Remember the other day when David Cross got all Kevin Barnes in defending his decision to accept a paycheck for a less-than-artistic enterprise, against the likes of random internetters and old pal Patton Oswalt? Well it appears Patton’s offending “snide comment” was really just an inside-joke between the two alt-comic heroes. One that David forgot all about. Patton writes in an open letter to David entitled “I Briefly Respond To The Ongoing Non-Issue” (via The A.V. Club):

Did you hear the big news? No, silly pudding, not Bhutto’s assassination or the discovery of dozens of extra-solar planets. The dude from Arrested Development made a kid’s movie! And then the fat sidekick from King Of Queens said something about it! We’ve got to get to the surplus store before they run out of shotguns and MREs!

Shouldn’t something better-crafted than my MySpace blog be a cultural bellwether? … Also, I don’t think anyone read the entire entry. Including you.

Here’s the offending, “snide” passage:

Patton Oswalt and David Cross, in better times
[Pic of Patton and David in better times via]

“Oddly enough, both Brian Posehn and I were offered the part of Ian, the agent. We both threw the script across the room in disgust. David Cross caught it.”

That is a snide comment. However, it was intended as a snide, private in-joke between us.

I doubt you remember this, but back in March of 2006 I was in New York, and ran into you at Rififi. I was wearing a suit, and without anyone asking about it or being the least bit interested (unlike you, I am in constant, panick-y worry about what people think of me), I explained, “I just came from the premiere of Failure To Launch.” I had a tiny, three-line part in the movie, and I used it as a way to scam Paramount into flying me to Manhattan for a few days. In fact, later that evening during the Invite Them Up show, I gave my four afterparty passes to some random audience members, and wished them luck getting in. That’s ’cuz I’m a dangerous rebel.

But you said, after I told you about being in Failure To Launch, “Man, they sent me that script, and I read ten pages and threw it across the room.” Then you added, “I guess you caught it.”

Well, I thought that was hilarious. I really did. As far as I’m concerned, I sold out when I took that free plate of buffalo wings at Rumors Nightclub near Dulles Airport in the summer of 1989, at my first paid stand-up gig ($50 – I got the buffalo wings for hosting a belching contest afterwards). Ever since then, the only criteria for my career path is, “How entertaining will this be for me, and how much money can I get?” Getting to work with Brad Bird at Pixar met both those criteria perfectly. But spending a month and a half in Vancouver, watching Wesley Snipes have a slow-motion meltdown in Blade: Trinity, was equally valuable and enriching. Reputation, posterity and cool are traps. Shaky Kane said that, I think.

Thus, my desire to work with Paul Greengrass, Martin Scorsese and Ang Lee is equal to my desire to work with Nicholas Cage, Tom Cruise and Carlos Mencia. I want the money, and the anecdotes.

Let’s go get dinner somewhere soon, and laugh about this over a bottle of Integrity Vineyards Shiraz. Or let fate take us where it will, and I promise we will look back fondly on this meaty mess from the set of Hungry Hungry Hippos: The Movie. Scorsese’s already announced it for 2010.



Written from my Bill Hicks-shaped pool in the East Wing of Sierra Mist Manor; Burbank, CA

P.S. Please name your cottage either AlvinWycke or Chipmunk Terrace.

Reading Patton’s original post, you know he’s right, and this is all just a case of shit getting misconstrued, taken out of context, forgotten, etc. It’s two unusual, funny, and unusually funny guys who’ve taken humor to the level of artistry, both of whom aren’t afraid of the occasional cash-grab to afford their KFC Famous Bowls and Blue Collar Comedy Tour tickets. But just in case anyone’s doubting his sincerity, Patton’s now using his blog to give props to Cross. The least you could do in return, David, is name your Sullivan County retreat Chipmunk Terrace. Or The House That Alllllvviiiiiiiiin Built.

Comments (21)
  1. Larry Dickman  |   Posted on Jan 4th, 2008 0

    Like a pussy soaked in apple juice.

  2. matt  |   Posted on Jan 4th, 2008 0

    this is just fun, comedy banter. cross and patton are friends. cross has done several COC shows with the crew. not to mention he’s on the Live at the Troubadour dvd.

