Patton Oswalt: A Closed Letter to Myself About Thievery, Heckling and Rape Jokes
Huffington Post - over 3 years
"Develop a little self-righteousness. A lot of that is an ugly thing, God knows, but a little spread over all your scruples is an absolute necessity!" -- Glen Bateman, in Stephen King's The Stand
It's not the thievery. It's the goddamned theorizing.
When I started doing comedy - back in 1988 - I did a joke one night, at an unpaid open mike, that killed. It killed. I wasn't used to having anything in my set, in those first few months of shows, get any response from an audience other than a hard blink and an impatient sigh.
There's a dopamine rush, for a comedian, when you cobble a thought out of thin air, when you arrange words not as a sentence but suddenly, as a joke. A for-real, plucked-from-your-skull joke. Something you created which, when you reach the part you want the audience to laugh at? And then...holy shit! They actually laugh? That's the spike in the vein that sets the compass for your life.
Well, I'd gotten a taste. I wanted more.
Huffington Post article