Amy Schumer and Joke Theft

amy-schumer

amy-schumer

Recently in the world of comedy we have been hearing a lot about what constitutes joke theft. The most recent culprit is none other than the most popular comedian in the world right now, Amy Schumer. A video came out comparing Schumer’s jokes to the jokes of comedians Wendy Lieberman, Patrice O’Neal, Kathleen Madigan, and Tammy Pescatelli. Pescatelli specifically called stealing from other female comedians. She claimed it is something that should not be done in the in a medium that is impossibly difficult for women to navigate through.

This brings up the question of what exactly defines a “stolen joke.” Plagarism is defined as the practice of taking someone else’s work or ideas and passing them off as one’s own. I watched the videos, and there is no point where Schumer uses the exact sentences that the aforementioned comics used. They have similar premises, but to relate to audiences, there is often premises that will be reused. And although the premises are reused, it is the comedian’s duty to craft the joke in a way that portrays their unique view. Amy Schumer is amongst the most unique of comedians, and the jokes that are being shown in the video are uniquely her. It is unfair to call her a joke theif just because of how successful she is. Of course when you get to the top, everyone wants a piece, and that can involve joke thief accusations.

The most similar of the jokes that I saw were between the late, great Patrice O’Neal and Schumer’s sexual activity names. Although Schumer had different names for her activities, they were the same ones O’Neal used in his set years ago. The actions and descriptions were exactly the same while the name of the sexual activities were different. Can this be defined as stealing a joke? It is impossible to truly say whether this was stolen or not. Sexual positions and sexual activates have been around for 100’s of years and are not unique at all to O’Neal. Sure the name is funny and the activity is even funnier, but I’m sure it was around before O’Neal. So then this raises the question, was O’Neal stealing the joke initially? Overall, I think we should look down upon stealing jokes that are unique to the comedian, not general premises and ideas that have been around forever. And even if Schumer’s joke was the same as O’Neals, sometimes jokes are inadvertently similar. There are so many comedians doing so many jokes that it is impossible to know if someone else is doing the same joke. In that regard, it should not be frowned upon or chastised but rather made aware and ultimately changed for the better. Let’s not destroy Amy for making a mistake; it is clear she would never steal a joke on purpose.

No Comments

Leave a Reply

  • *

Aaron Berg, Jocelyn Chia, Peggy O'Leary, Yamaneika Saunders

May
25

6:30 PM
Anthony DeVito, Anthony Kapfer, Francisco Aldorando, Geno Bisconte, KC Arora, Mike Yard

May
25

7:15 PM
Aaron Berg, D.C. Benny, Mike Vecchione, Mike Yard, Veronica Mosey

May
25

8:00 PM
Marvin Bell, Quentin Heggs, Steven Scott, Warren Holstein

May
25

8:00 PM
Marvin Bell, Quentin Heggs, Steven Scott, Warren Holstein

May
25

8:00 PM
Anthony DeVito, Anthony Kapfer, Francisco Aldorando, Geno Bisconte, KC Arora, Mike Yard

May
25

8:30 PM
Emma Willmann, Rachel Feinstein, Todd Barry

May
25

9:00 PM
Aaron Berg, Greer Barnes, Nathan Macintosh, Quentin Heggs, Rich Aronovitch

May
25

9:00 PM
Anthony DeVito, Anthony Kapfer, Francisco Aldorando, Geno Bisconte, KC Arora, Mike Yard

May
25

9:15 PM
Drew Fraser, Dustin Chafin, Greer Barnes, Mike Cannon

May
25

9:45 PM
Aaron Berg, D.C. Benny, Mike Vecchione, Mike Yard, Veronica Mosey

May
25

10:15 PM
Anthony DeVito, Anthony Kapfer, Francisco Aldorando, Geno Bisconte, KC Arora, Mike Yard

May
25

10:30 PM
Aaron Berg, Greer Barnes, Nathan Macintosh, Quentin Heggs, Rich Aronovitch

May
25

11:00 PM
Anthony DeVito, Anthony Kapfer, Francisco Aldorando, Geno Bisconte, KC Arora, Mike Yard

May
25

11:45 PM
Aaron Berg, Nathan Macintosh, Nore Davis

May
26

7:00 PM
Emma Willmann, Rachel Feinstein, Todd Barry

May
26

7:00 PM
Anthony DeVito, Anthony Kapfer, Francisco Aldorando, Geno Bisconte, KC Arora, Mike Yard

May
26

7:15 PM
Marvin Bell, Quentin Heggs, Steven Scott, Warren Holstein

May
26

8:00 PM
Marvin Bell, Quentin Heggs, Steven Scott, Warren Holstein

May
26

8:00 PM
Daniel Simonsen, Harrison Greenbaum, Jeffrey Joseph, Meghan Hanley

May
26

8:00 PM
Aaron Berg, D.C. Benny, Mike Vecchione, Mike Yard, Veronica Mosey

May
26

8:00 PM
Drew Fraser, Dustin Chafin, Greer Barnes, Mike Cannon

May
26

8:00 PM
Anthony DeVito, Anthony Kapfer, Francisco Aldorando, Geno Bisconte, KC Arora, Mike Yard

