This might be the most damning Amy Schumer joke theft accusation yet
Just a few days after Amy Schumer took to Jim Norton’s Sirius XM show to address and deny every single accusation of joke stealing that had been leveled against her thus far, a new one has come out.
A video posted to vid.me by user JoshSmith contains persuasive evidence that Schumer’s “Magic Man” sketch contained two jokes ripped from Joseph Tran’s underrated web series “Reasons Not To Date a Magician,” which aired in May and June of 2013. In the first, the titular magician (Tran) makes a condom into a balloon animal. In the second, he pulls a series of brightly colored scarves from his date’s vagina. Both of these gags also appear in an “Inside Amy Schumer” sketch that aired on Comedy Central in April of 2014. This accusation bears a striking similarity to the Kathleen Madigan one in that not one, but two jokes from the same person appear to have been lifted and packaged together.
Tran actually commented on the similarities in a YouTube video (embedded below) in May of 2014 after the “Inside Amy Schumer” episode aired. He noted the “Schumer” sketch was the brainchild of staff writer Kyle Dunnigan, who also played the magician, and pointed the finger more at him than at her. (Although, as the show’s creator and executive producer, Schumer’s ultimately liable for any fuck-ups her staff may commit.) Tran, via YouTube:
“The Schumer bit skews a little too closely to ours to be purely coincidental. That and we wrote our version, registered it with the WGA, and produced our episodes over a year ago. So Kyle, did you maybe borrow some ideas from us?”
When Schumer went on Norton’s show last week, she emphasized the great lengths she and her team go to in order to make sure nothing they use is even remotely similar to anything that’s been done before. The presence of these and other previously done (and readily available) jokes in her material makes me think they aren’t trying very hard. Could it be that Dunnigan is the one doing the lifting? It’s hard to know without seeing the credits on the individual sketches in question.
It’s still possible that Schumer and her team thought up all these jokes independently of the people who did them first and this is just a series of unfortunate coincidences borne of freakishly bad luck. There are only so many ideas in the world. But with each new item that comes out, it seems more and more likely that something shady is going on with Schumer or someone on her staff.