TRANSCRIPT Bullseye with Jesse Thorn: Patton Oswalt and Meredith Salenger

Patton Oswalt and Meredith Salenger keep busy with various projects in show business. They’re also parents. The celebrity couple don’t get much one-on-one time together. In their podcast Did You Get My Text with Meredith and Patton they take a break from their busy lives as actors to talk about all the text messages, memes and random stuff they sent each other each day. Along the way, they get into serious stuff: relationship issues, friendships and loss. On the latest episode of Bullseye – Patton and Meredith discuss parenting, the joys of being nerdy and their new podcast. Plus, we get into their virtual meet cute – they texted for months before they heard each other’s voices. Heads up: This interview has plenty of jokes, but we also get into some more serious topics like dealing with grief. In 2016, Patton lost his first wife, true crime writer and journalist Michelle McNamara suddenly. We thought we’d give you a heads up.

Guests: Meredith Salenger Patton Oswalt

Transcript

music

Gentle, trilling music with a steady drumbeat plays under the dialogue.

promo

Speaker: Bullseye with Jesse Thorn is a production of MaximumFun.org and is distributed by NPR. [Music fades out.]

music

“Huddle Formation” from the album Thunder, Lightning, Strike by The Go! Team. A fast, upbeat, peppy song. Music plays as Jesse speaks, then fades out.

jesse thorn

It’s Bullseye. I’m Jesse Thorn. My guests this week are Meredith Salenger and Patton Oswalt. Patton Oswalt is a standup comedian. He’s been on Bullseye several times in the past; more times than we can count, honestly. He was kind of a regular when I was doing the show out of UC Santa Cruz. Patton is also an actor. He voiced Remy in Disney’s Ratatouille. Played opposite Charlize Theron in Young Adult. Has a bunch of other credits. His most recent voice work can be heard as the title character in Marvel’s Modok, on Hulu.

sound effect

Music swells and fades.

clip

Music: Triumphant electronic music. Modok (Modok): We got Iron Man’s boot! [Raucous cheers from the crowd. Everyone yells over each other, blending together.] Speaker 1: Boot! Boot! Boot! Boot! Speaker 2: Yeah, baby! Modok: We didn’t stabilize the world economy. But! Iron Man kicked me so hard, his boot got wedged in my hover chair. So… VICTORY!

sound effect

Music swells and fades.

jesse

Meredith Salenger, his wife, is an actor too. She starred on the ‘80s teen comedy Dream a Little Dream. She’s done voice work on shows like Robot Chicken, Mad, the animated series, Star Wars Rebels and Star Wars: The Clone Wars. Meredith and Patton are parents, too. So, they are very busy. So busy that they don’t get a lot of one-on-one time together. So, they did what any sensible person in 2021 would do. They decided to get some quality time in by making a podcast. Did You Get My Text is a chance for Meredith and Patton to sit down and sort through the maelstrom of texts they send each other each day. It’s a moment to take a break from the agony of daily life and just sit down and talk about all kinds of things, from Postmates emails to bad tweets to a geode that looks like Cookie Monster. And along the way, they also get into serious stuff: relationship issues, friendships, loss. Before we get into the conversation, two things. First, this interview has plenty of jokes and goofing around, but we also get into some more serious topics, like dealing with grief. In 2016, Patton lost his first wife—true crime writer and journalist Michelle McNamara—quite suddenly. We thought we’d give you a heads up about that. Now. Let’s kick things off with a clip from Patton and Meredith’s podcast, Did You Get My Text. Here, they’re talking about why Meredith won’t ever get a facelift.

sound effect

Music swells and fades.

clip

Patton Oswalt (Did You Get My Text): We should cut this whole part of the podcast out, so that later in life when you haven’t gotten a facelift, people can go, “What a brave choice she made.” And you’re like, “That’s right. You know what? I’m bucking the system!” [Laughs.] Meredith Salenger: Well— Patton: Not, “If I get one, my face’ll fall off my skull.” [They laugh.] Meredith: I might go paralyzed. Patton: Yeah. Meredith: Who’s to say? I’m afraid of medical procedures. I don’t like IVs or anything like that, so maybe I wouldn’t! Patton: Right. Meredith: I can’t, anyway. But maybe I wouldn’t make that choice. Patton: Yeah, that’s true. Yeah, yeah. Meredith: But I never would do that other weird stuff where you end up looking like a crazy cat lady where you inject your face with everything, ‘cause that is horrifying. Patton: [Whispering in horror.] Oh my god. Why do people do that? Meredith: I know. It doesn’t make you look prettier. It makes you look crazy. Patton: Yeah, it makes you look—it has never once worked out. Meredith: No. Patton: Ever! Meredith: Yeah. Patton: Like, that kind of surgery is the equivalent of the people that are—that are going, “I know that heroin took down Belushi and Hendrix and Philip Seymour Hoffman, but I’ll be the one guy it doesn’t—” Like, no! You won’t be the one guy! Like, it will take you out too. It—like, people are like, “I’ll be the one person that gets the injection to look good.” You’re like you won’t!

sound effect

Music swells and fades.

jesse

[Chuckles.] Meredith Salenger, Patton Oswalt. Welcome to Bullseye. It’s nice to have you on the show. [Meredith laughs.]

patton oswalt

Thanks for having us! Wow! That was a very intense clip!

jesse

It really got much darker—I did not pull that clip, and it got a lot darker at the end than it started. [Patton laughs.]

meredith salenger

Did it get darker? I don’t even remember what we said! What did we even say?

jesse

I mean, it went straight from you’re never gonna get a facelift—[laughing].

meredith

To what? To someone dying from heroin overdose? [Patton confirms.]

jesse

[Dissolving into laughter.] To a list of people who died of heroin overdoses!

patton

Well, I—yeah, but there is always that, you know, [seriously] “I’ll be the one.” No. No.

jesse

There would have—well, like Lou Reed! [Patton cackles.] He made it to like 80!

patton

Okay, fine. And William S Burroughs. But besides those two, that’s it! Yeah. It’s—I don’t know. [They laugh.]

jesse

Well, will you—will you two tell me about how you met each other?

meredith

[Playfully.] Oh my god! No!

jesse

Okay. [They laugh.]

patton

How dare you!?

jesse

Fair enough. I gotta go. [Patton agrees.]

meredith

Bye! This was a really fun podcast.

patton

Jeez!

meredith

We met because one of my dearest friends since I was 15—her name was Martha Plimpton, she’s an actress. And she often throws these fabulous dinner parties at our house with random people. And she had invited 15 people to her house for a dinner party and she had done it on a text thread on Facebook. So, you could see everyone who was coming. And everybody went except Patton. I’d never met him before. I don’t know who he is. And the next day, I texted the text thread and I was like, “Martha, best dinner party ever! Dude, you missed the best [censored] lasagna.” Are we allowed to curse on this podcast?

jesse

Well, you just did. I mean, the answer is no, but we’ll bleep it. [Patton laughs.]