May
26

8:30 PM
Marvin Bell, Quentin Heggs, Steven Scott, Warren Holstein

May
26

8:30 PM
Aaron Berg, Greer Barnes, Nathan Macintosh, Quentin Heggs, Rich Aronovitch

May
26

9:00 PM
Emma Willmann, Rachel Feinstein, Todd Barry

May
26

9:00 PM
Anthony DeVito, Anthony Kapfer, Francisco Aldorando, Geno Bisconte, KC Arora, Mike Yard

May
26

9:15 PM
Drew Fraser, Dustin Chafin, Greer Barnes, Mike Cannon

May
26

9:45 PM
Aaron Berg, D.C. Benny, Mike Vecchione, Mike Yard, Veronica Mosey

May
26

10:00 PM
Anthony DeVito, Anthony Kapfer, Francisco Aldorando, Geno Bisconte, KC Arora, Mike Yard

May
26

10:30 PM
Marvin Bell, Quentin Heggs, Steven Scott, Warren Holstein

May
26

10:30 PM
Marvin Bell, Quentin Heggs, Steven Scott, Warren Holstein

May
26

10:30 PM
Marvin Bell, Quentin Heggs, Steven Scott, Warren Holstein

May
26

10:30 PM
Emma Willmann, Rachel Feinstein, Todd Barry

May
26

11:00 PM
Aaron Berg, Greer Barnes, Nathan Macintosh, Quentin Heggs, Rich Aronovitch

May
26

11:00 PM
Aaron Berg, Chuck Nice, Nathan Macintosh, Nore Davis

May
26

11:30 PM
Drew Fraser, Dustin Chafin, Greer Barnes, Mike Cannon

May
26

11:45 PM
Anthony DeVito, Anthony Kapfer, Francisco Aldorando, Geno Bisconte, KC Arora, Mike Yard

May
26

11:59 PM
Anthony DeVito, Anthony Kapfer, Francisco Aldorando, Geno Bisconte, KC Arora, Mike Yard

May
27

1:15 AM
Aaron Berg, D.C. Benny, Mike Vecchione, Mike Yard, Veronica Mosey

May
27

5:00 PM
Emma Willmann, Rachel Feinstein, Todd Barry

May
27

7:00 PM
Anthony DeVito, Anthony Kapfer, Francisco Aldorando, Geno Bisconte, KC Arora, Mike Yard

May
27

7:30 PM
Marvin Bell, Quentin Heggs, Steven Scott, Warren Holstein

May
27

8:00 PM
Marvin Bell, Quentin Heggs, Steven Scott, Warren Holstein

May
27

8:00 PM
Gary Vider, Myq Kaplan, Sheba Mason, Vincent James

May
27

8:00 PM
Aaron Berg, D.C. Benny, Mike Vecchione, Mike Yard, Veronica Mosey

May
27

8:00 PM
Marvin Bell, Quentin Heggs, Steven Scott, Warren Holstein

May
27

8:30 PM
Drew Fraser, Dustin Chafin, Greer Barnes, Mike Cannon

May
27

8:30 PM
Anthony DeVito, Anthony Kapfer, Francisco Aldorando, Geno Bisconte, KC Arora, Mike Yard

May
27

8:45 PM
Emma Willmann, Rachel Feinstein, Todd Barry

May
27

9:00 PM
Aaron Berg, Greer Barnes, Nathan Macintosh, Quentin Heggs, Rich Aronovitch

May
27

9:00 PM
Anthony DeVito, Anthony Kapfer, Francisco Aldorando, Geno Bisconte, KC Arora, Mike Yard

May
27

9:45 PM
Christian Finnegan, D.C. Benny, James Mattern, Mike Yard, Yamaneika Saunders

May
27

10:00 PM
Drew Fraser, Dustin Chafin, Greer Barnes, Mike Cannon

May
27

10:30 PM
Marvin Bell, Quentin Heggs, Steven Scott, Warren Holstein

May
27

10:30 PM
Marvin Bell, Quentin Heggs, Steven Scott, Warren Holstein

May
27

10:30 PM
Anthony DeVito, Anthony Kapfer, Francisco Aldorando, Geno Bisconte, KC Arora, Mike Yard

May
27

10:45 PM
Aaron Berg, Greer Barnes, Nathan Macintosh, Quentin Heggs, Rich Aronovitch

May
27

11:00 PM
Emma Willmann, Rachel Feinstein, Todd Barry

May
27

11:00 PM
Christian Finnegan, D.C. Benny, James Mattern, Mike Yard, Yamaneika Saunders

May
27

11:45 PM
Anthony DeVito, Anthony Kapfer, Francisco Aldorando, Geno Bisconte, KC Arora, Mike Yard

May
27

11:59 PM
Drew Fraser, Dustin Chafin, Greer Barnes, Mike Cannon

May
28

12:30 AM
Anthony DeVito, Anthony Kapfer, Francisco Aldorando, Geno Bisconte, KC Arora, Mike Yard

