Comedian cancels Utah, Florida tour stops over lack of COVID-19 guidelines

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"I have an ego but my ego is not big enough to think people should die to hear my stupid comedy."

Patton Oswalt speaks at the 33rd American Cinematheque Award honoring Charlize Theron at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on Friday, Nov. 8, 2019, in Beverly Hills, Calif. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – Comedian and actor Patton Oswalt, known for his stand-up shows and appearances on ‘Parks and Recreation,’ ‘Community,’ ‘Two and a Half Men,’ ‘The Goldbergs,’ and more, has canceled his tour stops in Utah and Florida over a lack of COVID-19 safety protocols.

In a video posted to Instagram on Thursday, Oswalt announces his ‘Patton Oswalt’s Who’s Ready to Laugh Live’ tour is now requiring attendees to either provide proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test before the show. He says all but five venues – four in Florida and one in Salt Lake City – have agreed to comply.

“The good news is, we’re keeping everyone who is coming to these shows safe and healthy because the numbers are going up,” Oswalt says. “The bad news, of course, is there are five venues on the tour that are not complying with this and I’ll give you one guess as to which state it was.”

Oswalt continues, saying, “that’s right” and explaining that his four stops in Florida scheduled for December have been canceled. He adds that his 2022 stop at Kingsbury Hall in Salt Lake City is also canceled. The comedian says the decision to cancel was made in response to the rising number of COVID-19 cases.

“I have an ego but my ego is not big enough to think people should die to hear my stupid comedy,” Oswalt says, adding that he hopes these stops can be rebooked “when sanity holds sway again.”

If you have purchased a ticket, refunds are being processed automatically, according to the University of Utah’s website.

In August, Counting Crows canceled their show just days before their performance during the Red Butte Garden’s summer concert series because of a lack of COVID-19 protocols. Citing Utah’s state mandates, and Red Butte Garden’s inability to enact the band’s requirements, Counting Crows says they made the “difficult decision” in order to “prioritize the health and safety of our fans and crew.”

Country due Florida Georgia Line recently canceled the remainder of their “I Love My Country” concert tour, including their stop at Salt Lake City’s Vivint Arena on November 17. The pair confirmed the cancellation on Twitter on Friday, saying “everyone’s continued safety has been weighing heavy on us.” The artists explained the cancellation was due to the rising number of COVID-19 cases that have been reported across the country.

Two Utah venues have already begun requiring proof of vaccination for attendance at their indoor shows. Saying they “want to stay safe so we can stay open,” Salt Lake City’s The State Room says in a notice. They continue, saying all indoor shows at The State Room and The Commonwealth Room will require all patrons, staff, and artists to show proof of vaccination with a corresponding ID. If you are not vaccinated, both venues will also accept proof of a negative COVID-19 test dated within 24 hours of attending an event. A digital or physical version of either will be accepted at the door along with your ID.

The upcoming FanX comic convention in Salt Lake City recently announced attendees will be required to wear a mask as COVID-19 cases continue to rise. The Jonas Brothers are requiring COVID-19 health checks for entry to their concert on Friday. Louis The Child is also imposing a mandate to enter their live performance at the Ogden Amphitheater as part of the Ogden Twilight Concert Series this Saturday.

The Jonas Brothers’ tour, The Remember This Tour, is produced by Live Nation, which along with other entertainment entities such as AEG Presents and IMGoing, have all released new policies for their shows and venues.

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