meredith

The answer is no?! Is the answer no?! [Jesse confirms.] ‘Cause I have an issue.

jesse

It’s gonna be on National Public Radio. You’re gonna be on—

meredith

Oh, is that what this is?

jesse

—300 radio stations around the country. [Patton laughs.]

meredith

Oh, I have no idea. Who am I?

jesse

It’s okay.

meredith

Anyway! I won’t do that again. Or just bleep me, ‘cause it’ll—it might happen.

patton

You can’t say “darn” on NPR.

meredith

Oh. [Jesse jokingly confirms.]

patton

They’ll bleep “darn”.

meredith

Anyway!

jesse

They’ve got whole segments about socks. [Patton loses it in the background.]

meredith

So—so, Patton happened to be online at the same time that I wrote that, and he wrote back, “Aw man, I was supposed to be there.” And then we were just both online at the same time, so we were DMing back and forth and we ended up texting for like two hours and then it was 11 o’clock at night and he’s like, “This was fun. Same time tomorrow?” And I was like, “Alright!” I didn’t—we were just literally talking about—Trump had just been elected and we were—random stuff. It was not flirty in any way.

crosstalk

Patton: For like the first month it was just talking— Meredith: For like the first month and a half. Patton: —talking in the dark at the end of the day with someone smart.

meredith

Not talking. Texting.

patton

Texting. I’m sorry. Texting.

crosstalk

Patton & Meredith: [In unison.] We never spoke. Patton: Yeah.

meredith

We never spoke for three months. We only texted. Two hours every single night for three months. And then—

jesse

And you hadn’t like—this is a dinner party that Patton didn’t go to. [Meredith confirms.] So, you hadn’t—you had not heard each other’s voice.

meredith

I hadn’t met him.

patton

No.

meredith

Had not. But! We did—so, around like two months into it… I—we—I started to fall in love with him. We—I just—we—it was very platonic, just talking about life, and over the course of the time, I fell in love with him, and I went to lunch with my best friend, and I burst into tears and she’s like, “Why are you crying?” And I said, “Because I think I love him.” And she’s like, “Then why are you crying?” I said, “’Cause I know me, and I’m not gonna like him when I meet him. I’m gonna meet him and I’m not gonna be attracted and I’m the worst person in the world and I’m never getting married and I’m 47.” [They laugh.] And, um—and then we scheduled a date to meet and a week before, I said to him—uh, texted, “We should probably talk on the phone, like, to hear each other’s voice.” [Patton confirms.] And he was like, “Okay. Call me.” And so, I called him, and he goes, “Hello?” And I go, “Oh god, I can’t do this.” And I hung up. [They laugh.] And then I called him back like five minutes later and I was like, “I’m so sorry. This is so weird. I don’t even know what you sound like.” And then I met him in person, and I was like, “You’re so cute!” And we fell in love.

jesse

It’s funny, like—you know, I’ve been interviewing people for however—20 years—and I will, when I’m preparing, you know, I’ll read mostly. [Patton and Meredith agree intermittently as Jesse continues.] I’ll be reading and reading and reading and reading, ‘cause it’s faster and—you know—often deeper. But if it’s someone who isn’t a performer, I will often just take the time right before I go in to listen to one thing, because I’m so uncomfortable not knowing… how they talk. Like, it seems so—just how they talk, what they sound like.

meredith

[Interrupting.] It is a big—right! Exactly! [Patton agrees.] Well, I got lucky, ‘cause I had—I mean, I knew he was an actor. I didn’t really know much about him. I’d—anyway. I looked him up, for sure. And—

jesse

You like IMDb-ed him? [Patton laughs.]

meredith

[Stammering.] I googled him and then I saw that he—

jesse

[Amused.] Patton, did you IMDb Meredith?

patton

Uuh, I did—I did a quick IMDb, popped over to her thread and, “Oh okay.”

meredith

And he was like, “Daaamn! She’s hot.” [Patton laughs.] And I was like, “Oh god, am I gonna—” [Laughs.]

jesse

Patton, you’re definitely a man who can—whose hobby is listing the actors in things. [Laughs.]

patton

That—oooh, that is true. And listing the things that actors have done. [Jesse affirms.] Yeah, so there was that kind of, “Oh, she did this and this. Oooh, all these other—oh wow!”

meredith

Here’s the thing that really—I don’t know. I don’t know if he’s lying to me or not. But he knows everything. He has an encyclopedic brain about movies from 4,000 years ago. He knows every book, every character, every everything. And then I was like—he said—I said, “Did you see any of my movies?” He was like, “No.” I was like, “How have you seen every movie in the world, and you haven’t seen—” And so, I don’t know if I believe him. I think he’s seen them. I think he was probably in love with me when he was young.

patton

Well, I saw Natty Gann, and I remember seeing Lake Placid, but I don’t remember seeing you in it, because we—it was a big bunch of comedians and we kind of went to make fun of it, although we ended up—

meredith

[Interrupting.] Woah, woah, woah, woah, woah! [Patton affirms.] You made fun of Natty Gann? No.

patton

No, not Natty Gann.

crosstalk

Meredith & Patton: Lake Placid. Patton: No, Natty Gann’s a— Meredith: Okay, you can make fun of Lake Placid. Patton: Natty Gann is a genuinely great film. Meredith: Thank you.

patton

Lake Placid is a really—Lake Placid is up there with Anaconda and, um… Deep Blue Sea.

meredith

It’s a David Kelly movie.

patton

Where’s just fun. It’s so goofy.

meredith

Betty White’s in it. She curses.

patton

Cursing her brains out, yeah.

meredith

And there’s an alligator and Oliver Platt and Bill Pullman and—anyway. You made fun of it.

patton

We all just put this—watched this fun movie, which we made fun of it, but we also very much enjoyed it. Just like we very much enjoyed Anaconda. You know, they’re very fun moviegoing experiences.

meredith

It wasn’t a—alright.

patton

A—an alligator eats a bear in your movie! It’s awesome!

meredith

It was awesome.

patton

It’s awesome! [Meredith agrees and Jesse chuckles.] So, yeah, it’s an awesome film. And she’s in the hot sheriff’s outfit. She’s all wet and shooting—

meredith

It’s not a hot sheriff’s outfit, it’s—

patton

You look cute.

meredith

Thank you.

patton

Um, so yeah. [Laughing.] There was that.

meredith

It was just a sheriff’s outfit.

patton

Well, the way they—

meredith

It was a brown—

patton

The way they—the way you filled it out was very nice. [Meredith thanks him softly.] So, I’m just saying. Anyway.

jesse

Okay, so you looked up each other’s IMDbs. [Meredith agrees and starts to speak but stops when Jesse continues.] You were not—neither of you was impressed. Very few films that you had seen on either list [They laugh.]