  3. Charlie Kane  |   Posted on Jan 4th, 2008 -1

    Isn’t it sad when two comics, who 97% of the populace wouldn’t recognize even if they were related to them, could even debate the notion of ‘selling out’, as though it were a hanging offense? For gods sake, make your money, and don’t worry about it if some 23 year old creep straining to pull on his $175 pair of girl’s jeans thinks you’re ‘lame, bro’. Bill Hicks has been dead for almost 15 years, and he left this world a sad, bitter man. Stand up comedians have the cultural cache of bike messengers in this day and age…they simply don’t matter to anybody beyond their audience, and even then it’s debatable. It’s not that these guys aren’t funny, they are, but to even worry about taking roles ‘for the money’ when there are any number of actors who would kill to have that part who don’t care what the fat guy from Les Savy Fav might privately think about them is inane. Christ, David Cross is over 40 years old. Worries about ‘selling out’ are for chumps who’ve never done/accomplished anything in their lives. It’s pathetic.

  4. no one in particular  |   Posted on Jan 4th, 2008 +1

    Oswald says he was having a “private in-joke”, he actually means “stealing your joke and pretending it was mine”. Interesting.

    • Yeah I agree that doesn’t make sense. And how can it be private either when it makes so much sense to the masses as meaning “David Cross is dining on my scraps, everybody.”

  5. Stephen  |   Posted on Jan 4th, 2008 0

    I think Cross’s best stand-up days are behind him (though he’s still good), and Oswalt’s are just beginning. That said, I think Cross is a far better actor than Oswalt will ever be.

  6. grover  |   Posted on Jan 4th, 2008 +1

    i’m so glad this music-related update was posted

  7. @ grover

    They’re both Sub Pop recording artists! OK, a stretch. But pretty indie rock as far as comedians go. Esp. Cross, w/ his music ties and whatnot.

  8. alex  |   Posted on Jan 5th, 2008 0

    That’s fuckin Milo Z in that picture with the two of them. I play guitar in his band!

  9. jerry  |   Posted on Jan 5th, 2008 -1

    @ grover

    stop bitching.

  10. bret  |   Posted on Jan 5th, 2008 +1

    hey charlie kane!

    i hope you get your ass kicked by a bike messenger in skinny jeans. with a ‘cultural cache’ of rocks in a sock. wtf have you ever done?

  11. Cross & Oswalt Are Both Amazing – I Love Every Single Track On Every CD David Has Put Out & I Plan On Shaking Both OF These Amazing & Brilliant Individuals Hands One Day, While Promoting My Music With The Other. ;)

  12. I love both of these guy’s comedy, but you have to admit that David Cross is pretty much the prick he plays in many of his Mr. Show skits. I highly recommend David Cross: Let America Laugh for anyone who hasn’t seen it. It’s basically a documentary following David across America on a stand up tour.

  13. esteban  |   Posted on Jan 7th, 2008 -1

    david cross can be mighty funny, but he’s always come across as a prick.

    let america laugh is basically a documentary about how stupid americans are, and what a prick david cross is.

    also, it often seems like his funny days are behind him. (see: garofalo, janeane.)

    scott: thanks for the link to that showalter / human giant interview. i saw showalter and ansari perform back-to-back at SXSW a month before that (or, at least a month before it was published). aziz was really good, then showalter got up and spent his entire set telling a true story about all the state guys piling into a car and going on a drunken, drug-fueled road trip. it was patton-tly unfunny (sorry, patton’s awesome — i just can’t pass up a blatant opportunity for a pun). it stunk of “glory days”-ism with no payoff. i actually felt sorry for the guy. and, now, based on that interview, he’s such a desperate creep that i just don’t care.

    when’s the state coming out on video, anyway?


  14. liz  |   Posted on Jan 10th, 2008 0

    Patton’s post on AV Club about KFC’s Famous Bowls was so fucking hilarious. I recommend it to anyone who can read.

  15. Marie  |   Posted on Feb 28th, 2008 0

    Odd little sandwich but the meat in the middle is really where its at! It’s MILO Z, the sexiest funkman around. Caught him on the Carson Daly show a while back and picked up his CD ‘Sweet N’ Nasty’ – oooohhhh – its just that! I recommend that everyone check out this super funky band when you can either online or at a gig. You won’t be able to sit still!

  16. Here is the difference between what Dave did, and what Patton did. David Cross it seems took a crap on Patton to his face. Which is always funny, and helpful to the individual in need of constructive criticism mixed in fecal matter. But Patton responded years later (I think [from what little i gather]) by copying the long forgotten joke in a blog for all the world to see, subjecting poor David Cross to the mockery of the masses. Public humiliation to be followed by a stoning! Seems kind of messed up to me, and I think David is right to be upset, and Patton’s apology seems pretty half hearted. I don’t think he really even gets what he did wrong. But I’m sure they’ll get over it soon enough. I think they’re similar dudes/comedians.

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