Patrick Milligan

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.

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Posted by LaMott Jackson  on  06/04  at  06:49 PM

Comic strip live?, what’s that?. Oh that’s right, I’m banned from there. Boo hoo. (that was done with blatant sarcasm by the way).

Posted by Josh Jakubiw  on  06/04  at  07:25 PM

I understand the part about it’s refreshing to hear comedians talk about their lives more than to go on stage and just be filthy. But doesn’t dave attell pretty much do that even he’s one of the best? I mean he talks about his life a little but he mainly just tells dick and shit jokes, he’s one of my favorite comedians. I just think some comedians can pull off the filthy not talk about my life that much than others.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  06/07  at  01:18 PM

I am absolutely speechless about the Patton thing…I watched his video and my jaw dropped. I’m sure plenty of people have told that bit to their friends at a party or whatever, but surly they preface the story by saying, “Yeah this comedian Patton Oswalt said this…yadda yadda yadda”. Blatantly stealing it is not only an insult to those club patrons in Iowa who thought they were paying for originality, but just a blow to the craft of comedy. Thanks for pointing this out, I would have never know.  I hope that guy takes a hard look at himself and chooses to make a career change.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  06/14  at  12:31 PM

I’m surprised that Cringehumor takes such a hard line against joke thieves when you employ Dante Nero who has a horrible reputation as a joke thief.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  06/14  at  06:54 PM

Hey AJ

That’s news to us and all feedback on Dante has been great over the years. If you want we can put you in contact with him and you can debate

Posted by Noam Dworman  on  06/15  at  11:11 AM

The only thing true about this post is that Manny Dworman was a great man. 

Business at the Cellar is as good as ever, and the quality of our shows is as high as ever, I think everybody in the industry knows this.  And if you don’t know, now you know. 

To say that we have to be “forced” to use new talent is just dumb.  Absurd actually.  We are always finding new people, and we do it with regularity.  Unfortunately, the new comics have to compete for stage time with most of the greatest comics of our generation - so it may not be as easy to get on at the Cellar as it might be somewhere else.  Are we seriously supposed to tell Gregg Giraldo to take his talents elsewhere so that we can put up a comic that Cringe would like to see?

Why would any serious comedy club have to be forced to use good talent?  And how exactly would the forcing take place?  But let me be very clear:  to all comics, if you would like to perform at the Cellar, and you think you are ready, I am interested in meeting you.  That’s always been my attitude.  We are running a strict meritocracy. 

Rumor mongering is an ugly and damaging thing.  You could have called me and gotten honest answers to all these issues and a whole lot more.  I think the honorable thing for you to do would be either to correct this post (I’m available to talk to you if you have questions), or not to come down to the club any more.  You should go see guys like guys like “Norton, Colin Quinn, Rich Vos, Patrice O’Neal, Robert Kelly, & many more” at a place you find more fitting.

Oh, and the Olive Tree would not make a good bi-level restaurant.  Duh.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  06/16  at  11:00 AM

Interesting response, Patrick.  A put up or shut up type of thing?  Well, Noam has responded to you.  Will you ‘debate’?

Posted by Patrick  on  06/16  at  11:27 AM

Yes AJ, we reached out to the Cellar before writing this with no luck, and I just sent an email to Noam with the address he provided to discuss it

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  06/16  at  11:38 AM

You know what, you’re right.  I’m going to do what you rarely see on the internet:  back down and say I was wrong.  Not being sarcastic here, just realizing what I did was kind of a dick move.

My apologies.

Posted by Patrick  on  06/16  at  11:41 AM

Still not sure what you’re apologizing over. Dante or the Cellar?

And if I had a dime for every dick move I made I would own my own club in Manhattan by now

It happens


Posted by Noam Dworman  on  06/16  at  11:46 AM

I have not received any email from you.  I also checked my spam folder.  Please resend. 

You reached out to me before you wrote this?  To whom did you speak?  What did they answer?

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  06/16  at  11:51 AM

Hey Noam

Just resent

Shoot me a blank email to:

.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

and I will reply


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