After SNL's Latest Alleged Stolen Sketch Controversy, YouTube Creator Joel Haver Reacted To Accusations

As part of the Fall TV premiere week fun, Saturday Night Live returned to fans for Season 48 with a premiere that was missing quite a few familiar faces, of both those who’d previously announced their exits, as well as the currently busy elsewhere Cecily Strong. Though guest host and Top Gun: Maverick star Miles Teller and musical guest Kendrick Lamar kept fans entertained, the episode sparked a wave of non-ideal headlines hanging on the claims that the “Charmin Bears” scene directly copied the viral “Toilet Paper Bears” video created by online filmmaker Joel Haver. Now, the fan-favorite content creator has offered his own response. 

Those who watched SNL’s Season 48 opener witnessed stars Kenan Thompson and more dressed in big and vibrantly blue bear suits, for a sketch that centered on Teller’s bear aiming to reach his dancing dreams rather than following the butt-wiping footsteps set in place by the family business. After those familiar with Joel Haver’s work took to social media to air out their gripes, Haver shared a reaction video on YouTube, and offered a far more understanding approach than many others online, saying:

When it comes to these stealing accusations, I always err on the side of coincidence. I think parallel thinking does happen more often than not. So I waited to see the sketch for myself, which they posted later in the night. I saw it. . . . It was pretty alarming. I was like, ‘Wow.’ Usually when these things come up, I’m able to see like, ‘Oh, it’s the same concept, but they took it somewhere different.’ Or it’s similar, but you could give them some leeway. But this one, it was a little weird. I was like, ‘Wow, that’s very similar.’

Part of Haver’s point of view comes down to him just being a smart dude and understanding the numbers game when it comes to producing comedic videos for online enjoyment. There are currently thousands upon thousands of people on YouTube, TikTok and beyond creating multiple videos per week (or per day), so the law of averages states that not every video is going to be the most unique and original slice of genius. Granted, there’s a line between random similarities and bafflingly close ones. 

Joel Haver also cops to the idea that he’s currently at a point in his video-creating career where an incident like this, regardless of the validity of the allegations, doesn’t directly bother him nearly as much as it would have at an earlier point before he had as big of a following. He says he can see why others who are still on the rise would be more upset about the Emmy-winning NBC series reportedly copying their work. 

Given that we may never get a smoking gun, or whatever the opposite is, when it comes to the “Charmin Bears” sketch, it’s probably easiest to let bygones be bygones, despite the fact that SNL has been accused of stealing sketches many times over throughout the years, though not always with this kind of specificity involved. Haver seems to be letting it go for now, while taking comfort in the fact that he (and many others) think that his “Toilet Paper Bears” sketch was the better of the two. He continued:

It’s inevitable you’re gonna overlap. It’s inevitable you’re going to do something that’s already been done. So when it comes to the Charmin Bears thing, there’s a lot of coincidences that would have to line up to make it truly a coincidence, but I don’t think it was malicious. It was either a subconscious borrowing from somebody on the writer staff who saw my video, or it was a wild coincidence. My video got enjoyed by a lot of people. It got over a million views. I’m happy with it. I think the video turned out great. I like my delivery a lot better. I like how natural and weird and dry it is versus the SNL delivery, which is they’re dancing and it’s big and it’s louder than life.

For those who haven’t yet watched Joel Haver’s bears-geared video, check it out below. Everyone looking to check out SNL’s premiere can do so with a Peacock subscription, with episodes now streaming live alongside the linear airing. 

SNL airs Saturday nights on NBC at 11:30 p.m. ET, and streaming on Peacock, where past episodes can be rewatched again and again. Head to our TV premiere schedule to see what other shows are yet to debut in 2022. 

Nick Venable
Assistant Managing Editor

Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.