Is Amy Schumer a serial joke thief? Video compilation compares clips, side by side


#1

[Read the post]


#2

Good artists borrow, great artists steal. Seriously, is there any successful comedian you couldn’t say this about?


#3

The series is written by Amy Schumer and 16 others:


Clearly, some of the material has been “borrowed” to feed the machine.


#4

So, uh… she’s an aggregator?
I hope she does well, I think she’s funny and cute.


#5

This is so stupid just watched the first 2 examples (race and sex), common themes and a lot of jokes mean similar jokes are going to happen.


#6

I was in an orbit adjacent to a group of stand up comedians in the early 90’s. While this is a really big deal in those circles, even they admit that just because you find something funny doesn’t mean you own it. You have to lift a joke, pretty much verbatim, and - more importantly - it needs to be a joke that is unique to the style of the comedian you’re lifting it from and not native to your style of funny.

fd: I didn’t watch all of the video, but the bits I skipped around on didn’t scream theft.

@MaiqTheLiar I’ll second that “cute” - I’m not partial to blondes myself, but she makes herself cute, just shows how much of real beauty is attitude.

Unrelated: Anyone heard the one about the kid who walks into a whorehouse with a dead frog tied to a piece of string?


#7

It’s a little ironic that Reddit is getting upset that someone re-tells someone else’s joke.

99% of everything on the site is a repost, and rereretelling tired community in-jokes in the comments is completely normal. Original content is more valuable than gold there.


#8

Information wants to be free.


#9

I find it pretty disappointing that Boing-Boing is giving this video more attention. If you want to get a comedian’s perspective on it, just listen to the opening of Marc Maron’s WTF Podcast, episode #675 (the Michael Moore episode). He speaks, quite vociferously, on what a crock of crap this whole “Schumer Joke Thief” business is.

Give it a listen. It really puts all the whining into perspective, and should really quiet down the the false outrage being leveled at Amy. Here’s a link: http://www.wtfpod.com/podcast/episodes/episode_675_-_michael_moore


#10

[quote=“ryogeo, post:9, topic:72876”]I find it pretty disappointing that Boing-Boing is giving this video more attention
[/quote]

Another disappointed user who joined Boing Boing to let us know how disappointed he is. Add him to the list!


#11

I see comedy is still struggling to let go of the romantic notion that humor only springs from individual geniuses and get on with embracing remix culture.

cues up George Thorogood


#12

Most of these examples are what you call “street jokes” or are just common observations.

The only one I see as troublesome comes from her TV show, the one that is very similar to a Mad TV sketch, but since she employs over a dozen full time writers I think it’s going to be hard to pin that on her specifically. There really is no reasonable method for vetting stuff like this. Unless someone in the room happened to see a specific set or a specific sketch and can remember it then there is no way to prevent prolific artist and programs from treading on the toes of previous creatives.


#13

I dunno. See when you have a specific line of humor, I think you are going to have jokes that overlap. I am not a professional comedian, but I have tried writing jokes before and some of them I end up hearing elsewhere, or someone tells me they have heard a bit like that.

Like the last bit seems a huge rip off, but let’s just think a moment.

IDEA: Having sex with someone of a certain profession and make it funny.

What profession? Lets try a corny magician.

Ok - what jokes would one think of? The balloon animal condom and scarves from the vagina are just very obvious jokes. Anyone told to make up a joke about having sex with a magician would probably come up with those ideas.

Then there is the issue that one absorbs things around you and it can come out later. Even if she never heard someone else do a bit, someone else could have said the bit at a party - not even realizing they were doing it - a passing funny comment - and then it comes back around. Things are even more complicated when you introduce other writers to a show. Then you have to multiply this affect for each extra person.

Then there is also the fact that some of the jokes are similar, but remixed. What, I can never make a joke about airline food because someone else did?

Conversely I have seen more legit accusation against Carlos Mencia because he has been seen at comedy clubs for up coming actors and then their material makes it into his show.

I think some borrowing is going to happen - either on purpose or parallel thinking. As long as you keep the bulk of your material fresh I think it’s fine. She is very prolific right now and I find that the examples presented don’t personally make me want to condemn her. YMMV.


#14
  • Stuff leaks in
  • Amy has writers
  • Many observations have already been made and the internet remembers

Louis CK, a notorious hater and destroyer of joke thieves, has a bit about farts being a funny noise that comes out of your ass, Stewart Lee said almost the exact same words 8 years before Louis on an interview show in the UK. Louis isn’t currently destroying himself over it because FARTS.


#15

man, I’ve read BB pretty solid for 8 years or more. I don’t comment. I share his opinion.
take your linear thinking and off the cuff comments and sit in the corner.


#16

Still not sure about this - think it shows hacky work rather than joke stealing. Gotta say that it was a bit disappointing to see her close her special with old gags that can be found with a quite visit to Urban Dictionary.


#17

I dunno, her apologies and explanations seem legit, directly delivered, and heartfelt. And, like music, sometimes there are real, natural coincidences. That’s good enough for me.

Compare with: Carlos Mencia, et al http://entertainment.time.com/2013/06/20/patton-oswalt-on-the-unsavory-business-of-joke-theft/


#18

Jokes occupy a weird space in our creative world, they get overheard and passed on and it’s hard to attribute them to a particular originator sometimes. Someone could hear a dirty joke at a comedy club, from a professional comedian, then tell his friends later, they tell a co-worker, one of those co-workers sends the joke to Playboy or Hustler, and gets paid $50 for it. Some of the bits in this Amy Schumer video might be outright theft, some might be something just kind of floating around in popular culture. The weird sex acts bit she apparently stole from Patrice O’Neal, for example, this kind of thing has been floating around since the early 90’s.


#19

I’m not remotely a comedian, but a friend and I write jokes for fun. One of mine is about how I drive a Nissan Leaf, which is my way of saying I’ve had enough pussy. I don’t need anymore. It goes on from there.

About six months after coming up with that joke, I’m at an open mic night at a comedy club and some guy does almost the exact same bit. If it can happen with a topic that specific, to someone whose not a professional (or even amateur) comedian, I’m sure it happens all the time in professional comedy.

In science, for God’s sake, two different people came up with calculus at the same time. If it can happen with calculus, it can happen with dick jokes.


#20

This is a bunch of Opie and Anthony fans who really hate women more than they love the sanctity of comedy. Or as Marc Maron puts it “[an] army of unfuckable hate nerds.”