Patton Oswalt's advice on how not to be a miserable comedian

This is a great Comedy And Everything Else podcast featuring Patton Oswalt as the guest [thx PM]. The really good stuff starts about 20 or 30 minutes in when Oswalt starts waxing philosophical about standup.

Some of the types of comics he goes after:

1. Comedians who feel entitled because they've been doing standup for a long time. Oswalt's take: It doesn't matter how long you've been doing it, it's how well you've been doing it. Basically: "You haven't been doing comedy for 20 years, you did it for 1 year and you've been repeating that year for 19 years."

2. Comedians who get pissy about the success of hacky comics. Oswalt: Be happy for them and their success. If they can succeed doing stupid shit, that's fine. You don't want those fans anyway so who cares? It's a diff audience and has nothing to do with you.

3. Comedians who don't help their peers. It's why Oswalt did Comedians of Comedy. He thinks you need to bring people you like along with you on the path to success. They will help drive you and keep you funny/honest. Otherwise, you'll just wind up a shallow (and prob unfunny) asshole.

Also neat: The crew mentions Rory Scovel as one of the best new young comics out there (at about 1hr and 6min in).


soce said...

In terms of helping one's peers, I will say that's one thing I've really enjoyed about the comedy scene. I do feel that if a comedian believes in another comedian, then they will generally enter a very symbiotic relationship, getting each other spots on shows, interviews etc

I've seen various comedy communities grow and flourish, and it always makes me happy to see all these people looking out for each other. I didn't find that sense of bonding as much in the music worlds. It's there, but not as strong.

Mostly because the format of weekly comedy shows (quick 8-minute sets) allows for lots of talent spots that need to be filled. Whereas most bands only do one show every few months and usually perform on their own or maybe with a single opening act.. so now many open slots.

soce said...

"So NOT many open slots."

Hank in Chicago said...

Yeah, that was a great podcast.

I really appreciated when he said, paraphrasing, "You are exactly where you deserve to be." If you're not climbing the ladder it's cause you don't deserve to climb it yet. Keep working.

I rank the Patton podcast right up there with the CEE episode with Jim Gaffigan as podcasts I got the most out of from the perspective of someone just starting out. Both of those guys are so smart and have had so much experience. The Brian Regan episode is great too.

Jon Clarke said...

God bless you, Ruby. This is amazing.

oh, and there's 47 more of them.

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