John and Craig welcome comedian, actor, writer and Jeopardy! champion Patton Oswalt to discuss joke structure and building standup specials. Patton pulls back the curtain on his writing process, how he develops a comedic premise, and earning an audience’s trust.
We also dissect M.O.D.O.K., punching up other people’s scripts, and the art of adaptation. We then answer a listener’s question about writing films that include standup comedy.
In our bonus segment for premium members, we discuss characters who keep secrets for no reas– there’s no time to explain!
- Patton Oswalt on IMDb, Twitter and Instagram
- “Wackity Schmackity Doo!” from Patton Oswalt’s Werewolves and Lollipops
- Animation of Patton’s “Christmas Shoes” joke
- “The Ham Incident” from Patton Oswalt’s Finest Hour
- M.O.D.O.K. on Hulu
- Silver Screen Fiend by Patton Oswalt
- Clinical Practice Guideline for the Evaluation and Treatment of Children and Adolescents With Obesity by the American Academy of Pediatrics
- Dracula: The Evidence by Beehive Books
- Melanie Lynskey answers questions for Dear Prudence
- Murderers’ Row – Melanie Lynskey by Scout Tafoya
- The Unloved by Scout Tafoya for RogerEbert.com
- Get a Scriptnotes T-shirt!
- Check out the Inneresting Newsletter
- Gift a Scriptnotes Subscription or treat yourself to a premium subscription!
- Craig Mazin on Instagram
- John August on Twitter
- John on Instagram
- John on Mastodon
- Outro by Timothy Lenko (send us yours!)
- Scriptnotes is produced by Drew Marquardt and edited by Matthew Chilelli.
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You can download the episode here.
UPDATE 4-11-23 The transcript for this episode can be found here.