There are an exceptional few performers who have elevated the craft of stand-up comedy to an honest to goodness art form. Infusing the formula with absurd honesty, surreal world building, or just a singleminded dedication to absolute, neurotic truth, these champions of the spoken word have devoted their lives and livelihoods to skirting the line between silliness and insanity. Patton Oswalt, through his writing, acting, and bizarrely confessional stand-up, is among the comedians of the modern era that have transformed the experience of comedy into something transcendent, beautiful, and weird. Unfortunately, the arts have always been a haven for genuine mental illness, and comedy has taken its share of casualties.
Silver Screen Fiend: Learning About Life from an Addiction to Film, Oswalt’s second memoir, explores his troubled, recent past through his obsession with movies – an obsession that, though superficially tame in comparison, has cost him careers and relationships and drove him to the brink of ruin time and again. As a whole, there is nothing funny about the horror of addiction, but, when you break it down into its constituent incidents, Patton Oswalt proves that addiction has plenty of hilarious parts. His first book Zombie Spaceship Wasteland, established Patton as a lyrical and gut-wrenching memoirist. Silver Screen Fiend captures that same beautiful mania and commits it to film.
Join the Stand Up Sit Down Book Club on Monday February 29th at 7:00 p.m. in the cafe at BookPeople for its final meeting to discuss Silver Screen Fiend by Patton Oswalt, share some laughs, revel in some cinematic memories, and disappear into the night. The Stand Up Sit Down Book Club has met every month since November 2012 (really?) to crack wise over all the good, not-so-good, and extraordinary that comedy memoirs, surveys, and biographies have to offer. The Stand Up Sit Down Book Club loves each and every one of you. Thanks for the wackiness, you weirdos.
- Steve(n) W.