May
28

1:15 AM
Anthony DeVito, Anthony Kapfer, Francisco Aldorando, Geno Bisconte, KC Arora, Mike Yard

May
28

7:30 PM
Marvin Bell, Quentin Heggs, Steven Scott, Warren Holstein

May
28

8:00 PM
Christian Finnegan, D.C. Benny, James Mattern, Mike Yard, Yamaneika Saunders

May
28

8:00 PM
Drew Fraser, Dustin Chafin, Greer Barnes, Mike Cannon

May
28

8:00 PM
Marvin Bell, Quentin Heggs, Steven Scott, Warren Holstein

May
28

8:30 PM
Emma Willmann, Rachel Feinstein, Todd Barry

May
28

9:00 PM
Aaron Berg, Greer Barnes, Nathan Macintosh, Quentin Heggs, Rich Aronovitch

May
28

9:00 PM
Anthony DeVito, Anthony Kapfer, Francisco Aldorando, Geno Bisconte, KC Arora, Mike Yard

May
28

9:00 PM
Drew Fraser, Dustin Chafin, Greer Barnes, Mike Cannon

May
28

10:00 PM
Christian Finnegan, D.C. Benny, James Mattern, Mike Yard, Yamaneika Saunders

May
28

10:15 PM
Anthony DeVito, Anthony Kapfer, Francisco Aldorando, Geno Bisconte, KC Arora, Mike Yard

May
28

10:30 PM
Aaron Berg, Greer Barnes, Nathan Macintosh, Quentin Heggs, Rich Aronovitch

May
28

11:00 PM
Anthony DeVito, Anthony Kapfer, Francisco Aldorando, Geno Bisconte, KC Arora, Mike Yard

May
28

11:45 PM
Marvin Bell, Quentin Heggs, Steven Scott, Warren Holstein

May
29

8:00 PM
Christian Finnegan, D.C. Benny, James Mattern, Mike Yard, Yamaneika Saunders

May
29

8:00 PM
Marvin Bell, Quentin Heggs, Steven Scott, Warren Holstein

May
29

8:30 PM
Aaron Berg, Greer Barnes, Nathan Macintosh, Quentin Heggs, Rich Aronovitch

May
29

9:00 PM
Aaron Berg, Greer Barnes, Nathan Macintosh, Quentin Heggs, Rich Aronovitch

May
29

11:00 PM
Christian Finnegan, D.C. Benny, James Mattern, Mike Yard, Yamaneika Saunders

May
30

8:00 PM
Marvin Bell, Quentin Heggs, Steven Scott, Warren Holstein

May
30

8:00 PM
Marvin Bell, Quentin Heggs, Steven Scott, Warren Holstein

May
30

8:30 PM
Aaron Berg, Greer Barnes, Nathan Macintosh, Quentin Heggs, Rich Aronovitch

May
30

9:00 PM
Aaron Berg, Greer Barnes, Nathan Macintosh, Quentin Heggs, Rich Aronovitch

May
30

11:00 PM
Marvin Bell, Quentin Heggs, Steven Scott, Warren Holstein

May
31

8:00 PM
Marvin Bell, Quentin Heggs, Steven Scott, Warren Holstein

May
31

8:30 PM
Christian Finnegan, D.C. Benny, James Mattern, Mike Yard, Yamaneika Saunders

May
31

10:15 PM
Marvin Bell, Quentin Heggs, Steven Scott, Warren Holstein

Jun
1

8:30 PM
Marvin Bell, Quentin Heggs, Steven Scott, Warren Holstein

Jun
2

8:30 PM
Marvin Bell, Quentin Heggs, Steven Scott, Warren Holstein

Jun
2

10:30 PM
Marvin Bell, Quentin Heggs, Steven Scott, Warren Holstein

Jun
3

8:30 PM
Marvin Bell, Quentin Heggs, Steven Scott, Warren Holstein

Jun
3

10:30 PM
Marvin Bell, Quentin Heggs, Steven Scott, Warren Holstein

Jun
4

8:30 PM
Marvin Bell, Quentin Heggs, Steven Scott, Warren Holstein

Jun
5

8:30 PM
Marvin Bell, Quentin Heggs, Steven Scott, Warren Holstein

Jun
6

8:30 PM
Marvin Bell, Quentin Heggs, Steven Scott, Warren Holstein

Jun
7

8:30 PM
Marvin Bell, Quentin Heggs, Steven Scott, Warren Holstein

Jun
8

8:30 PM
Marvin Bell, Quentin Heggs, Steven Scott, Warren Holstein

Jun
9

8:30 PM
Marvin Bell, Quentin Heggs, Steven Scott, Warren Holstein

Jun
9

10:30 PM
Marvin Bell, Quentin Heggs, Steven Scott, Warren Holstein

Jun
10

8:30 PM
Marvin Bell, Quentin Heggs, Steven Scott, Warren Holstein

Jun
10

10:30 PM
Akaash Singh, Dean Obeidallah, Geno Bisconte, Sam Morril

Dec
28

7:00 PM
Dante Nero, Jon Laster, Modi, Ryan Reiss, Yamaneika Saunders

Dec
31

8:30 PM