meredith

Well, I watched Young Adult, because I know—no, he told me that there—he—there was a sex scene in that movie, with Charlize Theron. And—and I—

patton

Oh god. I didn’t—by the way, I didn’t say it in a bragging way. I’m like, “I’m… I do a sex scene with Charlize Theron. I don’t know why my one sex scene is with the most physically perfect human being—like, it can’t be with M Emmet Walsh or, you know, Paul Giamatti. [Jesse and Meredith laugh.] No, it’s—okay. Great.

meredith

Anyway! So, of course, I was like, “I must see this.” Because, y’know. Who knows what’s gonna happen if I fall in love with him or not? [Patton laughs.] I mean, this could end up being something. So—and then I watched and he’s—he gets—not naked. Like, you don’t see full frontal. But you see his little body. [Delighted.] It’s so cute! [Laughs.] [Patton snorts.]

jesse

And that was before you had seen each other in person?

meredith

Yeah! So, I was still worried. I was still worried. I was like, “Oh god, what am I—"

patton

I was a nervous wreck. [Meredith confirms.]

jesse

[Laughing.] Patton, you look nervous right now!

patton

I know! I’m getting all—‘cause I’m—‘cause I’m going back to that moment and I’m feeling all the feelings.

meredith

But I was nervous that I wouldn’t like you and you were nervous that I wouldn’t like you. [They laugh.]

patton

Yeah. That’s exactly—yeah. ‘Cause I wasn’t gonna not like her. I—you know, I—and again, this is not—you know, obviously she’s beautiful, but it was also because it was three months talking to this person and going, “She’s so cool. I could just spend my life talking with this person.” That is—you know. You get to a certain age and you’re like, “I just want someone who’s not crazy and who’s smart and who’s fun.” You know, that’s—that means so much more. You know, when you’re in your—

meredith

His standards had really lowered by his—when he was 48.

crosstalk

Meredith: He’s like, “I just want someone who’s smart, who can read.” [Laughing.] And— Patton: No! I—if anything, my standards—if anything, my standards got even higher, because I think that a lot of people, as they get older, are like, “I gotta get someone new and young and hot,” and they don’t realize that that—

meredith

That the old, ugly, unhot person is worth marrying! [They laugh.]

patton

That you need to go—you need the internal spark. That’s what needs to be there. [Meredith agrees.] To make it last.

meredith

I got the internal spark texting with you. I just needed to know if there’d be that—you know. Other spark.

patton

She knew that the—you know, the vehicle around the spark was broken down and the fender was missing. She was okay with that. She just was like, “Can I still just hang out with this guy?” [Meredith chuckles.]

jesse

We’ve got so much more to get into with Patton Oswalt and Meredith Salenger. Still to come: it’s a well-known fact that Patton is a celebrity nerd, but Meredith Salenger? She geeks out about stuff too! It’s Bullseye, from MaximumFun.org and NPR.

music

Cheerful, chiming music.

jesse

This message comes from NPR sponsor Discover. Discover matches all the cashback you earn on your credit card at the end of your first year, automatically, with no limit on how much you can earn. It’s amazing because of all the places where Discover is accepted. 99% of places in the US that take credit cards. So, when it comes to Discover, get used to hearing “yes” more often. Learn more at Discover.com/match. 2021 Nielsen Report. Limitations apply. [Music fades out.]

promo

Music: Cheerful guitar. John Moe: Hey, it’s John Moe. And look, these are challenging times for our mental and emotional health. I get it! That’s why I’m so excited for my new podcast, Depresh Mode. We’re tackling depression, anxiety, trauma, stress, the kinds of things that are just super common but don’t get talked about nearly enough. Conversations that are illuminating, honest, and sometimes pretty funny, with folks like Kelsey Darragh, and Open Mike Eagle, and Patton Oswalt. Patton Oswalt: “Humphrey Bogart was never in therapy!” And then my dad said, “Yeah, but he smoked a carton of cigarettes a day! So, he was in therapy.” John: Plus, psychiatrists, psychologist, and all kinds of folks. On Depresh Mode, we’re working together: learning, helping each other out. We’re a team! Join our team! Depresh Mode from Maximum Fun, wherever you get your podcasts. [Music fades out.]

jesse

Welcome back to Bullseye. I’m Jesse Thorn. If you’re just joining us, I’m talking with comedian Patton Oswalt and actor Meredith Salenger. Patton and Meredith have been married since 2017, and this summer they launched a new podcast together. It’s called Did You Get My Text with Meredith and Patton. On it, they take a break from their busy lives as actors to talk about all of the text messages, memes, and random stuff they send each other throughout the day. Let’s get back into our conversation. Where did the two of you meet up in person for the first time?

meredith

Well, he’s like, “What’s your favorite restaurant.” And I’m thinking to myself, “I’m not having a two-hour dinner with someone that I might not be attracted to.” So—and I’ve been on a billion blind dates and my theory is 45 minutes. No matter what. 45 minutes. And the guys are always like, “What if we’re madly in love with each other?” I was like, “Then we can see each other again.” But if we’re not, then this was great, bye! So, anyway, I—

jesse

Do you put like a timeout clock on the table? [They chuckle.]

patton

She brings a huge hourglass.

meredith

I mean, I’m pretty much—I’m like, “I gotta be out by 6—” If the date is at six, I’m like, “Gotta be gone by 6:45.” Anyway. [Laughs.] It’s only for—so, we met at Shutters on the Beach, which is a hotel, and they have a—like a bar or a restaurant overlooking the ocean. And I thought, “Great. We can have a drink. We’ll have something to look at. And if it’s terrible, I’ll leave.” And—this has never happened in the history of Meredith Salenger ever—but after having a drink, I was like, “Do you wanna go for a walk?” And then we went for a walk on the beach, and we looked at all the people at Muscle Beach—we were, like, by Venice. Not Venice. Uh. Santa Monica. [Patton confirms.] We looked at the pier and Muscle Beach and people were playing chess. And then that was really nice. And then I was like, “Should we get dinner?” Never! Could you even?! I was truly in love. Like, he was brilliant and amazing. So, yeah.

patton

That was really sweet.

jesse

Did you feel the same way, Patton?

patton

Yeah. I mean, I just—I mean, I—‘cause I knew already who she was internally. And that was—that had shifted the world for me. So, I just knew, you know. I was like, “Well, as long as I don’t somehow screw this up or something. Or—so.”

jesse

What do you mean when you say she had shifted you internally?

patton

[Sighs.] Just—I had—I had met a mind and a soul that I knew I would—I could spend a lifetime with. And so, it wasn’t that giddy—I was giddy and nervous, but beyond that was just that like calm, “Oh.” This is—this is one of the few that, you know, you want to build a world with. It was that—it was just that kind of feeling. I can’t—there’s no other way to describe it, but you—because—when I—when I say shifted the world, it was because the world for me at that point was, you know, my wife had passed away and I had really, really just settled myself in a way that I thought was a form of happiness. That’s how deluded I was, where I’m just gonna exist and I can merely exist and that’s fine. And then I’m just gonna focus on making my daughter’s life as amazing as I can. And it was almost like I just wasn’t alive, basically, in a weird way. And then I met this—again, just this mind, just this soul that shifted the way that I looked at the world of, “No, actually, you need a little more than that. You do need some actual, genuine happiness and risk and, you know, being out in the sun. And living life for—whatever good or bad comes your way.” You know. I had done that thing of, “I want pure safety to a fault.” You know? If it means that I miss out on happiness, but if it also blocks out any more sadness and tragedy, I’m good with that. I’m good—merely existing, to me, was like a reward. You know? It’s that, “I don’t taste my food anymore,” just, “I’m merely existing.” And I thought that was okay. Then I started talking to her and I realized it’s not. I gotta—you know—come back into the world.

