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Saturday, Feb. 20, 2010

Patton Oswalt

Tonight @ The Pabst Theater, 8 p.m.

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It’s somewhat remarkable that Patton Oswalt has maintained a reputation as one of the most praised alternative/independent comics of his time, given his involvement in such rivaled commercial institutions as “MADtv” and “King of Queens,” the CBS sitcom on which Oswalt served nine humorless seasons as one of Kevin James’ sidekicks. Between paychecks, though, Oswalt was touring rock venues with his surprisingly incisive, confrontational stand-up comedy—criticizing the same vapid American culture that from a distance he appeared a part of. In the past half decade in particular, Oswalt has upped his cache with a string of well-chosen supporting roles in cult comedy and sci-fi programs that further deepened his support among fans. He also wowed critics with a violent staring role in the 2009 drama Big Fan.