Patton Oswalt

Bullseye with Jesse Thorn: Elizabeth Gilbert and Daryl Hall

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Elizabeth Gilbert talks curiosity, life after "Eat, Pray, Love" and writing her most recent novel

If you know of the writer Elizabeth Gilbert, it's probably from her 2006 memoir, Eat Pray Love. Gilbert's book, which was about travel and love and re-gaining a sense of self, spent years atop the bestseller list and inspired a movie starring Julia Roberts. It also saddled Gilbert with a certain kind of fame.

Gilbert was already an accomplished novelist, biographer, and journalist when fame happened. But the massive success of Eat, Pray, Love necessarily transformed Gilbert's creative life.

Gilbert returned to fiction with her first novel in thirteen years, entitled The Signature of All Things: A Novel. She spent several years doing research for the book, which follows the adventures of Alma Whittaker, a 19th century botanist who studies moss. The book shines with Alma's curiosity for life and science, and her struggle of self-discovery.

She'll talk about why she chose to write a "great moss novel", how she chose to write her heroine Alma (homely, brilliant, and moneyed), and how she dealt with a certain kind of fame.
(This segment originally aired in October 2013)

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The Dissolve Talks about All-Time Favorite Movies: "Real Life" and "To Be or Not to Be"

This week, a look back at some favorite films. Staff writer Nathan Rabin and Editorial Director Keith Phipps of film site The Dissolve join us to talk about some of their all-time favorite films.

Nathan recommends Albert Brooks' 1979 satire Real Life, a prescient look at documenting "real life" in pre-reality television times.

Keith recommends the 1942 Ernst Lubitch classic To Be or Not to Be (Criterion Collection), starring Jack Benny and Carole Lombard.

(This segment originally aired in October 2013)

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Comedy: Patton Oswalt explains why sometimes shopping can be embarrassing

When you lose a few pounds it's natural to buy new clothes. You might try on those skin tight jeans that look so great on the model. But, trying on new clothes isn't always fun. Sometimes it's downright embarrassing. Patton Oswalt will explain why he didn't end up with new pants.

His most recent stand up special, Tragedy Plus Comedy Equals Time, is out now. He's actually gone silent for the summer. Taking a break from the internet. But you can catch him live in LA starting September 13.

Daryl Hall of Hall & Oates on forming a band, creating a signature sound, and hip hop sampling

Daryl Hall, best known as the lead vocalist and co-founder of Hall & Oates, is a singer, songwriter and producer with a collection of #1 songs to his name. He spent his formative years in Philadelphia around soul singers like Smokey Robinson.

Daryl Hall and John Oates met as students at Temple University, and went on to form a best-selling musical duo with chart-toppers like "Rich Girl", "Sara Smile", and "Private Eyes". Hall talks about his first meeting with Oates, and how he used disco and punk rock to help create Hall & Oates' signature sound.

His newest project is a web series called Live from Daryl's House of performances and collaborations with a diverse set of musicians that's included Minus the Bear, Cee-lo Green, Toots and the Maytals, Chromeo and the Neon Trees.
(This segment originally aired on The Sound of Young America in February 2011)

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The Outshot: Bo Jackson

And finally, the outshot for this week – Bo Jackson. How is a guy that fast, that strong? And how is a guy that strong, that fast? Jesse explains.

(This segment originally aired in January 2012)

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Patton Oswalt: The Best Argument Against Gay Marriage

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Patton Oswalt - The Best Argument Against Gay Marriage
Here's a clip from Patton Oswalt's soon-to-be-released CD "Finest Hour". The rest of the album will be released on the 20th.

Countdown to Patton Oswalt's Finest Hour

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The Showtime special will air on Monday, September 5th. And the CD will be released on the 20th, though you can pre-order it now.

Will it live up to the title? With track names such as "The Miracle of Sweatpants", "The Invisible Anus" and "The Burroughs of Carbs", I don't see how it can miss.

Alumni Newsletter: August 29, 2011

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Patton Oswalt is Malazar the Wizard

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If you're tired of comedy films that play out a single premise for too long, then you will love 5-Second Films: succinct but silly exposition, action, conflict and resolution in half the time it takes to type a tweet.  Yesterday's short, "The Final Battle", was awesome not only because it features Patton Oswalt, but also because its creators provided this summary:  "In the Land of Fyffynthoth, most of the demonic winged creatures are actually just friendly dudes who are trying to get you anything you may want - lollies, more TV time, a scoop of ice cream. But Malazar the Wizard was having none of that bunk."


The Alumni Newsletter: January 5, 2011

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The Alumni Newsletter: December 30th, 2010

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Podcast: The College Years: Christmas in September

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Guests: 
Davy Rothbart
Guests: 
Christopher Moore
Guests: 
John Waters
Guests: 
Patton Oswalt

The College Years is a look deep into the vaults of The Sound of Young America. Take a journey with us every week as we post a new program or two from our salad days.

Today's theme: Christmas in September


It's The College Years' holiday special! Oh happy day. Jesse welcomes a plethora of talented gentlemen on the show for this very special occasion, the first being Davy Rothbart. Davey Rothbart is the editor of Found Magazine, home to the greatest collection of "love letters, birthday cards, kids' homework, to-do lists, ticket stubs, poetry on napkins, doodles." Check out the the Found Magazine book, Found: The Best Lost, Tossed, and Forgotten Items from Around the World.

Next, Jesse and Jordan give a little bit of sage advice to Jesse's younger brother, John Thorn. Sage but sobering advice.

Following that, Jesse speaks with author Christopher Moore. They talk about Christopher's Christmas themed book, The Stupidest Angel: A Heartwarming Tale of Christmas Terror. Do yourself a favor and read his work.

After that, listen for a good cause, namely Mustaches for Kids. I think the name speaks for itself but just in case, "Mustaches for Kids is a volunteer-run organization started in Los Angeles in 1999 to do good and have fun by growing Mustaches for children’s charities." Naturally.


Speaking of distinguished mustaches, John Waters joins Jesse to share some of his favorite Christmas tunes. If you like his films, most surely you will enjoy his musical tastes. Check out A John Waters Christmas.

Lastly but certainly not least, Patton Oswalt graces the show with his comedy. Added bonus: listen in as Jesse recreates one of Patton's fondest memories.

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Podcast: The College Years: It's All Politics!

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Guests: 
Kristin Gore
Guests: 
Art Spiegelman
Guests: 
Patton Oswalt

The College Years is a look deep into the vaults of The Sound of Young America. Take a journey with us every week as we post a new program or two from our salad days.

Today's theme: It's All Politics!

First up, Jesse Thorn and guest-host Maria Schell welcome writer Kristin Gore. Kristin talks about her book, Sammy's Hill, her beginnings in comedy with Harvard's National Lampoon, and her time as a writer at Futurama.


Following that, Jesse interviews the great Art Spiegelman. Listen as Mr. Spiegelman reveals some of his motivations for his book about 9/11, In the Shadow of No Towers. It is fantastic. Do yourself a favor and find more of his work.


Lastly, Jesse talks to friend of the show, Patton Oswalt. In the world's shortest interview, Patton drops some funny, Jesse tries to demonize the Chipmunks, and Maria describes what she's wearing. Owe yourself another favor and go to one of his upcoming shows.

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