Happy Birthday, Patton Oswalt!

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Image courtesy of Flickr user Gage Skidmore

You may know him as the voice of Remy, the amazing rat chef in Ratatouille, for his stand-up routines featured on Comedy Central, or for his role as Spence Olchin in King of Queens. But here are some things you might not know about Patton Oswalt, who happens to be turning 43 today.

1. The comedian’s father, who was a Marine, named him after General Patton. ”He gave me the first name Patton, I'm assuming with very high hopes. When he saw me at age 15, rolling up my eighth Dungeons and Dragons character, he was like, ‘boy, I named this one wrong.’”

2. While most actors either seek artistic integrity or a big paycheck, Patton chooses his roles a little differently. According to Oswalt, "I'm in this business for two reasons: the money and the anecdotes. So I either want to be in the best films possible, and if I can't be in those then I want to be in the absolute worst films, because I want the stories. To me doing Ratatouille was just as valuable as doing Blade Trinity."

3. Despite having a famous rant about KFC’s Famous Bowl on his 2004 comedy album Feelin’ Kinda Patton, the comedian never actually tried the dish until the A.V. Club asked him to taste-test it four years later. His verdict? “It's goddamn horrible, this Famous Bowl.” Well, at least he gave it a shot.

Image courtesy of Flickr user Morton Fox

4. Just because he’s worked on something doesn’t mean you’ll see his name in the credits. That’s because Patton has a few aliases, including Schecky Chucklestein (which he’s used on a number of Adult Swim shows) and Ain’t It Cool News reviewer Neill Cumpston. There is also a bit of a debate as to whether or not he voiced the character of Randy on the game Dead Rising 2, which was credited to a John Murphy. Oswalt denies he worked on the game, but he also denied being Neill Cumpston for a long while.

5. He really does love Ratatouille—and not just the movie. Unfortunately, in an interview in 2010, he revealed that while he orders the dish on occasion, he’s been a little disappointed no chef has ever opted to bring him ratatouille on his or her own accord.

6. For most people, getting to star in a sex scene with one of the most gorgeous women in Hollywood would be a dream. But for Patton Oswalt, his love scene with Charlize Theron was terrifying. “Why do I have to be in my underwear next to the most physically perfect person on the planet? Why couldn’t I have been next to John Goodman or Michael Moore in their underwear?”

7. He's written for Batman and JLA (Justice League of America). He also moderated a panel for the reunion of the Mystery Science Theater 3000 cast at the 2008 Comic Con. Last year, he even released a hilarious semi-autobiography titled Zombie Spaceship Wasteland where he talks about growing up a nerd.

Anyway, if you happen to read this Mr. Oswalt, Happy Birthday from everyone here at mental_floss.

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January 27, 2012 - 4:36pm
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