Stealing a joke is a serious crime in the stand-up community. And these days, with the onslaught of social media, it’s easy to get caught doing it.
And now the latest accusations of thievery are based around Last Comic Standing. Last week comedian Jason Weems made it to the semi-finals, in part, by doing a joke about Magic Johnson speaking at Michael Jackson’s funeral service. After the airing of the show, he Facebook messaged an actress – who has dabbled in comedy – telling her that it was brought to his attention that she’s performing the same bit down in Florida.
In the letter, Weems wrote, “Stealing jokes is the worst possible thing you can do in comedy, and if your not inspired enough to create your OWN stuff – QUIT. DO NOT PERFORM MY JOKES ANY MORE.”
In an interview with The Examiner, the actress/comedian Jeanette Cause laid out her story claiming that she never stole the bit. In fact she has been performing it since just a few days after Jackson’s funeral. She says, “I want to point out that I’m not accusing anyone of recycling the joke from me. I just became aware when a message came in on my private Facebook page on Tuesday night…”
“That video was shot October 11th of 2009,” she continues. “The reason I know the specific date is, that video was shot at a benefit that I was performing in for a very good friend who tragically lost her husband.”
Now, it’s possible the Baltimore-based Weems has been performing the joke just as long as Cause, it’s just that it’s now been seen by a national audience. So, that could mean Cause stole from Weems. Or, it could simply mean both performers came up with the same joke.
Check out the jokes below. What do you think. Did someone steal from someone? Is it just a coincidence? Let us know in the comments section.