Revenge of the Nerd

A word to the wise: Gnomish alt-comic Patton Oswalt might be diminutive in stature, but the 5-foot-7 jokester isn’t a pushover by any means.

Although he portrayed geekazoid extraordinaire Spencer Olchin on TV’s The King of Queens for nine seasons, and his stand-up sessions overflow with nerdy references aplenty, Oswalt is a far from your average pimply, basement-dwelling wallflower. The dude is whip-smart (read his recent Wired essay on the state of geek culture if you doubt), hilariously caustic, and armed with a razor-sharp wit that can rip hecklers like the drunken audience members who were torn a new one on his 2007 album Werewolves and Lollipops to shreds.

Suffice it to say, those in attendance during Oswalt’s gig at the Mesa Arts Center on Thursday, April 28, should probably think twice before mouthing off to the sharp-tongued stand-up artist. You’ll probably be too busy chuckling up a storm at his riotous jokes about getting drunk (“Is it bad when you refer to all alcohol as pain-go-bye-bye juice?”) or his hysterically profane musings on consumer culture to speak up anyways.

Thu., April 28, 7:30 p.m., 2011
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Benjamin Leatherman is a staff writer at Phoenix New Times. He covers local nightlife, music, culture, geekery, and fringe pursuits.