Patton Oswalt is one of the top touring comedians today. He won hearts as the voice of Remy in Ratatouille. He starred opposite Charlize Theron in Young Adult and with Steve Carell and Keira Knightley in Seeking a Friend for the End of the World, and was in TV's King of Queens. Patton is also the author of the essay collection Zombie, Spaceship, Wasteland.
Neil Gaiman is one of the most engaging, smart writers we know. Turns out he's pretty funny, too. He's behind the Sandman graphic novels - the only comics to ever make the New York Times bestseller list. He's won a ton of awards for his writing - The Newberry Medal, the Carnegie Medal in Literature the Bram Stoker award. His written books and screenplays - "American Gods", "The Graveyard Book", "Coraline", "Beowulf".
Our favorite minor television personality is John Hodgman. You may know him as The Daily Show's Resident Expert or from a thousand Apple commercials (he was the PC) or from appearances in the movie Arthur and the TV show Battlestar Galactica. He's served as humor editor for The New York Times Magazine and is coming out with a new book, "That is All." It's the last in his three-part series of Complete World Knowledge.
Julia Sweeney is an actress, comedian and writer best known for her work on Saturday Night Live where she was a cast member and also for her monologues God Said Ha!, In the Family Way and Letting Go of God. She's been a panelist on "Wait Wait ... Don't Tell Me!" and performed with songwriter Jill Sobule in a show called Jill and Julia. Julia will be out with a new book called "If It's Not One Thing It's Your Mother" in April of 2013.
Paste magazine has called him one of the "100 Greatest Living Songwriters." Stephen King has said of one of Josh's songs: "This is the most exuberant outburst of imagery since Bob Dylan's "A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall," in 1963." Most everybody agrees Josh Ritter is a rare talent. He will woo you from the stage of the Fitzgerald at this final Wits show of the season, where you can also be one of the first to get his new novel, "Bright's Passage" (out in bookstores June 28, 2011). It's a book that inspired Pulitzer Prize-winning author Debby Applegate say "In his debut novel Josh Ritter displays the same love of language and historical detail, the same irresistible combination of wit and earnestness, that make him such a brilliant songwriter. He's created a genuine work of literature."
In this room, equipped with a dual-cassette recorder, Singer songwriter John Darnielle started setting some of his poetry to music, using a guitar he'd gotten for a few bucks at a nearby strip mall music store. His idea at the time was that eventually his day job would be "poet." Young men have all kinds of crazy ideas about what they're going to end up doing for a living. Today, John is the lead singer from the Mountain Goats.