Those Amy Schumer Joke-Stealing Accusations Are a Reach and Here’s Why

Amy Schumer is many things: a poster girl for feminism, a comedian capable of shutting down trolls with a single tweet, and the rare kind of woman who’s turned on by Star Wars. But some recent accusations against her might have you wondering: is she a joke stealer as well?

According to Amy, absolutely not. 

Yesterday a Vimeo user with the username “joe schmo” uploaded a video accusing Amy Schumer of being a joke thief. The six-minute clip alleges that Schumer ripped off material from Kathleen Madigan, Wendy Liebman, Tammy Pescatelli, Patrice O’Neal, and the promo photo for It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia, and provides side-by-side evidence to prove it.

But after watching the video, the only thing Amy Schumer was convinced of was that she was completely blameless.

In the wake of her accusations, Amy Schumer booked an impromptu appearance on “The Jim Norton Show” in order to clear her name.

“I’m literally gonna take a polygraph text and put it on my show this season. And I promise whatever the results are, I won’t let them cut, I will show you that I had never, never seen Patrice do that bit, I had definitely never seem Tammi Pescatelli do that. Like, I didn’t happen to catch her 2006 Comedy Central special and like sit on that bit until I got a movie.” 

In response to the similarities between a particular joke where both she and Wendy Liebman talked about how they like it when a guy pays on the first date, for sex, Amy told a story about how before she went to do one of her HBO Specials, she was told by one of the show’s producers, “I’ve heard jokes like that before on the Comic Strip’s answering machine, I think that’s a little hack.  And I was like, ‘Yeah, but I wrote it and it gets a laugh.’”

So if she’s guilty of stealing that joke, so is Wendy Liebman.  

This debate actually didn’t start with the joe schmo video. It started with Wendy Liebman, Tammy Pescatelli and Kathleen Madigan’s tweets. Over the weekend, all three women vented about their frustration over seeing material that was similar to what they wrote come out of Amy Schumer’s mouth in a series of Tweets that have mostly been deleted.

Things got ugly and Tammy Pescatelli ended up comparing Amy Schumer to Bill Cosby, saying, “at least Cosby knocked his victims out b4 he raped them.” She’s now deleted that tweet.

But Wendy has since clarified that she wasn’t implying Amy had stolen the material.

Watch the video — which ironically is also guilty of stealing since its soundtrack is ripped from Led Zeppelin — and decide for yourself whether the similarities are a case of parallel thinking or out-and-out theft.

But also keep in mind that for comedians, this kind of thing happens all the time. Whether you’re writing jokes about dieting, relationships, or politics, there are plenty of cases where your thought patterns will mirror someone else’s. I mean, come on — who hasn’t thought to themselves, “I wish someone would keep me from eating and exercise me without me putting forth any effort.”


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