When a young Patton Oswalt opened for Jeff Foxworthy (and struggled to get free drinks)
Patton Oswalt is one of the country’s leading alternative comedians (we’ll leave you to suss out what that term means). But even though Oswalt represents intellectual comedy with a geeky edge, he still had to break into the industry like any other comic. That included working with some incredibly unlikely comics—like “You might be a redneck” originator Jeff Foxworthy.
A September, 1990 issue of The Flat Head (Oswalt’s college paper at William & Mary) reported on the unusual pairing. It was part of the student association’s Spring Fling. Foxworthy himself was an up-and-comer, but Oswalt was still just a student. Of course, young comics don’t have much choice about who they open for—Oswalt even wrote about it in his memoir, Zombie Spaceship Wasteland, saying “I never got to pick my headliners. We had nothing in common, and I truly miss them.”
There’s no way to know how well the two comics got along. Maybe Jeff and Patton became fast friends.
Still, a comic strip in the same issue of the paper, written by Oswalt and Kristen Lightsey, hints that he may have already been dealing with another perennial stand-up problem: getting his food and drinks comped by the management.