Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Wit's Loose Connections; COMEDY

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Wit's Loose Connections; COMEDY

Article excerpt

Byline: BRUCE DESSAU

Patton Oswalt

Soho Theatre, W1

AMERICAN stand-up Patton Oswalt has friends in high places. Ali G's alter ego Sacha Baron Cohen adores him, Hollywood's Ben Stiller loves him and Simpsons creator Matt Groening called him "a brilliant comedian and a sneaky pickpocket".

They must have caught him at better gigs than his Soho press night, where nuggets of genius were frequently obscured by overfamiliar hack material.

You could walk into any London comedy club on any night and hear similar riffs about topics as ubiquitous as insipid reality TV, inedible restaurant food and inane game shows.

This compact man, who could make a serviceable Hobbit, added little insight and when he portrayed Tony Blair as a Dick Van Dyke-accented gor blimey guv'nor things looked grim.

Gradually, though, he hit his stride, moving from glib gags to extended thoughtful pieces.

Oswalt soon emerged not just as a two-dimensional cynic but as a fully rounded misanthrope, excelling at memorable shards of scorched-earth sarcasm. …

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