Patton Oswalt (born January 27, 1969, in Portsmouth, Virginia, USA) is a comedian, actor and writer who first began headlining comedy clubs in 1996. After writing for MADtv and starring in his own 1997 comedy special for HBO, he went on to garner notable roles in films and television shows including Paul Thomas Anderson's Magnolia and The King of Queens on CBS. He is a 1987 graduate of Broad Run High School in Ashburn, Virginia, and attended the College of William and Mary, where he was initiated into the Alpha Theta Chapter of the Phi Kappa Tau Fraternity.
Oswalt's style of stand-up comedy is often described as acerbic and sarcastic, and it covers a great deal of subject matter. Topics range from pop culture frivolity such as comic book supervillains and 1980s hair metal to deeper societal issues like American excess, rampant materialism, foreign policy, and religion (Patton is an announced Atheist himself). Critics have recognized Oswalt for employing keen wit, biting insight and unabashed love of the absurd. Quite a few of his routines are about vice, especially pornography and alcohol. A famous line: "Do you think you have a problem when you refer to all alcohol as 'pain-go-bye-bye-juice'?"
Oswalt takes an unabashedly centrist viewpoint in his material, with very little tolerance for either the left or right wing. He has described himself as a "man without a country" in that he dislikes both George W. Bush and hippies. In February 2004, some jokes critical of President Bush got him booed off the stage in Pittsburgh.
In 2004 Oswalt released a comedy album entitled Feelin' Kinda Patton and later that year a longer, unedited version of the same recording called 222, both through the United Musicians collective, and a stand-up special "No Reason to Complain". He is also on a split EP called "Patton Vs. Alcohol Vs. Zach Vs. Patton" with Zach Galifianakis.
Looking for a way to bring cutting-edge comedy to a different audience, Oswalt put together the Comedians of Comedy tour in 2004, using indie rock venues instead of traditional (and expensive) comedy clubs. The tour featured Oswalt, Zach Galifianakis, Brian Posehn, and Maria Bamford. The fall 2004 tour was documented in a 2005 film of the same name; it was followed by a six-episode Comedy Central series based on the summer 2005 tour.
He has appeared on the television shows Home Movies, Tom Goes to the Mayor, Aqua Teen Hunger Force, I Love the '80s, Static Shock, The Fairly OddParents, Crank Yankers, Reno 911!, and The Batman. He also wrote the comic book "JLA: Welcome to the Working Week" and a back-up story in Batman #600.
Oswalt married writer Michelle McNamara on September 24, 2005.