Five things we learned at…Patton Oswalt's New York Comedy Festival show

The stand-up reconsiders the reasons to live in New York and contemplates Arnold Schwarzenegger's view of reality.

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Patton Oswalt

Patton Oswalt Photograph: Dale May


You have to be a little bit crazy to live in New York City. Oswalt is convinced his friends who try to get him to move here just want another person to use as a human shield.

The worst holiday song of all time is "The Christmas Shoes." It’s a tune crooned in Nickelback style by New Song (a band name Oswalt is convinced will cause confusion à la Abbott and Costello­­’s "Who's on first?" routine: “I heard a new song by New Song.…”). In short, the ditty is about a little boy’s mother dying so that a cranky shopper can experience the true meaning of Christmas­­.

Celebrities live in an alternate universe. Take Arnold Schwarzenegger’s life, for example. He went from being a teen bodybuilder to a movie star (where he played, among other things, a pregnant man­) and later became governor of California. After all that, according to Oswalt, Schwarzenegger had to convince himself that reality still existed and that he wasn’t in a real-life version of The Matrix. That's why he had an affair with his housekeeper.

Don’t stay too long in the frozen food aisle. The danger lies in the moment when you start to truly desire a Lean Cuisine. You may end up listening to Toto’s “Africa” as you stare at the wall of options, the result of which may be blissful suicide.

Oswalt is a stand-up guy in more ways than one. Sandy “really bummed [him] out, man.” (“Thank you!” yelled a woman in the audience.) Forty percent of Oswalt’s ticket sales went toward relief efforts.

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