‘SNL’ Plagiarism Accusations: Tig Notaro Opens Up About Similarities Between Her Clown Film and Louis C.K.’s ‘SNL’ Sketch

Apr 12, 2017  •  Post A Comment

After NBC’s “Saturday Night Live” came under fire over a sketch that aired Saturday in which guest host Louis C.K. orders a clown to cheer him up, Tig Notaro, the comedian whose own earlier clown film is at the center of the controversy, addressed the issue in a statement.

Notaro said in a statement provided to Entertainment Weekly: “It has been impossible for me to ignore the cacophony of voices reaching out personally and publicly about the potential plagiarizing of my film ‘Clown Service’ (a film that I screened at Largo in Los Angeles for over a year and it premiered at Vulture’s Comedy Festival in NYC as well as numerous film festivals around the country and I am currently screening on my national tour).

“While I don’t know how all this actually happened, I did find it extremely disappointing.”

The EW report cites similarities  between Notaro’s “Clown Service” and the “SNL” sketch, “Birthday Clown.”

“Both ‘Birthday Clown’ and ‘Clown Service’ focus on depressed characters (played by C.K. and Notaro, respectively) ordering a clown to their house to cheer them up,” EW reports. “Although the results are slightly different (Notaro’s has a happy ending, while C.K.’s ends with a very dark joke), they contain strong similarities. C.K. previously posted Notaro’s acclaimed 2012 standup set, Live, on his website, and is listed as an executive producer for her show ‘One Mississippi.'”

Notaro notes in her statement 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.”

Here’s the “Saturday Night Live” sketch, featuring Bobby Moynihan and Louis C.K. …

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