Patton Oswalt Says Toto’s ‘Africa’ Makes Him Suicidal
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Patton Oswalt takes a swipe at Toto in his latest hour-long special ‘Tragedy + Comedy = Time,’ describing a weekday supermarket trip that found him contemplating frozen dinners when one of the band’s most recognizable hits made an appearance over the store’s sound system.
“Toto’s ‘Africa’ started playing,” Oswalt says, in a preview clip from the special, above. “The combination of 11 a.m. on a Tuesday, Lean Cuisines and Toto’s ‘Africa,’ I have never felt more peacefully, effortlessly, joyously suicidal.”
Since recording the bit, Oswalt tells Rolling Stone that he’s come to a new realization about the David Paich/Jeff Porcaro-written song – which went to No. 1 on the Billboard charts in 1983 and currently hovers in the iTunes Top 100 Rock chart.
“I actually kind of respect that song because I looked at the lyrics,” Oswalt says. “It’s about a white dude trying to write a song about Africa and failing because he’s never really experienced it. I almost wonder if it was a swipe at the Paul Simons and David Byrnes at the time that were all into these Afro-rhythms. And he’s like, ‘Well, I’m just a contented white guy, I’m not even going to pretend.’ There was something snarky about the song that I ended up digging.”
‘Tragedy + Comedy = Time,’ Oswalt’s fifth hour-long special for Comedy Central, airs on April 6.