Interview: Patton Oswalt

By RYAN STEWART  |  February 2, 2010

A few of the people you've been associated with have had iffy experiences with the television industry. Does that make you not want to do your own show?
No, I would love to do a show on television if I could think of an original take on it. The thing is, writing for sit-coms is really fucking hard. It's a very hard form to crack, because it's so inherently artificial that you have to find tricks to make it seem authentic and real and human. It's not my disdain of sit-coms, it's the fact that I've been around them long enough to know how hard they are to do. The stuff that I "hate" is never stuff that I'm like, "This sucks!" It's always something that I loved, and they're doing something sloppy or lazy or disappointing. If I see a bad sit-com, but you can tell that that actress is talented, and that actor's talented, and every sixth line is actually kind of funny, you can literally see the meddling fingerprints on everything that are stopping very hard-working and talented people from doing something original and good, and that's what frustrates me. It's just so easy to go, "Well, this thing sucks," but that doesn't say anything. It's like, "Why do you hate this thing so much?" It's also why I'm so self-critical. I'll listen to old albums and go, "Fuck, I didn't do enough with that bit," or "That was lazy acting right there," or "That was lazy writing." So that's where my perspective lies.

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