Things haven’t been going great for Patton Oswalt. I mean he lost his chance to do Broadway, only to get a TV pilot and have that fall apart. To make matters worse, Patton had some hack in Iowa steal his (along with Louis C.K. and Dave Attell’s) material. After Patton was shown the video of “comedian” Nick Madson pretty much verbatim ripping off his “KFC Bowls” routine, Oswalt fired back on his blog showing surprising restraint.
“That Nick Madson is a thief is undeniable. Maybe, I thought, he’s a truly struggling actor, and did this show because he needed money, and feels bad about it. Or maybe he’s one of those deluded souls, like columnist and commentator Mike Barnicle (who lifted the majority of an August 2, 1998 Boston Globe column unchanged from George Carlin’s book Brain Droppings) who truly think that stand-up comedians get their jokes from books, and that any comedy bit is somehow public domain.
But then I find out that one of the other comedians on the show confronted Madson about the bits. And he said, in effect, “I write for Patton, and Louie, and Dave. I wrote those bits”.
So fuck him.
I mean, I can see stealing from me, who’s still relatively obscure. But who would be stupid enough to steal from Louis CK? You may as well take a classic bit from, say, Bill Cosby. Maybe something off of the album Himself, about training your son to be a football player. And then just yell it at the top of your lungs, with no nuance, finesse or humanity.”
Compare for yourself:
What makes matters worse is that Madson tried to justify his plagiarism saying “it was for a charity function” (which by the way turned out to be untrue on MANY MANY MANY levels).
I would like to sincerely appologize [sic] to you for everything that has transpired in the last couple days. It is not now, nor was it ever my intent to make a career for myself, or to profit by telling other comics jokes. I understand the work that goes into making something your own, and the pride that one takes in that.
I want to let you know that I was not trying to build a career for myself by telling jokes that you and others had written. I was trying to put together a little show for my good friend, to possibly try and raise some money for his theatre that he is still in the process of getting off the ground. Without a lot of time to prepare for said show, I decided I would pull some of my favorite bits together from comedians I admire, to create a funny performance that might raise some money for his theatre. I did not want to be taped, and I did not want to become a youtube [sic] star, and was not looking for my 5 minutes of fame (however negative). I should have informed the Hilltop Theatre owners that I was going to do a performance made up of jokes and bits from my favorite performers.
Please know that I do not travel around the country telling your jokes. This was a performance that I did as a fundraiser for a crowd of about 12 of our friends. I know this appology [sic] does not take anything back, and does not by any means make anything right. I do not know what I can say, or exactly how to appologize [sic], as I have no personal manager or any one to consult with about my first public scandel [sic]. I hope you can trust I will not go around telling your jokes, and I am sincerely sorry that all of this had to happen. I wish I could take it back and do things differently, but I cannot.
My Deepest Appologies [sic]
I guess Madson didn’t think Oswalt would actually do any follow up (again, no one said this guy was smart). The owner of the theater responded to Patton…
“None of that is true. Sadly.
This was an event that was talked about months ago… planned weeks ago… and was not a fundraiser.”
pretty much confirming that Madson was full of crap.
I am still amazed how well Patton is handling the situation, considering he would be justified pulling a Joe Rogan and flying out to confront Madson in front of his audience. Then again that would imply Madson has an audience.