Life Lessons From a Comedian/Film Addict
I have Memoir Mondays because I’ve read plenty of them. Silver Screen Fiend: Learning About Life from an Addiction to Film isn’t exactly what you would expect from the memoir of a man who starred in King of Queens. Then again, maybe it does if you’re aware that Patton Oswalt is the kind of comedian who candidly jokes about how a month off Prozac revs his depression into watching Princess Bride eleven times in a row while wearing a bathrobe for eight days straight.
I didn’t expect Oswalt to have a whole introductory allegory on how his breakthroughs in comedy were akin to the the warped and slightly scary revelation that is Van Gogh’s “Night Café.” But it works. Oswalt convinces you through his own troubling addiction to classic films that not only are movies a form of art wherein entertainment is a mere bi-product, but that comedy is an art that serves the divine purpose of finding the heart of sadness, grief, disappointment, and pain and somehow making you laugh at it.
Not to say the book isn’t funny. I mean, I would have paid to see a reading of The Day the Clown Cried by a bunch of comedians like David Cross and Bob Odenkirk with Oswalt directing, but I suppose I can settle for listening to the hilarious retelling of the event instead.