Patton Oswalt, standup comic and star of The Secret Life of Pets 2 discusses a trippy TV soundtrack, a life-affirming classic film, and his other recent obsessions. —As told to J.R. Sullivan
The soundtrack to Lodge 49, on AMC, is one of the best on TV right now. It’s an eclectic mix of obscure pop songs, largely from the ’60s and ’70s— stuff I’d never heard before. “Cold Hard Times” by Lee Hazelwood is a standout. It’s a sunny, tuneful song about despair. “Come on Let’s Go” by the band Broadcast is another good one. It’s pretty trippy.
I’ve returned to Akira Kurosawa’s 1956 film Ikiru again and again over the years. The premise is that a government official realizes he’s dying and decides to build a playground that’s been stalled for years. It makes you look at what you value and whether you truly appreciate it, and whether you’re trying to improve life, even if in small ways.
I’ve been plowing through The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich by William L. Shirer. It’s a horrifying page-turner. I was unaware of how many times Hitler could’ve been stopped but wasn’t, because people kept saying, “Let’s be polite. He’s not a maniac; he’s reasonable just like we are.” They projected their values onto a sociopath.
For my wife’s birthday, I hired chef Melissa Perello, who runs the San Francisco restaurants Octavia and Frances, to cook dinner for her and six friends at our home. It was incredible, and it was nice to use money on an experience instead of an object.
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