I’ve gone and look The Closer and a number of the trans jokes actually bothered me. But then a number of the different jokes have been fucking sensible.”

Below is an edited excerpt from our conversation. You can listen to the whole thing by subscribe to The Last Laugh on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google, Stitcher, Amazon Musicor wherever you get your podcasts, and be the first to hear new episodes when they’re released every Tuesday.

Since you play a man who pretends to be someone else on social media in this movie, I felt like it was kind of a natural struggle to talk about Twitter, which is having quite a moment right now. How are you enjoying our new free speech paradise we’re all living in now that Elon Musk has taken over?

Oh, that’s fantastic, it’s so good to see the N-word come back. I mean, that’s really the main focus of free speech, is to be able to spew as much racial bile as you possibly can. I mean, that’s what the Founding Fathers were all about—even though they were slave owners, so fuck them. It is such an age old story. It’s someone who wants to be funny, and they’re not funny and not everyone can be funny. Not everyone can be a rocket scientist or a business tycoon. Elon is a rocket scientist and a business tycoon. These are pretty great things, but he demands to be seen as funny and cool.

His fanboys are also very predictable. If you say, “My god, he isn’t humorous,” they’re like, “Man, he is wealthy.” I didn’t say he was poor, I said he wasn’t funny. Why don’t you tell me one of his brilliant jokes and then prove me wrong? And they’re just like, “You’re simply jealous, man, that man owns like 5 yachts!” Again, I’m not saying he’s poor. That was not my criticism of him. I said he wasn’t funny. So I think there are just a lot of damaged people out there who become billionaires because they just focus on numbers and money and they can’t understand why people aren’t excited about it. Whereas I’d rather be with someone who’s funny and fun to be with than, “Well, this individual I’m hanging out with by no means says something scary or humorous or insightful, however they’ve essentially the most cash, so I feel I ought to cling with them.” I have never understood it.

His particular interest in comedy is something I find very interesting. One of his first tweets when he took over was: “Comedy is now authorized on Twitter.” And then within a week he was prohibits parody that is not clearly marked as parodyapparently because people mocked him.

He sees comedy the same way he sees money and status, whereas anyone who likes comedy, that comedy and [what’s] funny constantly varies. And we sign up to be part of a very ephemeral profession where everything we say becomes instantly obsolete. But that’s kind of the fun of it, is that you’re always creating, especially for comedians. But he wants that mathematical equation where it’s like, “I’ll resolve for ‘humorous’ and be the funniest one without end.” And he doesn’t understand that that’s not how it works in comedy.

Not at all.

It has never worked that way. And so these strange statements, especially to comedians, also show how he doesn’t understand comedy. Because as soon as you make any kind of objective statement to a comedian, they will immediately start finding ways around it. That’s the fun of comedy. Isn’t this thing funny? Then I have to write a joke about it. I have to find a way to make it funny, and it’s been that way since the beginning of comedy.

It is a challenge.

Yeah, if you watch WC Fields, it’s, “You can’t make fun of the blind? OK, I’m going to find a way to make fun of a blind person. I’ll make it funny.” So after all, when he says “comedy is legal now,” it is like, “OK, let’s find out how legal it is, Elon!” But once more, it is as a result of he does not perceive. It can be like me demanding to be acknowledged as a rocket scientist. You do not have the aptitude for it and that is okay. It does not make you any much less of a individual. That’s the factor that is unusual. Any different occupation—basketball participant, mind surgeon, violinist—in case you’re not good at it, no person’s going, “You cannot play the violin? Well, you should be a shit individual.” They’re similar to, “Well, you don’t have that skill.” But individuals who aren’t humorous suppose that makes them a lesser individual, when it is simply one other talent you do not have. But that is okay, you’ve got different expertise which are most likely rather more vital than simply cracking jokes. And so I do not perceive individuals who really feel they’ve the best to be humorous, and they demand that folks say they’re humorous. To me, that is all the time the premise for tragedy, as we see now. This man spent $44 billion to be cool. And you may’t purchase cool. And once you demand comedians suppose you are humorous, you have simply declared open season on your self.

You can’t buy cool. And when you demand comedians think you’re funny, you’ve just declared open season on yourself.

The resolution to host him Saturday Night Live [last year] has not aged notably nicely, much like the Trump one.

No. Although, there’s a little bit of cruelty with the Elon factor the place it’s – and I’m not likely defending him as a result of I feel he is an a-hole – however there was some mockery to it. He supplied SNL the identical means these scumbag billionaires go looking at a sport reserve the place they cordon off a small one acre space and then put the slowest, oldest lions in there. It was like a wealthy man looking in a sport park, however for comedy.

It was arrange for fulfillment and nonetheless wasn’t a lot of a success.

Even when these huge sport hunters succeed, it is all the time ridiculed as a result of they cease this animal in a tiny space the place it could not conceal. They gave you the lamest, weakest animal. You have been by no means in any hazard. And now you are posing over this animal such as you’ve one way or the other upset the meals chain along with your alpha ingenuity. It’s so determined and pathetic.

Well, I needed to congratulate you on briefly getting your second official tick. I do not know in case you noticed it.


It’s not there now, so you will not see it, however he briefly added a second official tick to all these accounts, together with yours—

Oh no!

And then inside a few hours they have been gone. He stated he killed it. He determined it wasn’t working. [Ed. note: The “official” check marks eventually returned, although not to Patton Oswalt’s account.]

I do not even know at this level what the worth of a tick is apart from to guard your id.

It was imagined to be a second tick to guard your id, in addition to the blue tick, which now simply means you paid $8 a month.

Well, wait a minute, then I need my blue test mark gone! I do not need folks to suppose I paid him $8.

I do know, that is what I believed. It’s going to be like a blue tick of disgrace that you just paid Elon.

Oh God, nicely if this turns into the factor, I need my blue tick proper now. Holy shit.

Do you suppose you will persist with Twitter, although? Because you’ve got been loyal to it for a very long time.

Yeah, I imply, I experimented with Mastodon. I nonetheless cannot fairly work out the platform. It looks as if there are a lot of additional steps that do not have to be there. I’m actually attempting to enhance my Instagram, do longer tales, study its instruments. But with Twitter, I simply sit round and watch. It’s like hey, whereas I’m ready for the fourth season of Succession, right here is season 3.5. And I can watch it in actual time. It’s improbable.

Listen to the episode now and subscribe to The Last Laugh on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google, Stitcher, Amazon Musicor wherever you get your podcasts, and be the primary to listen to new episodes after they’re launched each Tuesday.

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