Patton Oswalt, Dressed As Paddington Bear, Tells Story Of Family Move On Halloween Night
Paddington 3 looks sad and weird. Last night, Emmy-winning comedian Patton Oswalt, dressed as an unshaven Paddington Bear, went on Jimmy Kimmel Live! to talk to Smokey the Bear about his new comic book series, Minor Threats, a story of working class supervillains looking to gain some credibility by knocking off an A-list antagonist.
During the interview, Patton told what he considers to be his “supervillain origin story” about the worst Halloween of his life in which his family moved from sunny Southern California to the dreariness of Virginia one fateful October 31st evening over four decades ago. Oswalt talked about watching the fall festivities unfold from the backseat of his parents’ hatchback as they drove away from California for good, which, when coming from a middle-aged man dressed as Paddington Bear, sounds more like the opening of a melancholic children’s movie than the beginning of a life of villainy.
“I like handing out candy. I like seeing the neighbors come out, I like seeing the kids, I like being a part of the neighborhood,” the marmalade-loving, raincoat-wearing comedian began, “I think it was just like – kind of based on – alright, I’m going to tell a very grim Halloween memory that I have,” he warned the protector of the forest. “This is sort of my – kind of my supervillain origin story.”
Oswalt explained that he had grown up in a military family and was accustomed to moving from town-to-town. For two years, he lived in Tustin Meadows, California, an idyllic small city near Irvine with a particular penchant for fall festivities. “They shut the street down, every house went whole hog, you dressed up, amazing candy, fantastic,” Oswalt reminisced of his California Halloweens, “My dad then got reassigned to Virginia … the day we moved, we moved on Halloween.”
“We left for the airport at, like, five o’clock. So I’m sitting in the back of my parents’ hatchback, next to my brother, I’m watching all my friends emerge onto the street in their costumes to go trick or treating as the sun’s going down, and I’m being pulled away from it backwards, and I’m just sitting there, like, ‘You people will pay, all of you! How dare you!’” Thus began Oswalt's descent into cynicism, courtesy of Old Dominion.
Oswalt’s new home would be less kind to his disposition than SoCal. “I moved to Virginia, and I got fat and cynical, and that set me down this path,” he explained. “I’m just trying to mend a broken heart and stop from destroying the planet,” Oswalt said of his fondness for Halloween.
Depressed Paddington Bear’s proclivity for comic books is legendary, and as a newfound author of his own comic series, it comes as no surprise that he would choose to frame his childhood Halloween trauma as a supervillain origin story. But if the move from California set him down the path that led to a Grammy, an Emmy, a massively successful comedy career, and his own series of pulpy supervillain stories, perhaps he should remember Virginia more fondly.
Maybe he just needs some marmalade to cheer him up.