Patton Oswalt personal and professional lives have seen their highest highs and lowest lows over the past year and a half.
Oswalt lost his wife suddenly and unexpectedly, and received a Grammy nomination the next day (which he’d later win, as well as an Emmy for the same special). He and his young daughter had to relearn their way through the world. He found love again, and recently remarried. And through it all, the world itself has been through, and still undergoing major upheaval.
So his 2017 Netflix stand-up special, Annihilation, covers the complete destruction of our lives and his as he knew it, and the need to keep going afterward.
As I wrote in my review of Oswalt’s Annihilation hour, Oswalt can note how the lightning-fast speed of scandals and dumb news on Twitter makes a mockery out of a comedian’s ability to write jokes to keep up:
“It’s exhausting!” he exclaims. “Imagine there’s an insane man on the sidewalk, just shitting on the sidewalk and yelling about Hitler. So you’re looking at it, and you immediately think of the funniest joke about shitting on the sidewalk, and you turn to tell it to a bunch of people, and behind you, he’s taken the shit and made a sombrero out of it.”