jesse

I can understand that you had that feeling, because not only had your previous wife, Michelle McNamara, died, but she died like completely unexpectedly.

patton

Out of nowhere. It was—it was so, like—yeah, it was—it could not have been a more like scorched earth, everything is now changed, kind of—you know, there’s no—yeah. I don’t know—honestly, I—when I was in my grief group and I talked to other widowers, there were some that were saying, you know, “My wife died after a very long battle with cancer.” And then there was other guys like, “Just like you, my husband died very suddenly.” And, you know, we couldn’t—we could never figure out which one was worse. They’re their own kind of horribleness. And then you start doing this really weird thing. This is gonna sound kind of strange, but you start doing that, “Well, it was horrible, but what if it had happened like when she was driving a car and Alice was in the car? Or what if it—” Like, you just—you try to find, “Okay, what is—what are the—what are the—any good aspect of this, even if it’s that—if it’s a dark form of goodness, I’ll take it.” That’s the kind of deals you start making.

jesse

I can understand the—like desiring flatness, because to lose someone you love that unexpectedly is just like such a vivid reminder of how little control you have.

patton

Over anything. So, if I have nothing in my life, there’s nothing to lose control over. Or if I’m only focused on one thing—which is Alice—there’s nothing else that’s gonna, you know, mess me up. I remember my friend, Michael Penn, gave me a book—uh, Grief Observed. And the—by CS Lewis. And the first line is, “No one had ever told me how much grief feels like terror.” And that is what it—it feels like terror. You’re terrified. ‘Cause everything you thought you knew about the world is now gone and the world is a openly hostile place, now. Everything is hostile.

jesse

At what point, Meredith, did you know that Patton was a widower?

meredith

I knew when I first kind of looked him up. Like, once we started talking. I had found out that his wife had passed away and I was very curious, and I was on Facebook, and I looked her up to see—I wanted to see who she was. And she had a Facebook page and she and I had 12 mutual friends, one of whom was my best friend since seventh grade. Her name is JJ. And so, I immediately called my best friend. And I was like, “Do you know Michelle McNamara? You’re on her—” She’s like, “She was my best friend after college!” I was like, “What!?” And she’s like, “Oh my god, she’s amazing.” I’m like, “What is she like?” She’s like, “She’s like one of us.” And when I say that—I went to an all-girls school. And the friendships that you form when you’re at an all-girls school—I mean, JJ and I met in seventh grade. We’re best friends to this day and, sidenote, her daughter and my daughter are now in the same class. And they’re best friends. So, it’s amazing. But anyway, I spoke to JJ and she’s like, “She’s amazing. She’s smart. She—” And that, knowing that she was great and knowing that she’s like my kind of girl, meaning a smart, nice girl—not like a… you know. There are different kinds of girls. Anyway. Knowing that she was a good girl was like, “Oh! Patton’s a good guy!” Like, he likes good girls! ‘Cause there are so many [censored] girls. [Laughs.] And anyway. [Patton laughs.] It made me like him more. And I know a lot of people who have lost a wife and then the new wife is sort of—kind of jealous of the old wife and doesn’t wanna talk about it or stuff like that. I have a whole different look—outlook on that situation. I really feel—first of all, Michelle and I are literally exactly the same age. My birthday is one month before her birthday. [Patton confirms.] And we very much look alike. [Laughs.] You have a type, I think. Brown hair, blue eyes, little nose, freckles, the whole thing.

patton

Yeah. Smart.

meredith

I—and I love kids more than anyone in the history of time. Like, I am Mary Poppins, straight up. I had two car seats in my car before I ever met Patton. [Patton confirms.] My sister has four girls. I like helped my sister give birth to them; I’ve—she goes away, and I take them. It’s not like, “I’ll be with you for an hour and then leave.” I love children. So, I felt like Michelle sort of orchestrated it from Heaven. It was sort of like, “I have the best kid in the universe. Who on Earth could possibly take care of this child to make her—?” And it’s like, “Oh! That girl right there. She’s amazing with kids! Her!” And then it was like, “Who would Patton even like?” And it was like, “Oh! That chick looks like me!” [They laugh.] “How about her?!” And then it was like—yeah. And so—and then I met Alice and—[choking up] I’ll start crying.

patton

Yeah. She really, really like fell in love with Alice. They’re such an inseparable pair now. And doesn’t do the thing of shying away from mentioning Michelle or if Michelle comes up in conversation, she’s not like, “I don’t wanna—” You know.

meredith

No, we talk about Michelle. [Patton agrees several times.] Like we play games like Clue, like we’re obsessed with the game Clue. And every time Alice wins, I’m like, “It’s not fair! Your mom’s a detective! This isn’t fair!” [Patton laughs.] “You got her—you got her genes!” And then—but we definitely—and then also sometimes I like use Michelle a little bit like, “Alice, you gotta eat your broccoli.” I’m not—and I’m so used to being an aunt. I’m such a good, fun aunt that being a mom is a whole other thing.

patton

She doesn’t get to be the fun aunt, anymore.

meredith

So, I’m like, “Alice. Eat your broccoli.” She’s like, “Ugh.” I’m like, “You gotta eat your broccoli.” I’m like, “Listen. I have to take care—I am now in charge of taking care of you.” [Patton laughs.] “She’s gonna be mad at me if you don’t eat your broccoli. So, come on. You have to do it. Like, I have to tell you this because I’m trying to be a good mom.” She’s like, “I know you have to be a mom.” So, that kind of stuff. So—

jesse

That’s only like half a step from saying, “There’s a ghost in the room.” [They laugh.]

meredith

Well, that—the funniest thing, Alice said that once. She’s like—wait, what did she say? I—we were talking about Michelle, and I was like, “I have to answer to her. She orchestrated this from Heaven.” She’s like, “She’s not God.” [They laugh.] Like—and I—and I was like, “Yeah, yeah, yeah. I know. But. She—” I said, “She’ll know.” [Patton echoes her.] “So. I have to answer to her, too.”

jesse

I noticed that when you were describing her, you were switching tenses, and you’re mostly using the present tense.

meredith

Am I?

