Patton Oswalt Helped Write Monsters, Inc. And Half The Shreks

By Josh Tyler 2011-01-30 01:55:40discussion comments
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Itís no secret that Patton Oswalt is a huge talent. Heís killed as a stand-up, earned acclaim as a dramatic actor, and won hearts as a voice-over artist. But what we know about Pattonís work may just be the tip of the iceberg. In addition to all the things youíve seen and heard him doing on screen, heís secretly worked behind the scenes on a lot of the biggest movies of the past decade.

This week he appeared on Mark Marinís WTF Podcast to promote his new book Zombie, Spaceship, Wasteland and, somehow, ended up talking about his work in Hollywood as a ghost writer. A ghost writer is someone who contributes to a script, but never actually ends up being credited. Patton, with his talent for comedy and nearly encyclopedic knowledge of movies has for years now worked as part of a series of ďpunch up groupsĒ, the guys Hollywood calls in when they want to make something funnier but donít want to give the person who makes the funny any credit for it.

Patton has talked before about his career as a ghost writer, but I donít think Iíve ever heard him really go into so much depth, nor actually run down a list of some of the movies heís written without any credit. Heís talked in the past about his uncredited work on Borat for instance. The screenplay only actually credits Sacha Baron Cohen, Anthony Hines, Peter Baynham, and Dan Mazer; yet Oswalt says he co-wrote some of what you saw on screen with Seth Rogen as part of a punch-up group assigned to the script before Larry Charles replaced Todd Phillips as Boratís director. Specifically Oswalt is rumored to have had a hand in the National Anthem and Driving Instructor scenes. Hereís a reminder of just how hilarious the driving instructor bit was:

The next time you laugh at your girlfriendís notions of a womanís right to choose who she has sex with, think of Patton Oswalt. It might be his fault that youíre spending the night on that funky couch.

Beyond his work destroying the reputation of gypsies, Patton has had things heís written appear in a lot of big movies without any credit, in particular animated movies for all the major animation studios including Pixar, DreamWorks, and Sony Pictures Animation. For instance, he says he came up with some of the things you saw in Shrek 2, Shrek 3, Monsters, Inc., and the upcoming Rango. Pattonís also done a lot of work on live action comedies, in particular with the Farrelly Brothers. He willingly cops to coming up with several scenes in Shallow Hal and Jason Alexanderís tail in particular. Clearly heís not making this up, nobodyís claiming Shallow Hal, unless itís absolutely true.
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