Patton Oswalt has the best response to people mad that he cancelled his new stand-up shows
via Gage Skidmore / Flickr

Comedian and actor Patton Oswalt caused a stir last week when he canceled performances in Florida and Utah because the venues wouldn't comply with his COVID-19 protocols. Oswalt requested that venues only allow audience members that are vaccinated or recently tested negative for COVID-19.

However, in Florida, vaccine mandates are illegal and the venue in Salt Lake City refused.

"This difficult decision was made due to the rising number of COVID cases," Oswalt said. "And also because I have an ego but my ego is not big enough to think that people should die to hear my stupid comedy."


His decision was completely rational. Unvaccinated people are three times more likely to spread COVID-19 and 11 times more likely to die of it, so why not make the venues safe for attendees and staff? Also, should we really put people at risk just to see a comedy show?

Oswalt's decision was the complete opposite of fellow comedian Jim Breuer who refuses to play venues with a vaccine mandate. Bruer is best known for his appearance in "Half Baked" and "Saturday Night Live" from 1995 to 1998.

"Due to the segregation of them forcing people to show up with vaccination — to prove you're vaccinated, to prove you've had a shot — I'm absolutely not doing those shows," Breuer said in a recent Facebook Live post.

Announcing he was canceling scheduled performances in Michigan and New Jersey, Breuer said, "What these establishments are doing are wrong. What this dictatorship is doing is wrong."

Some of the reactions to the cancellations on social media surprised Oswalt who thought he was being pretty reasonable about the whole thing.


Oswalt had some fun with the extreme reactions to his show cancellations on Monday night on "The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon."

"I was like, 'When did everyone become Thanos where it's just like, whoever dies, dies?'" asked Oswalt.

"And by the way, if that is your philosophy, don't die for me, go die seeing Lizzo. That's a good last concert to see," he cracked. "You shouldn't die for any entertainer. But if you are, make it count. Don't be in the hospital, (saying) 'I'm so glad I got to see that fat nerd whine about 'The Mandalorian.'"

"That shouldn't be your last thing. Don't roll the dice for that stuff," he added.

Patton Oswalt Says His Show Isn't Worth Catching COVID | The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon www.youtube.com

Oswalt's rationale make a lot of sense. We're at an odd place in the pandemic where large events are happening because people who are vaccinated can go out with a certain amount of confidence and unvaccinated people probably aren't very concerned about the virus (even though they should be).

There are still risks involved with going out but we have to live our lives, so where do we draw the line? Oswalt's decision to keep things as safe as possible at this point in the pandemic makes a lot of sense. Nobody should die just to have a laugh.

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Shanda Lynn Poitra was born and raised on the Turtle Mountain Reservation in Belcourt, North Dakota. She lived there until she was 24 years old when she left for college at the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks.

"Unfortunately," she says, "I took my bad relationship with me. At the time, I didn't realize it was so bad, much less, abusive. Seeing and hearing about abusive relationships while growing up gave me the mentality that it was just a normal way of life."

Those college years away from home were difficult for a lot of reasons. She had three small children — two in diapers, one in elementary school — as well as a full-time University class schedule and a part-time job as a housekeeper.

"I wore many masks back then and clothing that would cover the bruises," she remembers. "Despite the darkness that I was living in, I was a great student; I knew that no matter what, I HAD to succeed. I knew there was more to my future than what I was living, so I kept working hard."

While searching for an elective class during this time, she came across a one-credit, 20-hour IMPACT self-defense class that could be done over a weekend. That single credit changed her life forever. It helped give her the confidence to leave her abusive relationship and inspired her to bring IMPACT classes to other Native women in her community.

I walked into class on a Friday thinking that I would simply learn how to handle a person trying to rob me, and I walked out on a Sunday evening with a voice so powerful that I could handle the most passive attacks to my being, along with physical attacks."

It didn't take long for her to notice the difference the class was making in her life.

"I was setting boundaries and people were either respecting them or not, but I was able to acknowledge who was worth keeping in my life and who wasn't," she says.

Following the class, she also joined a roller derby league where she met many other powerful women who inspired her — and during that summer, she found the courage to leave her abuser.

"As afraid as I was, I finally had the courage to report the abuse to legal authorities, and I had the support of friends and family who provided comfort for my children and I during this time," she says.

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via Matt Radick / Flickr

Joe Biden reversed Donald Trump's ban on transgender people serving in the military earlier this year, allowing the entire LGBTQ community to serve for the first time.

Anti-gay sentiment in the U.S. military goes as far back as 1778 when Lieutenant Frederick Gotthold Enslin was convicted at court-martial on charges of sodomy and perjury. The military would go on to make sodomy a crime in 1920 and worthy of dishonorable discharge.

In 1949 the Department of Defense standardized its anti-LGBT regulations across the military, declaring: "Homosexual personnel, irrespective of sex, should not be permitted to serve in any branch of the Armed Forces in any capacity, and prompt separation of known homosexuals from the Armed Forces is mandatory."

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