Columbia Apologizes to Patton Oswalt Over Stolen Joke

Comedian plagiarized by valedictorian in speech

Columbia University has apologized to Patton Oswalt after its valedictorian, Brian Corman, stole one of the comedian’s jokes in his valedictory speech.

Gawker has the damning video.

According to Oswalt, Corman apologized, too:

Brian Corman apologized to me. Flat-out admitted his thievery, his stupidity. Owned it all. Good man. Still makes me wonder what he might have done to become valedictorian — I mean, 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? Oh well.

I’ve taken the video down from my site, since it’s already all over the f—ing internet. Mr. Corman alluded to Columbia students always taking the “hard road” in his speech. Welcome to the hard road, Bri-Bri.

Columbia University added a disclaimer to a video of the speech, misspelling Oswalt’s name.

Here’s the full text of the apology from the dean:

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. The student speaker has appropriately issued an apology to his classmates and to Mr. Oswalt for failing to provide such attribution.

Peter J. Awn

Columbia University School of General Studies

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