Last Thursday the Cinefamily in L.A. hosted the latest in their series of Q+A events with legendary author and troublemaker Harlan Ellison. A editor friend of mine who has worked on several of Harlan’s books* has spent the intervening days regaling me with the tale of how comedian Patton Oswalt, a known Friend of Ellison, crashed the party, initially pretending to be a random fan in the crowd. After riffing off Ellison from the crowd for a few minutes, Oswalt was invited up on to the stage, kicking aside moderator, screenwriter, and fellow Ellisonian Josh Olson.
What followed was classic back-and-forth banter between two well-established motor-mouths and wordsmiths. Thankfully for those of us who weren’t there, part of the Ellison/Oswalt interaction has popped up online, and you can check it out below. SEE Harlan offer Patton a bucket of urine-tainted popcorn! HEAR Patton complain about the perils of taking Harlan to a fancy restaurant! REGRET that you weren’t there to see the whole thing in person!
While you may have missed this event, Cinefamily has hosted several of these Ellison events in recent months, and hopefully there will be more to come. If so, they typically live-stream the events on their website, so you can see the show no matter where you are. If you get the chance, I highly recommend it: whether you’re a fan of his writing or not, Harlan is a charismatic and hilarious speaker. We’ll keep you posted if Cinefamily announces any upcoming returns for Harlan.
* In the interest of full disclosure, I’ve worked on those Ellison books myself as a proofreader.