June 04, 2010
Random Garbage For 6-4-10
The internet has been buzzing lately over 2 incidents involving people blatantly stealing material from comedian Patton Oswalt. First it was a stage actor/wanna be standup comedian named Nick Madson that did Oswalt’s bits verbatim. You can read all about it and even see videos of the thievery by clicking here.
Cutest victim ever? A few days ago, a Columbia student by the name of Brian Corman, was named the university’s valedictorian, and went on to use some of Patton’s material during his speech at the graduation ceremony. More info and video of the incident can be found here. I personally don’t take offense to his hackery, as Corman is not a standup comedian, nor was he putting himself off as one or getting paid during that incident.
While it is terrible to see somebody plagiarized like Patton was, it seems that he has become an unfortunate victim of his own fame. The meat of his well-known material is poking fun at society and pop culture. Whether it is referencing KFC Bowls, Alvin & The Chipmunks Records, old actors, etc. it certainly is easy for other performers to lift his bits. And that’s not me shitting on his act at all, just my thoughts on to why it is happening so frequently.
Patton recently addressed his concerns by stating “And I was also under the delusion that I’d developed enough of a voice – enough of a unique, personal voice – that my stuff would be hard to steal.” Check out more from Patton on his blog.
This website established itself by calling out hacks and other bullshit in the comedy world, and we would NEVER condone the behavior illustrated by the 2 gentlemen above. However over the years, I have grown to love performers that do such specific material about themselves and their lives, rather than guys who go up on stage and rattle off rape and pedophile jokes, like this comedian often does. There’s no challenge to that, it’s more like a “Watch what awful shit I can say next!” competition. I mean, fuck, we celebrate guys like Jim Norton, Patrice O’Neal, Mike DeStefano, Louis CK, & Rick Shapiro that have material that is so personal and specific to them, that it is almost impossible for anyone to steal it and get away with it…I guess what we are trying to say is that in order for Oswalt to prevent future thievery, perhaps he should dig deeper into his psyche, and really talk about some personal fucked up shit that no one else can pull off. I know he is capable and brilliant enough to do just that.
And it also appears that Cringe Humor is evolving and showing preference to performers that are truly original and themselves both on & off stage. It used to be that we would celebrate guys that would say fucked up shit on stage and make the audience uncomfortable, but that has become so over saturated and played out, it is becoming tiresome to watch these guys put themselves off as “cringe”. I am thinking of changing the slogan “Comedy That Questions Your Morality” to “Real Comedy, No Gimmicks, Brutal Honesty.” Something along those lines. Chime in on comments if you have a better idea. I’m easy like that.
Now I will contradict everything I wrote above and trash Dane Cook for his awful appearance on the American Idol finale. Yes, I know trashing Dane Cook is also played out and tiresome, but I wanted to share the following video with you all to remind you how awful he has become as a performer:
Thankfully that American Idol reject put Dane out of his misery and the bit ended prematurely, before more crashing & burning.
Closing soon? Finally, it seems that the world famous Comedy Cellar is stuck in a downward spiral. Since the great Manny Dworman died, the quality of comedians getting on stage there has waned. Reports indicate that the head booker, Estee Adoram has no interest in even booking new talent, as she apparently doesn’t even watch the shows and uses the same rotation of comedians that I was first introduced to 8 years ago. Yes, there are some new names popping up stage here & there, but that is the industry forcing them on due to their success elsewhere.
We also hear that if given the choice, they would rather turn the Olive Tree Cafe into a 2 story restaurant and completely wipe out the Comedy Cellar. We truly hope that isn’t the case, because if it weren’t for Cringe Humor going there and seeing guys like Norton, Colin Quinn, Rich Vos, Patrice O’Neal, Robert Kelly, & many more, this site wouldn’t exist today.
Let’s hope shit gets sorted out, and Manny’s legacy is carried on in grand fashion. I would hate to see the Cellar suffer the same fate as the once mighty Comic Strip Live! has.