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Patton Oswalt fired up over Columbia University valedictorian stealing 'Physics for Poets' routine

For obvious reasons, The Juice* heartily recommends the comic stylings of Patton Oswalt. what we don't recommend is stealing his routines wholesale, like Columbia University School of General Studies valedictorian Brian Corman did in his May 16 commencement speech. The valedictorian, huh? Smooth.

In the video above, Brian Corman is shown relating a story about taking a class called Physics for Poets, and how the nerds in that class tried to solve a problem told using erroneous Star Trek metaphors. Funny, except comedian Oswalt told that (true) story from his college years in his routine in 2006 (watch that video below). Oswalt took to his Twitter feed, @pattonoswalt, saying "Congrats to Columbia University valedictorian Brian Corman! Great speech"

“In people’s heads they think that comedians can’t possibly make up their own material,” Oswalt told the New York Times. “They must get it out of joke books. ... (They) just can’t imagine that a comedian can make up original stuff. They’re like, ‘I can just take it. He didn’t make it up.’”

Columbia took down the offending video of Corman temporarily, then reissued it with an apology -- in which they misspelled Patton's last name as "Oswald." Corman himself also apologized to Oswalt, earning Patton's respect.

“He didn’t try to squirm out of it, unlike other people,” Oswalt said. “He said I stole it, should not have done it, it was wrong. Well, boom, there you go. Nice. That apology is an exception to a lot of other people.”

What boggles our minds is that Corman was a political science major. Did he not think stealing something would come back to bite him? He must not have been a very good student.


[Last modified: Tuesday, July 6, 2010 10:45am]


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