Patton Oswalt won his first Emmy last week for his special “Talking For Clapping.” During his brief time on stage, the comedian dedicated his trophy to his daughter Alice and his late wife Michelle McNamara, who unexpectedly passed away in April of this year. Oswalt appeared on “Conan” last night, where he once again opened up about his bittersweet win and coping with the loss of his wife.
“I was not ready. I honestly didn’t think I was going to win,” he told Conan O’Brien, adding that it’s always difficult to talk about Michelle because she made him a better person. “She was the reason that my comedy got better to get me to the point where someone would consider me for an Emmy. So it was hard to encapsulate that in a quick speech.”
Shortly after his win many people have asked him if he’s happy, and while the comedian is grateful for winning his Emmy, “happiness” after losing his wife means something different to him now.
“Obviously, I’m very happy to have won an Emmy, but it’s very abstract because it’s the flavor of happiness, but there’s no calories or nutrition there,” he explained. “I’m not putting down winning an Emmy. Watching a bad movie with [McNamara] or fussing over what we’re going to pack for our daughter [when] we’re going on a trip ― that was happiness.”
Conan also asked Oswalt how he’s doing “on a human level,” responding, “I’m here. It feels weird to say but I’m a widower,” describing his life as if he’s in an ’80s sitcom that sucks. And coping with the death of McNamara hasn’t been easy, especially when holidays roll around. During his time with the host, he also described the planned trip to Chicago to visit family and distract his daughter from her first Mother’s Day without her. Everything was going smooth sailing until an elderly Polish woman at the airport unintentionally almost ruined it.
Watch Oswalt tell the heartbreaking story by adding a bit of humor, below.