Thirty-two minutes into our interview, Patton Oswalt has discussed everything but his stand-up: serial killers, the early career of animator Hayao Miyazaki, Hamilton, his freakish knowledge of My Little Pony (his daughter is a fan), Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley. Suffice it to say, the 48-year-old comedian, actor, and writer, who hosts Patton Oswalt and Friends each month at the Largo, lives up to his reputation as a pop culture savant with an emphasis in nerddom. But as psyched as he is about the bear attack scene in Disney’s The Fox and the Hound (and trust—he’s psyched), it’s the current state of comedy in Los Angeles that has him exhilarated. “This is the first time where the majority of people who are doing it—way more than my wave, way more than the wave in the early ’80s—are doing it for the fun of it,” he says. “They don’t have an end game, like a sitcom, in mind. They’re excited to be creating with their friends.” Considering pals like Hannibal Buress drop into his Largo gig, we’d say Oswalt is shooting the curl. Here he talks trolling Kanye and changing history on his late-night show.
Which My Little Pony could open for you at the Largo?
Pinkie Pie. She has the most non-linear, Steve Martin-esque style of humor and thought. Twilight Sparkle would eat it. She’s way too logical and reasonable.
What name would you give to an L.A.-specific My Little Pony?
Oh wait. Wait wait hang on. That’s a fucking great question. Wait a minute. Hang on. Wait a minute. No, wait wait wait wait wait.
Juice Cleanse. And Juice Cleanse is the only My Little Pony whose ribs you can actually see. And she’s super super toned, and her Cutie Mark is a bundle of wheat grass. Juice Cleanse! [Triumphant laugh.]
I’m so embarrassed. They have these things called Cutie Marks, and it’s a symbol of what you are. And so Juice Cleanse’s is a bundle of wheat grass. I’m so embarrassed I know all this shit.
Pick a hype man: Steven Spielberg or Stephen King?
With Stephen King, you get the best words, but with Steven Spielberg, you get the best visuals. No disrespect to Stephen King, but I’ve got to go with Spielberg. He would go, “Could I throw to the screen?” and he’d put together a montage of me being adorably irascible—like a less annoying Richard Dreyfus in Jaws.
Dead L.A. icon who’d have been great at stand-up?
Sue Mengers would’ve been amazing. She’s dead, right? I hope she’s—I mean, I don’t hope she’s dead, I’m just saying I hope I don’t think she’s dead and she’s not.
The New Beverly or A New Hope?
The New Beverly, because it could lead to many more A New Hopes. Oh wow, that was a good answer. I’m a little too proud of myself.
Would you rather live in Blade Runner’s L.A. or Her’s L.A.?
Her’s, because Blade Runner’s L.A. is a fucking nightmare. There’d be a lot of high-waisted hipsters in Her’s L.A., but it seems clean. And there doesn’t seem to be literal radiation raining down from the sky.
L.A. band you’d hire for your late-night show?
It’s a toss up—can this be any band historically?
Either Sparks—the American Glam Rock band formed in L.A. in 1971 who has a song that was very famously featured in Valley Girl when the mom hooks up with the delivery boy—or, to improve history, the Manson Family band. I mean, look, theoretically, what if I had hired them as a house band and stopped them from doing all those murders? That’s me going, “Hey, Hitler, I’ll buy all these paintings, and can I commission some more from you? How do I keep you busy?” So it’s either Sparks or the Manson Family band, out there chanting and playing bongos.
Person you’d anonymously troll on Twitter for a day?
Kanye, because the rewards would be epic. He is a genius and also one of the dumbest human beings alive. You can be both, and he gets to be both! And then I’d appear obliquely on his next album, which would be nice.
A musical revue of your standup opens tonight at the Pantages. What’s it called?
Carbs! [Sings]: “Give me a muffin, a pretzel, a roll! Tonight we’re gonna find out for whom the bell tolls. It’s Carbs!”
Which is more dangerous, Mount Doom or Mt. Baldy?
Mt. Baldy. The reason being you know what you’re getting into with Mount Doom. It’s this horrific hell portal of awfulness. Whereas Mt. Baldy, I think people go up there and they get a little ahead of themselves physically and oxygen needs-wise. It’s so beautiful—alluringly beautiful—that it actually ensnares more victims.
If you could choose an L.A. Rams player to punch you in the face, who would it be and why?
The weakest one. Whoever’s right arm is injured right now. I don’t know any of their names—just let me look at the injured list. That guy can punch me from his sitz bath.
Pre-meditation, non-hypoallergenic parental snack you’d bring to @LosFelizDaycare?
Agave-sweetened sea-kelp gummies in the shape of Isabel Allende’s face. That would be the most woke snack you could give your kid.