In old-time Hollywood, being a triple threat meant you were a talented singer, dancer, and actor. But in the comedy world, it means you can kill a room, command a screen, and burn up a page. Patton Oswalt's more than proven his worth in all three, and has spent the last several years rising from the already enviable upper echelon of alternative comedy to become one of the funniest people working at any level, period. His 2007 Werewolves and Lollipops is a top-three candidate for funniest comedy album of the decade, and his most recent standup set, My Weakness Is Strong (WEA/Reprise), adds a bit of fatherly semi-maturity to his repertoire without sacrificing his biting cynicism or his gleefully artful vulgarity. His lead-role breakthrough in Big Fan, playing a New York Giants fan as deluded and troubled as any geek-culture obsessive, allowed him to vividly highlight the pathos and insecurity that punctuates his best bits. And while his Twitter account is a must-follow, his deftly-written MySpace blog and his recently announced book Zombie Spaceship Wasteland should be more than enough proof that he's got some serious essayist chops too.
Sat., Sept. 18, 8 p.m., 2010