Here's What Patton Oswalt Said at 1st Show Since Wife Died

'People' says the sold-out crowd 'hung on his every word'
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 4, 2016 10:48 AM CDT
Patton Oswalt poses in the press room with the award for for outstanding writing for a variety series for “Patton Oswalt: Talking for Clapping” at the 68th Primetime Emmy Awards on Sunday, Sept. 18, 2016,...   (Photo by Phil McCarten/Invision for the Television Academy/AP Images)

(Newser) – On Thursday night at New York's Beacon Theatre, Patton Oswalt did his first stand-up headliner since his wife died. People reports that he "stalled" (his word) for half of the hour-long set before going into a 16-minute monologue about Michelle McNamara's April death. Highlights of what he said once he got there:

  • "A lot of the terminology that people use when you’re going through something like this is just ridiculous. If I hear the term 'healing journey' one more time… It is not a 'healing journey.' It’s a 'numb slog.' ... If they would call it a 'numb slog' instead of a 'healing journey,' it would make it a lot easier. Because if they call it a 'healing journey' and it’s just a day of you eating Wheat Thins in your underwear, you’re like, 'I guess I’m on my healing journey.' But if they say you’re going to have a 'numb slog,' you sit there going 'I’m nailing it!'"

  • He mentioned that he used to be a believer of the cliché, "Everything happens for a reason," and McNamara would argue with him that that's not true, and "S--- just happens. There's no closure, there's no order, and there's no meaning." And "now that’s been proven to me in the s-------- way possible," he said Thursday night. "She won the argument in the worst way!"
  • He explained why he didn't tell daughter Alice that her mother had died until the day after her death: The 7-year-old was at school when it happened, and when she got home, "You can't go, 'Oh, your mom's dead—sweet dreams."
  • Alice wanted "normalcy," and returned to school two days later, leading to some awkward moments for Oswalt when confronted with kids and their open nature: "Monday was me taking her to school and the kids saying, 'Were you sad when Alice’s mom died?' And I was like, 'Yes, I was—what a great question.'"
(Read more Patton Oswalt stories.)

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