Comedy quartet to appear at House of Blues tonight

Andrew Gaug

Patton Oswalt, of “King of Queens,” and the Comedians of Comedy are at the House of Blues in Cleveland tonight. COURTESY OF MICHAEL O’BRIEN

Credit: Carl Schierhorn

The Comedians of Comedy have their own feature-length documentary, make constant appearances in movies, had their own Comedy Central mini-series and will be making a stop at the House of Blues in Cleveland.

Comprised of Patton Oswalt (“King of Queens”), Brian Posehn (“Mr. Show”), Maria Bamford (“Comedy Central Presents”) and Eugene Mirman (“Cheap Seats”) in replacement of Zach Galifianakis, the comedy group was formed by Oswalt after being inspired by other entertainers such as David Cross who chose to perform at smaller venues for a more intimate setting.

Oswalt began his career in comedy during the summer of 1988.

“It was one of those summers in college where you have no … idea what you’re going to do with your life,” he said. “I had a million things going at the time and decided to try stand-up.”

As all humble beginnings go, his first attempts at comedy were less than admirable.

“I did an open mic night and it sucked,” Oswalt said. “No one was laughing.”

Fortunately, he decided that of all the things going on in his life, comedy is what he found to be the most interesting.

After gaining recognition from being featured in comedy specials on HBO, he was approached to do voice-overs for shows such as “Kim Possible” and “Batman.”

Oswalt said once the ball started rolling with voice-over work, it just kept leading to more things. He has landed small-bit parts in movies such as Zoolander, Starsky & Hutch, Blade: Trinity and, most recently, Failure to Launch.

Oswalt may be best known as the wise-cracking Spence Olchin on the sitcom “King of Queens,” but don’t mistake the relatively clean antics on the show to be a part of his stand-up act.

“It’s an adult (stand-up act),” Oswalt said. He said he used to encounter people who would be angered by the profane content in his comedy, but lately the problem is occurring less and less.

“You’ve got to be responsible with your comedy and the people that are coming to your shows,” he said.

Things appeared to have been taken too far when Oswalt, a vocal opponent of George W. Bush’s policies, was booed and chanted off of a Pittsburgh stage in 2003 after making comments about how he thought weapons of mass destruction didn’t exist prior to the war in Iraq.

“It was one of the few times I was right, and it’s not something I’m proud to be right about,” he said.

Despite being booed off of the stage, Oswalt maintained the Bush jokes would not stop.

“How could you not make jokes about Bush?” Oswalt asked. “It’s not that I’m anti-Bush, I’m just opinionated.”

Oswalt said this will be his first time playing in Cleveland, and he hopes for a good crowd. But, he said jokingly, “the tour is secondary to visiting Norton Furniture.” He said that a friend sent him videos of local celebrity and furniture owner, Mark Norton, whose commercials have become notorious for the owner’s dry comedy and incredibly raspy voice.

He said he enjoyed the nods to shows such as “The Outer Limits,” but, ultimately, “it’s just so creepy and psychotic.”

Above all, Oswalt hopes for one thing in his first time doing stand-up in Ohio.

“I hope that (the audience) laughs,” he said.

Contact ALL correspondent Andrew Gaug at [email protected].