patton

Yeah. Michelle—yes, she passed and—but her legacy is still there, just in terms of the writing and the work that she did and it’s—you know. They just showed a new special on HBO based on her stuff. People are, you know, always contacting me. So, it just—it does feel like—especially, I think, when a—when a writer or an artist passes, they’re—because their work is still there, they’re still there. And especially if their work is still doing work. If their work is still helping to—you know, in her case, solve crimes, then it’s there. It’s still there in a— Well, and also because Meredith doesn’t—again—doesn’t have that fear and jealousy about that kind of stuff, so she can talk about her in the present tense. I mean, that sort of stuff.

meredith

And also, it’s nice to—I think it helps Alice like not—it helps her have an outlook on her mom. She’s still her mom. She calls her mama. She calls me mommy. And—and also, Michelle’s—Michelle had like the biggest—she’s Irish. She had like a million people in her family. [Patton confirms.] She has four sisters and a brother and they’re still in our lives. They were at our wedding. And they come over. They’ve stayed with us. So, it’s—I mean, I—she still—it feels very much like she’s still part of the family. I mean, she is. She’s part of the family.

patton

Well, what’s amazing is that, you know, for what Alice got from Michelle—you know, genetically and, you know, in terms of passing it down—like, “Your mom was a detective!” But seeing Meredith’s influence on her and seeing her become the kind of girl that Meredith was [inaudible], it does feel like the best of both worlds. Like Alice is getting—it’s this, you know, already has a good base there, but then is being taught by this cool girl jedi master. I don’t know what—I don’t know another way to put it. But, you know.

jesse

I—you know, I was listening to the second episode of your podcast together, and there was a passing remark that I noticed, and Patton obviously is a member of the nerderati. [Patton groans and Meredith laughs and confirms.] Uuh, Patton has been a celebrity nerd for 20 years.

patton

I’m a Capo in the nerd mafia. [Meredith agrees.]

jesse

Yeah. Um. You know, not just memorizing the name—I’m sure Patton could list the tertiary villains… [Patton cackles and Meredith confirms.] In Daredevil or something.

patton

You mean like Stilt-Man and Typhoid Mary and Mr. Hyde and stuff like that? [Jesse agrees, laughing.] Not the main ones. Like, you know, King Pin and Bullseye. Or—

meredith

Well, that’s I guess where—

patton

Or Electra. We’re talking about the more—yeah. No—

meredith

You have a question, but I was just gonna say that’s where like Modok comes in. But we’ll talk about Modok in a minute! [Patton cackles.] Like Modok was very second—

patton

Oh, could not have been more obscure and that’s why we loved him.

meredith

Yeah, obscure. And then he does a show about him. But anyway, go with—go, finish your... [Patton agrees.]

jesse

So, Patton is a—Patton is a celebrity nerd. [Meredith confirms.] Michelle was a power nerd of her own kind.

patton

She kind of created this—helped to create this genre, this true crime nerd. You know. [Patton agrees intermittently as Jesse continues.]

jesse

Yeah. She was a—you referred to her as a writer and detective. She was like a—she was like an investigative true crime writer who—you know, did some very, very actually important work. Not just, you know, sort of salacious, you know, goof around stuff. So, she was a real power nerd of her—of her own type. I don’t know if she could name tertiary characters in the Daredevil universe. But—

patton

No.

meredith

I’m a tertiary character in the Daredevil universe.

patton

She is! [Jesse laughs and Meredith confirms.] She is literally a tertiary character.

jesse

What character are you?

meredith

I play the wife of, um…

patton

Ben Urich’s wife, who was a writer at The Daily Bugle and knew that Matt Murdock was Daredevil—at least in the comics, canonically. And she is in the season three of Daredevil, playing the wife of Ben Urich.

jesse

Well. I wasn’t using that example for that reason.

meredith

Anyway!

jesse

So, the thing that you said [chuckling] on the podcast… Meredith.

meredith

What’d I say? What’d I say?!

jesse

Is you basically said—I’m paraphrasing, but you basically said to Patton, uh, “Yeeeah, you’re a nerd and I’m not.” [They laugh.]

meredith

Well! Here’s the thing. I’ve, overtime, have grown to love the idea of being a nerd. And for me, it’s—the definition, for me, is that it’s someone who’s truly passionate about something they’re interested in. And so, for Patton it’s movies and comics and that kind of thing. And some people it’s music and baseball and—you know. And for me, it’s Muppets. [Laughs.]

patton

[Laughing.] It’s Muppets.

meredith

It’s Muppets.

patton

But also, it—the—another thing that Meredith and other people that I know have that I do not have—

meredith

[Interrupting.] And poetry.

patton

And poetry—is, she—you know, sometimes I get so lost in the minutia and exotic information of whatever nerdy thing I’m delving into that I kind of lose touch with—like, I’m not—I’m not as cognizant of my friends and everyone that I know and love, whereas Meredith is very, very in tune with everything that’s going on with her friends, is fascinated by them, is actually more in tune with life and human beings as they are right now, whereas I can—yes, I can name, you know, Bossk’s ship from Empire Strikes Back—the Hound’s Tooth—but I—but I, uh—there are times that I’m like, “Oh, it was your birthday yesterday!” And, you know, Meredith like never—because she’s so much more in tune.

meredith

That being said—

patton

And sees the poetry and amazingness of her friends.

meredith

Yes. But also, marrying a nerd and having been part of many universes with which he might be fascinated—for example…

patton

Yeah, she is—well, she came about her love of nerdom from being a part of acting and performing in some of these realms and then meeting the fans and going, “This is actually really cool.” They’re very creative. They’re like—you know.

meredith

Well, I… I start—I voiceover work and I did a show called The Clone Wars that Dave Filoni created and it’s a Star Wars thing. And I play a character in that and because—and a few other characters. I have a main character, named Barriss Offee, but then I have a bunch of other characters as well. And he—Dave, the director and creator—basically is the most knowledgeable—

patton

Oh my god.

meredith

About everything Star Wars. And so, I watched every single Star Wars movie in order and then [chuckles] I’m also best friends with Seth Green, who created Robot Chicken. [Patton laughs.] And he does a whole Star Wars series about—he does a whole comedy, animated thing about Star Wars. And I watched all the Robot Chicken Star Wars specials. [Laughs.] And then of course, Dave gives me the behind the scenes and then he gave me all the books—like, of the expanded universe that have to do with Barriss Offee. So, I became a big love—well, I’ve always loved Star Wars, since I was a little girl that was like the first memory I ever have of going to the movies was waiting in line for Star Wars in 1977. But then I was able to do the show Rebels and then I actually—when they were doing the—usually, when they do a movie, they have a loop group to do background noise and stuff like that. And for The Force Awakens, Matt Wood—who’s won many Oscars for sound design—was doing the sound, and normally they hire just a random loop group. He invited the entire cast of The Clone Wars to do—

jesse

And this is a group of people who come in when there’s people making noise onscreen who haven’t been recorded when they’re shooting the film.

patton

A cantina, the bridge of a battleship where there’s a lot of voices. Yeah. Yeah.

