Earlier this week, the internet began pointing fingers at Amy Schumer and accused the hottest female comic on the planet of stealing jokes from the late Patrice O’Neal. Schumer ended her HBO special with jokes about funny and disgusting sex acts and the bit was slightly similar to one of O’Neal’s routine.
It was all a bunch of bullshit because anyone who knows comedy knows that 1) Schumer and O’Neal were good friends and 2) if you’re going to “steal” material it’s sure as hell not going to happen at this point in her career and in front of most of the world. Schumer isn’t working some small club in Atlanta, she’s doing an fucking HBO special.
It didn’t take long before comics came to Schumer’s defense, because if they didn’t the internet trolls would never STFU about it and being a joke thief is something comics take really fucking seriously. They don’t take much seriously but this is one thing they’re dead serious about.
Colin Quinn was the first to defend Schumer in a tweet commenting “About @amyschumer thing, a premise is not a joke. And a premise thats part of popular culture is not anybody’s. Patrice would agree.”
Next, Jim Norton gave his two cents and explained why everyone needs to just relax. The comics can police themselves and they have been for decades. Here’s Jim’s response from his Facebook page.
There have been a rash of tweets sent out today by people questioning whether Amy Schumer stole a bit from Patrice Oneal. The bit in question revolves around describing sex terms like ‘The Angry Pirate’, ‘Dirty Sanchez’, etc. Amy did a couple in her special (The Abe Lincoln, The Houdini) that were similar to ones Patrice had done in his act.
So naturally, people just assume that she stole them from him. I think these fans are acting in what they feel is Patrice’s defense because they love him, and I can appreciate them feeling protective about anything involving him. But they don’t love Patrice more than I do, and I am telling you, without reservation, that she did not steal those jokes from him.
Even comedic geniuses like Patrice would do silly things sometimes onstage. Those terms have been in the Urban Dictionary for years, Patrice did not come up with them (I’m not saying he didn’t change any of them to make them original, but they have been around for as long as I can remember). To think that Amy would watch Patrice do something onstage and then decide to close with it on her HBO special is simply ludicrous.
People doing similar bits has been happening in comedy for as long as people have been telling jokes. The comedians know who the joke thieves are. We understand the difference between two people doing a similar bit and one person seeing the bit and stealing it.
Patrice had a lot of respect for Amy. The first time I ever heard her name was when he was talking about how funny she was. There are very few things more repulsive to a comic than joke thief. Which is why accusations of joke stealing should be made with caution, because it’s such an ugly thing to accuse a comedian of.
You’re certainly allowed to not like Amy Schumer, but to say that she stole this bit from Patrice O’Neal is simply ignorant.
So stand down internet justice brigade. Schumer is one of the good, talented ones.
[via Some eCards]