A pre-taped sketch from last weekend’s episode of Saturday Night Live continues to be mired in controversy due to its similarities to a pre-existing short film.
In SNL’s “Birthday Clown,” Louis C.K. portrays a man who hires a children’s clown to come and perform for him, and him alone, on his birthday. After the sketch aired, many criticized the pre-taped sketch for its striking similarities to Tig Notaro’s 2015 short film “Clown Service,” which, per IMDB, is about a heartbroken woman who “enlists the services of a traveling party clown.” The clown, much like in the SNL sketch, performs for Tig, and Tig alone.
Notaro released a statement to Entertainment Weekly regarding the potential plagiarism saying she found the sketch “extremely disappointing,” while adding that a writer/director who worked on Louis C.K.’s clown sketch was “fully aware of ‘Clown Service.”
“First off, I have recently learned that a writer/director who was fully aware of ‘Clown Service’ when I was making it, actually worked on Louis C.K.’s clown sketch that is in question,” Notaro said in her statement. “Secondly, Louis C.K. and I have not communicated in any way for nearly a year and a half.”
While the two comedians haven’t communicated in a year and a half, EW points out that C.K. previously posted Notaro’s 2012 standup set, Live, on his website and is listed as an executive producer for her Amazon Prime series One Mississippi. Notaro uploaded “Clown Service” to Vimeo three days ago and it’s already received over 56,000 views.
“I hesitated to even address any of this, but I think it is only right to defend my work and ideas and moving forward, I plan to continue screening ‘Clown Service’ with the joy and pride I always have.“
Decider reached out to NBC for comment, and a spokesperson politely told us “No comment.” Developing!
Personally I've never found this guy entertaining at all. But posted since he seems to have fans here.