meredith

Anyone in the background. Anyone in the background of a major scene where there are two main characters chatting, but then there’s random people in the back. There’s voices going on. Chatter. [Patton confirms.] So, he invited all the Clone Wars people to come in, so I actually am also in The Force Awakens and there’s a scene where somebody hand—an extra hands Carrie Fisher something. And they used my voice. I’m like, “Commander.” [Laughs.] [Patton cackles.] So, I have a scene—I have a scene with Carrie Fisher. [Laughs.]

patton

[Softly.] “Commander. Commander.”

jesse

We’ll finish up with Patton Oswalt and Meredith Salenger in just a minute. Stay with us. It’s Bullseye, from MaximumFun.org and NPR.

promo

Music: Relaxed, thumpy music. Speaker 1: This week on NPR’s Life Kit, financial independence. We wanna help you work towards financial freedom, wherever you’re at. Speaker 2: Concentrate, right now, on what you can do to better your finances, to prepare for that next crisis—not out of fear, but out of preparation. Speaker 1: Listen now to the Life Kit podcast from NPR. [Music fades out.]

promo

Music: Sophisticated electronic/string music. Teresa McElroy: Shmanners. Noun. Definition: rules of etiquette designed not to judge others, but rather to guide ourselves through everyday social situations. [Music stops.] Travis McElroy: Hello, internet! I’m your husband host, Travis McElroy. Teresa: And I’m your wife host, Teresa McElroy. Travis: Every week on Shmanners, we take a look at a topic that has to do with society or manners. We talk about the history of it. We take a look at how it applies to everyday life. And we take some of your questions. And sometimes, we do a biography about a really cool person that had an impact on how we view etiquette. [Music fades back in.] Travis: So, join us every Friday and listen to Shmanners on MaximumFun.org, or wherever podcasts are found. Teresa: Manners shmanners. Get it? [Music ends on a bright chord.]

jesse

Welcome back to Bullseye. I’m Jesse Thorn. My guests are Patton Oswalt and Meredith Salenger. The married couple have a new podcast called Did You Get My Text with Meredith and Patton. Let’s get back into our conversation. I remember very vividly going to Comicon maybe 10 or 12 years ago and it was my first time, and I met this club of Firefly enthusiasts—the television show.

patton

Nice!

jesse

And I had watched Firefly and really enjoyed it and watched—

patton

Loved that show.

jesse

There was a movie of Firefly.

patton

Yep. Serenity.

jesse

And I remember [chuckling] thinking—which I also really enjoyed—and I remember thinking like, “What do they—what do they chat about?” ‘Cause there’s only like eight episodes or something. [Laughing.] I was like, “I really like this, and I can’t think of anything to say about it!”

patton

Well, I mean, what they chat about is what they—what—if you go on any group, you take random lines of tossed off dialogue and then use that to build another thing around it. I mean—which is what a lot of—if you watch The Mandalorian, a lot of those things are about tossed off bits of dialogue or a prop that fans honed in on and then they built something around that. Like, they—it’s just amazing. Like, why wouldn’t you be inspired? I wrote an episode—I wrote an issue of the Firefly comic for Darkhorse about—it takes place after Wash’s death and what happens after that death and what his legacy is, because I imagined he must be this really well-known pilot in that universe. So, how do other people react to it? So, that was the story. I pitched it to Joss, and he went, “Yeah, write that one.” So—and there’s—so, there’s—all these people just keep thinking of stuff.

jesse

I mean, you have the nerd’s dream job of having that be your profession. [Chuckles.]

patton

Yeah, I know. Well, I’m very lucky in that I get to—especially with something like Modok, where you get to take—as Meredith was saying, this very minor, very obscure character who—let’s face it—was not perfectly conceived. It literally looks like it’s just Jack Kirby on a bad day. [They laugh.] “You want a villain? Here’s a giant head and—hey, he flies around. Fine! I gotta get some food!” You know? Like he literally feels like that’s how he was—like, he was created in a rage and he’s just full of rage. And so, then you start building that world.

meredith

You turned it on its head. [Patton agrees intermittently as Meredith continues.] You kind of added something—you made him like the everyman. So, he’s—he—in the animated show, he is villain out in the world but at home he has a home life, and he has a wife who’s mad at him and he’s got kids who fight with him. And—

patton

[Interrupting.] Don’t respect him. Because—what we said was, the ultimate villain thing—because the other thing about Modok is he is just as angry at the other villains because they don’t give him enough respect. He’s as angry at the villains as he is the heroes. So, we were like, well, in his mind he’s like, “Well, Dr. Doom and the Green Goblin and all these people run the world, but they do it alone. They don’t have families. They can’t—they—I’m gonna be the one that does both.” Like that—in his mind, having a loving family is just another part of his rage against the world. [Jesse laughs.] You know? So then, being able to add all that in there and—

meredith

[Interrupting.] It’s very funny. It’s a really—

patton

It’s really fun.

meredith

And it’s so well animated. And again, my friend—Seth Green—his company, Stupid Buddy, do the stop motion animation on that.

patton

And she—Meredith in one episode plays this [chuckles] publicist. And I’m—Brandy. Just, and—

meredith

Brandy. She talks very fast, and she thinks it’s very nice to call people pigs. [Patton confirms.] She’s like, [in a high, ditzy voice] “Oh my god, you’re such a pig.” [Laughs.] Like.

patton

Yeah. She’s one of those people that thinks that she’s, “I—no, I’m just—I’m trying to like get you—” Thinks that she’s helping her clients and she’s just the nastiest. [Meredith chuckles.] It was really, really fun. [Meredith confirms.] We can see that—and then she just came in and ran with it. It was—so, that kind of stuff is always fun. And, I mean, that whole show, I got to pull in all my friends, everyone that I loved, to come in and do voices. And everyone—everyone just went to town with the characters we gave them.

meredith

Nathan Fillion and John Hamm and—

patton

Well, Nate—here’s an—here’s a bit of—

meredith

Ben Schwartz and—

patton

Here’s a bit of nerdiness.

meredith

Wendy McLendon-Covey. And…

patton

We brought in Nathan Fillion to play Wonder Man, who he plays in a newsclip that was cut out of the first Guardians of the Galaxy film. [Jesse cackles.] ‘Cause in the Marvel comics, that character is a film actor who gets superpowers. So, he plays—they’re just talking about, “This guy—film actor, it’s a new deal.” He hasn’t become Wonder Man yet. And when we did the—and then they cut that whole scene out and then we just called up Nathan and went, “Please, can you voice Wonder Man.” And he goes, “Abso—” And we asked Marvel, “Can we use him?” And then they go, “Oh, yeah. Go ahead.” And he’s perfect, because—

jesse

They were like, “We gotta find him. He’s in here somewhere.”

