Patton Oswalt gets Happy! as an imaginary winged unicorn

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Dec 4, 2017, 3:30 PM EST

Patton Oswalt has a lot of reasons to be happy: He's a newlywed dad, he has a new Netflix stand-up special that acts as a sort of catharsis after a difficult year and a half, and he's got a new TV show, right here on SYFY.

And in that show, Oswalt plays Happy, a one-of-a-kind character from the mind of comics legend Grant Morrison. Happy is a blue, buck-toothed, flying unicorn, visible only to a little girl and Nick Sax (played by Christopher Meloni), a broke-down ex-cop turned hit man. When the little girl is kidnapped, Happy teams up with Sax in an epic quest to find the girl, an adventure chronicled in the action-packed dark comedy series that premieres on December 6.

Oswalt joined SYFY  for a brief talk about the blood-soaked, delightfully bizarre, twisted holiday tale at Jingle Hells, the anti-holiday pop-up bar promoting the show in Manhattan's Lower East Side.


Within the realm of flying sidekicks (Pete’s Dragon, Falkor from The NeverEnding Story) and imaginary friends, where does Happy fit?

I think Happy fits more into the realm of Drop Dead Fred, the imaginary friend you do not want. He doesn't actually help you as much as he wants to. I'm trying to think of another really annoying imaginary friend you wouldn't want … was Harvey the Rabbit an imaginary friend?

Or was Jimmy Stewart just insane?

Or he was having delirium tremens. Who knows?

Did you ever have an imaginary friend?

I never had one. It is weird. My wife had one, her dad had one. I never had an imaginary friend.

What about a character you'd imagine being? We're in New York City, and I feel this constant desire to do a Spider-Man "thwip" at the skyscrapers.

Oh yeah. There was a lot of Spider-Man in me as a kid. This isn't a specific character, but I did channel the idea that I was maybe a werewolf, and had werewolf powers – that I could change into a wolf whenever I need to. That was an ongoing thing.

You've done a lot of voice acting, so what was different in performing Happy?

I was able to click into this because I was doing scenes with Chris Meloni back and forth, and that really helped me. We were on Skype; he was in New York, and I was in L.A. It made the performance so much easier and more fun to do. It was way more alive. I wasn't just reading lines, I was interacting back and forth.

I can't not ask you about Avengers: Infinity War, since you're somewhere out there as the Koenig Brothers [on Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.]

OH! That last sting with the Guardians of the Galaxy made me so happy. It is a Destroy All Monsters for superhero fans. They are doing it right. You can tell they are doing it right. I am very, very excited.

You're a long-time comic fan. Is there such a thing as superhero fatigue?

There's superhero fatigue if it's done badly. But they're doing it right.