Credit: FX

Justified fans will have to wait until early January for a new episode, but we’ve got your first look at Patton Oswalt, who makes his debut as Constable Bob Sweeney in the season 4 premiere, now. “It’s a guy that basically sorta wants to be Raylan Givens [Timothy Olyphant], but is not, which I think most men can relate to,” Oswalt tells EW. The former high school classmates reconnect when Raylan asks Bob to check in on Arlo’s house and make sure it doesn’t get trashed. Oswalt is tight-lipped about the character, who will return later in the season, but offers two teases: “He thinks he has a dark, mysterious, messed-up past, but there’s hints that everybody already knows about it and doesn’t care,” he says. And, “I do get to do stuff that’s a combination of, like, super funny and super violent… I’ll leave it at that.”

Being a Justified fan himself, Oswalt would expect nothing less. “That show is so good at within a space of a sentence, something being funny, then becoming very sinister, then maybe becoming funny again,” he says. Along with the show’s writers, he credits Olyphant. “He’s really, really good at not only knowing how story is driven by character, but also, he is so not afraid of awkwardness and silence and he’s really good at having comedy come from reality rather than, okay, well, here’s comic relief,” Oswalt says. “There’s just a lot of collaboration scene-to-scene. We’d talk in between scenes and go, ‘Well, let’s go try that.’ Or we’d run a scene, and we’d go, ‘something’s missing’ or ‘this isn’t necessary.’ He’s just very, very present and aware of what he’s doing in a scene. It’s kind of amazing.”

Oswalt will also recur on season 2 of The Newsroom, returning to HBO this summer. He’ll play Jonas Pfeiffer, the network’s new VP of Human Resources. That part, he won’t tease at all. “These are good shows! If I was doing a guest spot on Mad Men, you wouldn’t want me saying anything,” he insists. “Part of the enjoyment is watching it unfold.”

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