patton

Yeah! But also like—‘cause Wonder Man, in the comics, is kind of a [censored]. [Meredith laughs.] And they—and they did him that way. Like, they wanted—“What if a—what if a superhero was also kind of a [censored]?” And so, it just like—that level of—it just—we just had so much fun. [Jesse laughs.] And we dragged in poor Bill Hader to play another obscure villain called Angar the Screamer. And there is nothing funnier, when you look at early ‘70s Marvel comics and whenever they would try to—“We’ve gotta do something that’s hip with the times. We gotta reach out to the kids.” So, Angar is their attempt at like—“These kids like Robert Plant, don’t they?” So, it’s basically Robert Plant but as like a supervillain whose rock scream can like kill people. I swear to god! And it’s a bunch of old men in their office going, [grouchily] “These rock people will kill you with their scream!” Like that—like, that’s just [laughing] they hate it so much! So. Ugh.

jesse

It’s Bullseye. I’m Jesse Thorn. My guests are Meredith Salenger and Patton Oswalt. Meredith, you said something that struck me, earlier in our conversation, which was that when you realized you were in love with Patton, before the two of you had ever met, you said not only did you break down having lunch with a friend, but what you said was that you felt like you were a terrible person, and you were 47 years old and would never get married.

meredith

Yeah. Well, I didn’t think I was a—I thought I’d be a terrible person if I had fallen in love, but then didn’t fall in love because of whatever superficial thing that people think of.

jesse

Well, you were speaking specifically of you, not of people. So, why do you think you felt that like—something like that would happen?

meredith

I have dated so many… so many people that are very interesting and very adventurous and cool and… and as I dated them, I knew—while I was dating them—like this is fun. This is an adventure. There’s no way I’m bringing this person home to my father. But this is amazing and I’m having a wild life. And every time a friend would set me up with someone who was good, like a good person with a good job and not a crazy actor and not a crazy musician and not a surfer and not a beatboxer and not a bass player. [They laugh.]

jesse

[Through laughter.] A beatboxer?!

meredith

Oh yeah. I dated a beatboxer from England.

jesse

Did you date Rhazel, the Godfather of Noise? Or Doug E Fresh? [They laugh.]

patton

She dated Michael Winslow from The Police Academy movie. [They cackle.]

meredith

Yeah, famous beatboxer from England. And—

jesse

[Laughing.] You haven’t lived until you’ve made out to the sound of a helicopter flying— [Patton and Jesse dissolve into helpless laughter.]

meredith

Um. And so, every time I would go out with a regular person, there was always some—I was always—it never was right. And every time I’d come back to my friends, and they’d be like, “How was your date?” I was like, “He’s not for me.” And my friend would then say—after another date, she’s like, “How was your date? He’s not for me.” She would just say “he’s not for me” before I even answered. And so, I just was starting to feel like, “What’s wrong with me? Why am I only attracted to these drug addict—” They’re not all drug addicts. Some were alcoholics. Um! [Laughs.]

patton

And that’s true, yeah. She’s very, very wide ranging in her tastes.

meredith

Um—but, yeah. I have the best dad in the universe. Why aren’t I dating people who are brilliant and smart and nice and good? Why am I just dating the crazy ones? And I thought, “I—there’s something wrong with me. I am a terrible person. Why am I—?” And it just—it just—‘cause it wasn’t right! And I just felt like—my mom was like, “I want you to have what your sister has.” Which is like a husband and kids and a house and a family. And I was like, “But I’m… I haven’t met that person. I’m not gonna just marry someone. I want it to be my person.” And so, for a while I was like, there is something wrong with me. [Chuckles.] I’m terrible. I’m too judgmental. Everybody has something wrong with them. And then… I actually fell in love! For real. With someone’s brain. And heart. And mind. And—and—yeah. And then it just was right.

jesse

Patton, did you have a hard time believing that… [Patton snowballs into laughter as Jesse searches for the right words.] … your [chuckling]—no! I’m not asking if—

patton

[Clearing his throat.] No, go ahead.

jesse

I’m—this is a question about feelings, Patton!

patton

No!

jesse

This is not—I feel like you’re—

patton

Well, then—then I—then I pass.

meredith

[Giggles.] No.

jesse

I feel like you thought the question was gonna be, “Did you have a hard time believing that, like, a total babe could fall in love with you?” Or something. That’s not the question.

patton

[Laughs.] What’s the question?

jesse

The question is—

patton

“Did you have a hard time believing a total fox could fall in love with you?”

jesse

[Chuckles.] Did you have a hard time believing that you deserved a new and different life, after your wife had died?

patton

I had some initial problems, just internally going, “Wow, this is really soon.” Like, “This—is this happening too soon?” But I would talk to—there were people—and, again, in my—in my grief counselling that were saying, “You don’t get to choose what—there’s no—” You know, and there was a—one of the counselors said, you know, um, “I—my wife passed away and I, uh—I didn’t get married for like ten years afterwards. I got the exact same hassle that people who get married a year after their—” Which is—where if you get married people are like, “Oh, that’s just too soon. It’s only been a year.” He waited ten years; people went, “He waited too long. This isn’t real. This is some—” Like—

meredith

Everyone’s got their opinion.

patton

Everyone has some weird—again, because… people do have empathy. I’m not saying they’re doing it—

meredith

He’s asking about your feelings.

patton

Yeah, but what I’m saying is my feelings were very, very confused at first. And then I just realized, “But wait a minute, I’m—I’ve lived this very long life. I’ve had a lot of experiences. And I spent 13 years with this amazing woman, and I know another amazing woman when I meet them, because of the time that I’ve spent with Michelle. It’s almost like Michelle helped me recognize that Meredith was just the same kind of amazing. You know? So, why would that—and just because it came along a year and a half, that doesn’t—

meredith

And that it wasn’t just you. It was Alice, too. [Patton agrees.] I mean, that—she…

patton

If she and Alice hadn’t gotten along, I would not be with her.

meredith

And I—and I thought, like, “This is gonna be my daughter. There is no—” You know, a lot of people are like, “Oh, you’re a stepmom.” And I’m thinking… I’m a mom. [Patton agrees.] Like, there’s no other—no one else is her mom. She had a mom, but I’m her mom! No one’s telling her to—how to take a bath. Nobody’s telling her to eat her vegetables. Nobody’s teaching her about mean girls in school. There’s nobody but me. There’s no—I’m not the stepmom. I’m the mom. And that might—and I don’t want that to sound, to anyone related to Michelle, like, “How dare you?!” Because it’s not “how dare you”. Michelle’s her mom. Michelle’s her mom and I’m her mom. [Patton agrees.] I’m—it’s just the idea of a stepmom to me feels very much like there’s somebody else they go back to who has to teach them the real stuff and the stepmom just chimes in occasionally like—whatever. But that’s not the case. It’s very much like she’s my baby and I 100% feel ownership of her and I’m glad that I do, because I don’t wanna feel a disconnect. I want it to be as intense as it is. And it is. And we are inseparable, and I love her. And she’s my—she’s my everything and… [She gets choked up.]

patton

[Sweetly.] Awww. Heeey! [They laugh.]

meredith

You talk! You talk.

patton

I think I answered it.

