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Friday, April 4, 2014

CD/DVD Review: Patton Oswalt: “Tragedy Plus Comedy Equals Time”



Patton Oswalt is one of my favorite comedians. And clearly I’m not alone in that, judging by the standing ovation he gets before even saying a word at the beginning of his new special, Tragedy Plus Comedy Equals Time. He tells them: “Sit down for God’s sake. My feet are hurting looking at you.” This special is being released as a two-disc set, a CD and a DVD (and there is also a digital download card inside, so you’re covered, whatever format you prefer). The title, of course, is a play on that classic definition of comedy: Tragedy plus time equals comedy. This special was recorded in San Diego, and is approximately 71 minutes.

He begins with some self-deprecating humor about fitness and then a bit about the shape of Florida. Things start cooking when he says, “The only reason to visit Florida is to identify your daughter’s dead body.” I too despise Florida, and completely appreciate his position on that awful state. Patton Oswalt expresses genuine concern about the influence of that state: “Florida’s gonna fill up with horror and then spill into the rest of the country. I know it. We need to like lance it or something, let it drain into the ocean.”

He talks about the signs of getting older – a sudden interest in World War II, and no longer having hatred for any type of music. This routine feels a bit tamer than his previous release, Finest Hour. But he tells some wonderful stories, like about his gig at a casino, and about purchasing a pair of pants. My favorite story is about his time with a prostitute. It’s completely bloody hilarious. His dick and balls tell him, “You are not sticking us inside this Jerry Springer episode.” I also love the Duran Duran/Bob Seger reference.

Tragedy Plus Comedy Equals Time is scheduled to be released on April 8, 2014 on Comedy Central Records. The special also will air on April 6, 2014 on Comedy Central. The DVD does not contain any bonus material.

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