Patton Oswalt recounted his earliest experiences of Star Wars and Comic-Con — as well as the unconventional confidence boost Jason Alexander gave him during a guest appearance on Seinfeld — in the latest installment of Rolling Stone‘s “The First Time.”
Oswalt said he was eight years old when his parents first took him to see Star Wars after seeing the film on the cover of Time magazine. The comedian remembers being so enthralled by the movie that one of his lasting memories of the experience involved an untimely disruption: “My brother, who was a year younger than me, had to get up at one point and use the restroom. This was like 10 minutes into the movie and he came back and just started going back and forth across all the rows trying to find us, and my dad had to go get him. It was during the cantina scene and I remember being really upset that at one moment my dad blocked my view.”
Elsewhere, Oswalt spoke about gleaning stand-up wisdom from comedian Bill Hicks, who he opened for in 1991, meeting author and personal idol Harlan Ellison at a comic book store and the joys of attending Comic-Con well before it became one of the major entertainment events of the year. For instance, Oswalt remembered being there in the mid-Nineties, when Simpsons creator Matt Groening grabbed him and introduced him to an up-and-comer named Ivan Brunetti, who’s now a regular contributor to The New Yorker.
“To get to say, ‘Oh, I just met him when he was sitting at a card table in San Diego and people were walking by and just flipping through his stuff’ — it was amazing,” Oswalt says.
Oswalt also shared an incredible memory from his first paid acting gig, when he played a video store clerk on a 1994 episode of Seinfeld. The scene was with Jason Alexander, and Oswalt remembered, “Right before they called action, [Alexander] kind of leaned in and he goes, ‘Not too late to be fired, Patton.’ And it made me laugh so hard, it actually loosened me up and I just kind of breezed through the scene. It was great.”