meredith

I’m the kind of girl that, at my friends’ weddings—I mean, yes, I’m an actress and on camera I can obviously do anything. But if I have to speak about the real things in my life, I just—if it’s too intense for me, I just can’t actually [chuckling] verbalize it without starting cry. Two of my best friends were like, “Will you speak at my wedding?” And I had the best speech and I got up to speak and I was like, “My best—” and I burst into tears. I’m like, [tearfully] “I can’t do this!” [Laughing.] I had to sit down! [Patton laughs.] And then I go up to the bride and whisper, I’m like [tearfully] “I love you so much, this is what I wanted to say, but I can’t say it in front of everybody ‘cause I can’t speak.” Yeah. And that’s how I feel when I talk about Alice. Literally. I just get too choked up to even finish the sentence!

jesse

Patton, it feels like going through this whole experience, soup to nuts, becoming a parent, losing a partner, gaining a partner, um… has changed what you do onstage a lot. I think you’re a clever enough guy—I mean, when I say that—an extraordinarily clever guy who was and is great at making jokes about…

patton

Pop culture. Just things removed from me, emotionally. Yeah. [Patton agrees intermittently as Jesse continues.]

jesse

When you went back to the stage, which you left for quite a while after having done comedy for—whatever. 25 or 30 years. You know. Six times a week or whatever. Did you have to figure out not just how to be funny in the context of grief, but how to do something that felt like it was worth doing?

patton

I had to figure out how to get beyond my own guilt and self-loathing of, “How are you up here telling jokes? What are you doing right now?” Like, “This is—this should be over for you.” But then—and I talked with a lot of my friends. I talked with my therapist about it, and he said, “People come to comedy shows ‘cause they’ve got stuff going on and they want to go out for a laugh and you’re giving that to them. Why would you—why is that a bad thing to put into the world? And if you’re—you’re not making them go through your grief. You’re trying to process it and find a funny way to deal with it.” You know. Initially, that was very, very hard. There were nights when I just went up and I was way too raw. There were nights when I went up, I would do a set and I would never mention her death. And that felt even weirder. The audience would get weirded out. Like, “We all know what happened. Why aren’t you talking about—” Like, it felt very strange. So, I had to find a way to talk about it but in a way that felt human and felt funny but not disrespectful, which is a way to—you know, there’s a way to do that. You know, a lot of times it—I remember, you know, at someone’s memorial, people make jokes. They’re not making fun of the person that’s dead, but they’re telling funny stories and we’re laughing and that kind of helps you remember the ridiculousness of it. So, you know, that kind of thing always—you know, for a comedian at least, it’s been my way of coping. Why would I—why would I then cut myself off from that? It doesn’t make any sense. It doesn’t do anyone any good, down the line. And I’m not talking like, [grandly] “My comedy is bringing the cure to the world!” But it does bring 45 minutes of diversion and hopefully some laughs. It’s not a bad thing. You know?

jesse

Patton, is there a significance to the fact that you have gold bands on the ring fingers of both your hands?

patton

Well. This is my new wedding ring, on my left hand, that I put on when I married Meredith. This one is—Meredith, Alice and I, she bought us these rings.

meredith

I—well, let me—

patton

Explain this, ‘cause it’s really cool.

meredith

When I was a little girl, my parents got divorced and my mom got remarried when I was seven. And my stepdad bought me and my sister little, tiny rings, because he wasn’t just marrying my mom. He was marrying all of us. And that’s how I felt when I met—I was like, “This is my commitment to both of you.” So, I had three rings made and they’re all the same and on the inside of the ring is a little moonstone and a moonstone is like for love and connection and I basically was like, “The three of us are getting married and I wanna have—” Alice has a wedding ring, I have a wedding ring, and he does and that—so, on his right hand is the one with me and Alice and him, and the left one is—I know a lot of people think it’s like, “Is that the ring—” [Patton chuckles.] “Is that Michelle’s ring, still?”

patton

I still get that, yeah.

meredith

I know a lot of people think that it is, but that’s the—that’s the family band. [Patton confirms.]

jesse

Well, Meredith Salenger, Patton Oswalt, I’m so grateful to you for taking this time to be on Bullseye.

patton

Thanks for having us on! Seriously.

meredith

This was so nice! You’re so lovely.

patton

I’ve missed your show. I’ve missed being able to go out and do shows, so this was great. Thank you, man. Seriously.

meredith

Thank you.

jesse

Patton Oswalt and Meredith Salenger, folks. Their new podcast is Did You Get My Text with Meredith and Patton. That’s out now. Find it wherever you listen to podcasts. Patton Oswalt is currently starring on Marvel’s Modok. It’s a role he was born to play. If you like that kind of thing, Modok is full of easter eggs and obscure references to Marvel comics. So. Check it out, nerds. [Beat.] Just goofing. Everybody should check it out. Patton’s the best.

music

Relaxed, thumpy music.

jesse

That’s the end of another episode of Bullseye. Bullseye is created from the homes of me and the staff of Maximum Fun, in and around greater Los Angeles, California—where, I don’t know if you knew this, but there is a veterinarian shortage? So, look. If you’re listening to this and you’re a veterinarian, you don’t have enough work, come out to Southern California. We can use you. The show is produced by speaking into microphones. Our senior producer is Kevin Ferguson. Our producer is Jesus Ambrosio. Special thank you to Jesus for taking the reins while Kevin was out, last week. I hope you had fun in Big Sur, Kevin. We get help from Casey O’Brien and Jordan Kauwling. Thank you to Jordan for her years of work here, at Maximum Fun. She’s moving on. Production fellows at Max Fun are Richard Robey and Valerie Moffat. Our interstitial music is by Dan Wally, also known as DJW. Our theme song is by The Go! Team. Thanks to them and to their label, Memphis Industries, for sharing it. They have a brand-new record out. Go buy it! Or stream it! The Go! Team are the best. It is so nice of them to let us use their amazing music on this show and I can’t recommend their records enough. The new one’s called Get up Sequences Part One. You can also keep up with Bullseye on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube. We post all our interviews there. I am on Twitter @JesseThorn. I think that’s about it. Just remember: all great radio hosts have a signature signoff.

promo

Speaker: Bullseye with Jesse Thorn is a production of MaximumFun.org and is distributed by NPR. [Music fades out.]

About the show

Bullseye is a celebration of the best of arts and culture in public radio form. Host Jesse Thorn sifts the wheat from the chaff to bring you in-depth interviews with the most revered and revolutionary minds in our culture.

Bullseye has been featured in Time, The New York Times, GQ and McSweeney’s, which called it “the kind of show people listen to in a more perfect world.” Since April 2013, the show has been distributed by NPR.

If you would like to pitch a guest for Bullseye, please CLICK HERE. You can also follow Bullseye on Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook. For more about Bullseye and to see a list of stations that carry it, please click here.

People

Producer

Associate Producer

Maximum Fun Production Fellow

Maximum Fun Production Fellow

How to listen

Stream or download episodes directly from our website, or listen via your favorite podcatcher!

Share this show

New? Start here...