Comics: SNL Ripped Us Off

2 NYC comedians say 2 different sketches were a little too close to their own work
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 17, 2019 10:06 AM CDT

(Newser) – Live from New York, it's ... apparently a repeat, of sorts. Two New York City comedians contend that a couple of sketches the show has aired are plagiarized from sketches they posted to their YouTube channel years ago. Nick Ruggia and Ryan Hoffman have lawyered up and sent NBC a letter outlining similarities between their "Not Trying to F*** This Pumpkin" and "Pet Blinders" sketches and sketches called "The Pumpkin Patch" and "Pound Puppy," they tell Variety. When "The Pumpkin Patch" aired last October, Hoffman says that "we felt like nothing good would come from addressing it, and also we were afraid of potential repercussions, and we were kind of afraid of being dismissed by our peers. So we decided to let it go." But then "Pound Puppy" aired last month, and the pair say twice in one season became too much to chalk up to coincidence.

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NBC has responded that the sketches were written by different writers and that it finds no similarities that would violate copyright laws. Malarkey, says Ruggia and Hoffman's lawyer: "This is not 'parallel construction:' Two separate instances of wholesale lifting of concept, setting, characters, plot, and outcome in the same season do not happen by coincidence,” he wrote. "Someone(s) at SNL is plagiarizing material." You can compare both sets of videos for yourself in the gallery. (Read more Saturday Night Live stories.)

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