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Patton Oswalt talks turning 50, playing a Marvel also-ran on Late Night With Seth Meyers

Patton Oswalt, Seth Meyers
Screenshot: Late Night With Seth Meyers

While seemingly even the most unlikely people are jumping on the lucrative Marvel movie/TV bandwagon (Glenn Close is Nova Prime!), there’s no one better suited to suit up than Patton Oswalt. Apart from already popping up (multiple times) in Marvel’s Agents Of SHIELD as several identical Patton-looking guys (in regular-guy suits), the comedian and lifelong comics fanatic and filibusterer will be donning one of the more outlandish comics outfits out there. That’s right, Patton Oswalt is M.O.D.O.K.! For his new Hulu animated series, Oswalt and co-creator Jason Blum are digging deep into the giant brain of M.O.D.O.K. (that’s short for Mental/Mobile/Mechanized Organism Designed Only for Killing, naturally), whose massive intellect can only be housed in a correspondingly oversized head, from which protrudes stubby little arms and legs. Showing a close up of the enraged Oswalt grimacing while firing a machine gun on Justified alongside the evilly grinning, no-torso M.O.D.O.K. on Tuesday’s Late Night, Seth Meyers said he could see a resemblance, which Oswalt begrudgingly had to concede.

Sadly Oswalt will have to convey the second-stringer supervillain’s angst only through his voice in the animated series, but Oswalt’s already voicing a flying unicorn in the “lunatic” Grant Morrison comic adaptation, Happy, so he’s all over this one. According to Oswalt, his show’s take on M.O.D.O.K. will examine what it’s like to be an overlooked player in the Marvel universe, with his character seething at both the heroes and his fellow supervillains for not recognizing just how formidable an enormous noggin with a robotic flying chair and mind-beam powers truly is.

Speaking of sitting down, Oswalt also accepted Meyers’ belated 50th birthday wishes with a feigned back spasm as he struggled to stand up for the crowd’s applause. Oswalt told Meyers that it was better being 50 in the 1950s, when people happily expected you to just “sit down and start to die.” Bemoaning the fact that wife Meredith Salenger got him a mountain bike for his big day, the A.P. Bio star told Meyers that his 50-year-old self pedaling his new bike looks like someone “shaved a baby panda.” More motivation for M.O.D.O.K.’s frustrated rage at looking unwieldy in your chosen vehicle, one suspects. Use it.

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Dennis Perkins

Contributor, The A.V. Club. Danny Peary's Cult Movies books are mostly to blame.