Comedian Patton Oswalt has gone on the warpath against one Brian Corman, Columbia University's School of General Studies valedictorian, who blatantly ripped off one of Oswalt's jokes during his graduation speech almost verbatim, passing it off as an anecdote from his own experience. Embarrassing. After discovering the joke theft, Oswalt took to the Twitter: "Congrats to Columbia University valedictorian Brian Corman! Great speech." We're pretty sure that was meant to be sarcastic. (Watch the video of Corman's delivery, starting at 33:56, and Oswalt's original, below.)
Columbia briefly removed the video after Oswalt called Corman out, but has since put it back up again. Apparently, Corman has apologized, and Columbia issued this statement: "It has come to our attention that a portion of our Valedictorian’s remarks at this year’s School of General Studies Class Day was taken from a comedy routine by Patton Oswalt. As an institution of higher learning that places a core value on respect for the works of others, we were surprised and disappointed to have learned of this matter today. Columbia University and the School of General Studies do not condone or permit the use of someone else's work without proper citation."
On his blog, Oswalt acknowledges Corman's apology but wonders, "Did the salutatorian smash a watermelon?" And in reporting all this, Columbia University student-run blog "The Bwog" had this piece of advice for fellow students: "If you’re going to steal comedy bits, don’t steal from living comedians who use the Internet a lot. Steal from Milton Berle, he never tweets!" Corman's tortured delivery, followed by Oswalt killing it, below: