July 7, 2007

No Joking Matter

Stand-up comics are starting to fight back against joke plagiarism. But many are unsure where to draw the line between outright theft and similar jokes that evolve from parallel thinking.

Adam Conner-Simons

Plagiarism in the public sphere is nothing new. Luminaries from Stephen Ambrose to Martin Luther King, Jr., have been accused of stealing other people's creative ideas. Stand-up comedians, though, have not generally been held to the same ethical standards as other public figures. A notoriously derivative genre, comedy has bred a culture of thievery as far back as 19th-century vaudeville. In the 1950s, one-line legend Milton Berle poked fun at his own thievery, once saying that a comedian made him laugh so hard, "I nearly dropped my pencil."

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- Comedy
- posted on Jul 12, 07
Linda Sue

Lisa Lampanelli shouldn't have said that....everyone accuses HER of stealing old hack lines from the 50's but she is wonderful in delivery. I personally love her!

She's so physically unactractive...with the cigar..down right repulsive! LOVE HER! I'm also sure she's in the closet but she is wrong about the theivery. People shouldn't have to write more jokes when they're stolen. People like Mencia shouldn't steal. Shouldn't he be able to afford a writer by now?

Joe Rogan was RIGHT! Everyone else who disagrees are punks.

- Comedy
- posted on Jul 17, 07

yeah, as much as i used to like mencia, he's def a fake. first of all, his show's the exact same thing as chapelle's, even the jokes are the same...on top of that, he's whole theme about mexican stereotypes means nothing to me because he's from honduras and was raise in the US! Joe Rogan's right, if writers can't steal Shakespeare, comedians steal acts

- Comedy
- posted on Oct 01, 07
Vivian Martinez

To Linda Sue: you are obviously young. Lisa Lampanelli rips off ALL the old FRIARS Jokes. She's DEFINITELY a liar...she's not even Italian AND her act about fucking black guys? NOT....probably into black chicks....totally created herself ....glad she's a woman and doing it...LISA LAMPANELLI come OUT of the's okay to be gay! WE LOVE U!

- Comedy
- posted on Apr 28, 08

Why is it that today's culture insists on making demagogues out of unoriginal, second-rate comedians (Leary, Cook, Mencia), while the real innovators (Louis C.K., Bill Hicks, Zach Galifianakis) are never fully appreciated for their brilliance? It makes me wonder where popular culture is taking us when banality seems to take precedent over originality and creativity. And it's not just comedy. The music and film industries are inundated with these parasitic monuments to mediocrity.

The only difference, is when plagiarism arises in any other industry, there's usually a lawsuit within the week. There are intellectual property laws for a reason. It takes a lot of talent and effort to come up with these bits, and someone profiting off of another's material is disgraceful. For the amount of money people like Dane Cook and Mencia, (or should I say Ned Holeness, that's his real name), make there's absolutely no excuse for not coming up with original material. The fact that there's even a question about originality with these people should warrant the loss of all sponsors and banishment from public performance. But, yet again the all-mighty dollar reigns supreme over integrity and justice.

Anyone who values stand-up comedy as a true and original art form should be just as outraged as Rogan.

- Comedy
- posted on Aug 20, 10
A NY Comic

You know what's funny? Quoting Dan Nainan in this article, since he's a major league joke thief himself! What's even worse... he steals jokes told in MOVIES, and tells them to foreign audiences. What an ass!

- Comedy
- posted on Aug 30, 13
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Article by Adam Conner-Simons

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