Both Radar and BestWeekEver.tv have posts up today criticizing Saturday Night Live for making a tired topical joke about Mel Gibson's anti-semitism/new movie that is very similar to a tired topical joke about Mel Gibson's anti-semitism/new movie that Eat The Press posted on Friday. You can click here for Eat The Press' low-tech version. And here's SNL's higher-tech version:
Ok. So two different sources made the same easy joke. It's not that big of a deal, right? Except that this is the third time that SNL has made a digital short that is remarkably similar to an existing web video or piece. The first was "Peyote," a short that closely resembled "Suicide Jumper," a video by the popular street comedy group Improv Everywhere. (You can check out "Peyote" here and compare it to "Suicide Jumper" here) The second was "Cubicle Fight," an SNL digital short that followed in the footsteps of the popular viral video "Cubicle War." Here's Cubicle War:
And here's the brilliantly titled SNL version, Cubicle Fight.
Now, people have bad ideas all the time, especially in comedy, so it's not that surprising that two comedy writers would have the same bad idea for a video. But it is surprising that Saturday Night Live, with its army of writers, researchers, and producers would allow a video that is strikingly similar to another video that is widely known and available on the Internet to make it to air. I mean, come on. Why would you air something called "Cubicle Fight" when a video called "Cubicle War" is in wide circulation? At best, it's lazy. At worst, it's opening your show up to accusations of stealing. And stealing from the Internet is not just wrong, it's kind of sad, especially for a comedy institution like SNL. What do all of you think?