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Tragedy Plus Comedy Equals Time (CD+DVD)

4.3 out of 5 stars 41 customer reviews

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Audio CD, April 8, 2014
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Editorial Reviews

Performing for a packed house at Spreckels Theater in San Diego, comedian Patton Oswalt delivers a blistering stand-up set in his trademark blend of acerbic wit and unabashed silliness. His topics range from the future of our nation to daddy/daughter outings gone wrong to the scope of humor in Germany.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (April 8, 2014)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Comedy Central
  • ASIN: B00HZ7JWMS
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #62,780 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By The Blue Thunder Bomb VINE VOICE on April 12, 2014
Format: MP3 Music Verified Purchase
TRAGEDY PLUS COMEDY EQUALS TIME is hardly Patton Oswalt's crown jewel of comedy albums, because I would say that honor goes to MY WEAKNESS IS STRONG, but it does help to catalog the evolution of a comedian who has gone from rebellious, anti-establishment geek to a more mellow but still incredibly creative husband and father who might not make us laugh as impossibly hard as he once did, but you still have to laugh pretty damn hard. The whole album is something of a rope-a-dope in the way it tells funny stories about his parenting concerns to problems with a particular state of the union, but then blasts us in the face with his final bit (not the final encore track, which is creative yet doesn't pack much punch) about Germans and their lack of humor. It seems to be going one way, but ends up in laughing-so-hard-you're-crying territory.

It's not even quite as good as his last album, FINEST HOUR, but it's funny and revealing enough not just to hold your interest as far as his storytelling abilities, and keep you laughing, even if it's not belly laughs.
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Sometimes it's hard to rate a comedy album. A few months from now I might really hate it or love it. I went into this just happy to hear some more Patton. I wouldn't say I have fallen out of my chair laughing, but if you like Patton you won't be upset. I give it a 3.5 star rating. I just had the feeling Patton played it safe with this one. Not real funny and not really bad.
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It's not as funny as Finest Hour but I was laughing quite a bit. I think the best parts were the supermarket suicide bit and the casino story. The latter reminded me of the angry magician bit from his previous material, and provided some insight into what a comedian has to put up with in his line of work. Very funny stuff.
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First of all, let me say I am a huge fan of the CD+DVD combo. I enjoy listening to Patton, however I would much rather watch his stand-up than solely listen to it. Not to mention it came with a free digital download from Amazon, which is an awesome bonus. FYI, it doesn't transfer to iTunes. None of the downloads you get here do. More the fault of iTunes for not being compatible.
Anywho, Patton Oswalt has a fan for life in me. Sure some of his references are a little farfetchted, but for the most part I get it.
He is a terrific story teller, which always helps in stand-up, he knows how to laugh at himself, & he never takes himself too seriously. Also I can't be happier for him now that he gets to do work in the movies ON the screen. I did like the encore performance better in his last album than this one. That being my only complaint, I am very happy to have this CD+DVD.
What some people are unaware of is that:
Funny Plus Smart Equals Witty.
That's what witty means, and that is the true essence of Patton Oswalt.
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Patton has always found a way to make me laugh with his absurd yet real look at the world. This album is great for the people who more like the storytelling aspect of comedians, where Patton excels greatly. While this album doesn't break any boundaries and, at times, Patton seems more tame than usual, this album is still a great source of laughter to brighten a dark day.
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Sir Patton of the Appalachian Oswalts has provided years of chuckles and chortles the world over. From the bootleg excerpts of a much earlier tour where he sings like Leon Redbone about a spaghetti restaurant to his notorious vivesection of dunce-cap hecklers, always he remains a consummate professional. I appreciate this new model he is doing with his art by retiring jokes after one year of performing them ala Louis C.K. It is truly hard work providing quality material year in and year out but he does it with seemingly abplom. This concert is no different. I have let a couple of my friends borrow the disc and they usually come back with tears in theirs eyes staring into the middle distance and poorly reciting their favorite jokes. The best, I feel, Mr. Oswalt has ever been is his piece title "At Midnight I Will Kill George Lucas With a Shovel" from Werewolves and Lollipops. If you are a fan of comedy (GOOD comedy) then do yourself a favor and get this CD. I do not think you would regret it.
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I thoroughly enjoyed it. A bit more "longer form storytelling" than what Mr. Oswalt typically does, it works. It's not as sharp-edged as earlier efforts (not a criticism, just an observation), and much more about his personal life. If you're a fan, I predict you will like it and want to hear it.
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Allow me to start by saying that I am a huge fan, and his last album Finest Hour was indeed his finest. This one felt like a slip in several ways.

Patton is the master of long form comedic story. In peak form he tells a long story that stays interesting, with plenty of jokes peppered in to keep everyone engaged. This album finds the stories stretched out too long, with not enough humorous waypoints to sustain the long stories. It feels like there's very few bits on the whole album, mostly because they're so long, and the payoffs at the end are a bit weak too. I laughed, to be sure, but none of the heaving breathless laughter from Finest Hour.

Listen if you're a fan, but don't expect it to marvel you.
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