Patton Launches Offensive

If there’s one thing comedians don’t find funny, it’s seeing their material get lifted.

That goes for Patton Oswalt, who noticed that Brian Corman, a valedictorian at Columbia University, appropriated part of his routine during his valedictory speech.

Oswalt recently tweeted “Congrats to Columbia University valedictorian Brian Corman! Great speech,” but the congratulations were not heartfelt.

About five minutes into Corman’s speech (it can be viewed here at the 38 minute mark), he claimed he was once in a class called “Physics for Poets” – the name of an Oswalt routine – then recounts the details as fact. The university said it was “deeply distressed” by the incident.

Corman cited the authors of other quotations he used in his speech but not the comedian’s material.

Corman apologized to Oswalt and Oswalt accepted. However, he asked in his blog, “If he’s willing to steal material for something as inconsequential as a speech, how rubbery did his boundaries become when his GPA and future career were on the line?”