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When comedian Louis C.K. dropped by Saturday Night Live this weekend to host the Season 40 finale, he presented a daunting monologue that pulled no punches in its dark subject matter. And while there are some offended folks out there who probably thought it should have been cut, a digital sketch about joke plagiarism (featuring fan favorite Bruce Chandling) was excised instead. Good timing, SNL. Check it out below.
All in all, it’s not an amazing short, although Kyle Mooney is as excellent as ever as the schmoozy Chandling. It basically presents the idea that Louis C.K. is guilty of ripping jokes from Chandling over the course of his career, which Chandling accuses him of with his signature nervous energy. Considering copycatting is an issue that has come up for both C.K. and Saturday Night Live in the past, though from different standpoints, it’s somewhat telling that C.K. is, in fact, the one to blame in this fictional situation.
Just last week, Saturday Night Live aired a sketch about Muhammad that seemed to clearly be a copied version of a shorter sketch created by the Canadian series This Hour Has 22 Minutes back in January. There hasn’t been much of a resolution to that situation, though, beyond some enjoyable ribbing from the 22 Minutes guys on social media. It would seem like SNL cut the sketch as to not draw any more ire from detractors, who have been accusing the long-lasting series of sketch robbery for a long time. But then why put it online at all?
It’s a little different from C.K.’s angle, as he had something of a feud going on with former comedy king Dane Cook a few years back over some material that C.K. claimed Cook stole from him. That dispute was seemingly put to rest in an incredible and awkward episode of Louie, but it’s obvious that the comedian hasn’t forgotten about it or other situations like it. On last week’s Louie, Jon Glazer plays a comic called Crazy Glazy that blatantly steals a riff from Louie about being a beekeeper. (“Too many bees!”) So it’s obvious that the concept of stage-based plagiarism is still on C.K.’s mind, and we can probably expect to hear more about it in the future. Perhaps on a spinoff of some kind?
While Saturday Night Live is finished until next season, you can catch an all new episode of Louie on FX this Thursday.