Stand-up comedian and actor Patton Oswalt likes to make people laugh, but not if the price is too high. The stand-up just announced he’s slashed five dates off his upcoming stand-up comedy tour because the venues he was planning to visit are refusing to agree to his COVID safety standards.
As reported by NBC News, Patton Oswalt is kicking off his Who’s Ready to Laugh? tour, and in an Instagram video from last week, Oswalt told his followers that anyone coming to see his show would be required to provide either documentation of “full COVID-19 vaccination” or of a negative COVID-19 test taken either within 48 or 72 hours of the show, depending on local regulations. Unfortunately, Oswalt said five of the venues he’d planned to perform at refused to comply, and so he canceled the tour dates. You can watch the full video below.
Patton Oswalt goes on to say that of the venues refusing to comply, four of them are in Florida for performances originally scheduled for December, while one of them is in Salt Lake City, Utah which had been set for some time in 2022. Oswalt said he made the decision to cut the dates both because of the rising numbers of COVID cases and, in his words, “I have an ego, but my ego is not big enough to think people should die to hear my stupid comedy.” He added that he hoped the dates in Florida and Salt Lake City could be re-booked “once sanity holds sway again.”
The requirements Patton Oswalt is asking venues to adhere to aren’t unique. Speaking to CNBC yesterday, Live Nation president Joe Berchtold said all of the events hosted by the company — including Lollapalooza, Napa Valley’s Bottlerock, and Tennessee’s Bonnaroo — all have similar requirements to what Oswalt is requesting. He added that 90% of this year’s Lollapalooza attendees were vaccinated, and 12% of the vaccinated said they got the shots specifically so they could attend the music festival.
The CNBC story adds that Patton Oswalt isn’t the first performer to change their tour calendar in light of the pandemic. Along with artists like the country band Florida Georgia Line who canceled their entire tour for safety concerns, acts that have otherwise moved dates around to keep themselves and their fans safe include Nine Inch Nails, Stevie Nicks, Kiss, and Korn.
Whether her’s on tour or not, Patton Oswalt has been keeping pretty busy. Along with starring on Peacock’s A.P. Bio, the comedian’s continuing to build a prolific voice acting career. He voiced the titular big-headed supervillain in the Hulu original Marvel’s M.O.D.O.K., he voiced The Deep’s gills on an episode of Amazon’s The Boys, and he’ll be the voice of Matthew the Raven in the upcoming adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s game-changing comic The Sandman.
Patton Oswalt’s new tour Who’s Ready to Laugh? kicks off tomorrow in Medford, Massachusetts at the Chevalier Theater. The complete list of tour dates includes performances all over the country, with dates as far out as April, 2022.