This weekend’s season premiere of Saturday Night Live rehashed plenty of its past successes (or “successes,” if you’re of the opinion that ”Bronx Beat” and One-Legged Farting Girl don’t really count), but did the show also rip off one of its few original sketches from Tim And Eric? That’s sort of how Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim felt after seeing the Kristen Wiig-starring “Ladies Who Lunch,” about two women trying to outdo each other with a succession of increasingly tiny hats—a premise somewhat similar to a Tim And Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! segment called “Tiny Hats.”
Both Heidecker and Wareheim awoke Sunday morning to numerous tweets alerting them to the possible theft, with Wareheim responding by directing followers to a “vid we made ages ago,” and Heidecker wondering aloud whether there would be a Betty White-style Facebook campaign for a public apology. By yesterday morning, #tinyhatswar had become a trending topic, dividing the Internet into battling factions of people who believed that comic injustice had transpired and those who believed that it was a lame premise, no matter the origin. Truly it’s become a tiny raging inferno of tiny ethical questions, with tiny ramifications for the entire tiny universe of sketch comedy. Here's the Tim And Eric sketch in question (which we can't seem to embed for some reason). And here's the SNL segment:
Earlier today, Vulture spoke with Heidecker, who said that while he noticed the similarities, he understands “that we've created something that a lot of people in comedy watch and like, and influences are totally fine. We draw influences from people all the time.” Indeed, so far no one has pointed out that tiny hats are certainly nothing new as a source of comedy—to use just one example:
UPDATE: Also not currently part of the discussion (until now!): The fact that SNL's "Hair Restoration" also bears an awfully close resemblance to "Pubic Hair Club For Men" from '90s HBO sketch show Hardcore TV. (Thanks to commenter "Alan.") But you know, "influences" and all that.