Patton Oswalt

So if you missed him at Bumbershoot, or didn’t get enough of the guy during those shows, Patton Oswalt now returns to a much bigger, grander stage. Though, no matter that he supplied the starring voice in Pixar’s hit Ratatouille, he remains a very unassuming, underdog sort of comic—one more accustomed to playing cretins on Reno 911!. Or obsessive losers, like the football-crazed nebbish in Big Fan, which opens today at the Varsity. At 40, now married and a parent, Oswalt organized the successful Comedians of Comedy tour and is still associated with the alt-comedy movement of the ’90s. But he’s no slacker; with a résumé that includes The King of Queens and Steven Soderbergh’s The Informant! (opening today), he’s often dissed the whole indie rock shoegazer shtick. He has no patience for those, in comedy or music, who pretend they don’t want to be on stage. He worked hard to get his name on the marquee; and his fans appreciate the effort. BRIAN MILLER

Fri., Sept. 18, 8 p.m., 2009

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