Did SNL Rip Off This Groundlings Sketch?
This week’s “Saturday Night Live” included a sketch in which host Sarah Silverman and cast members Cecily Strong and Sasheer Zamata portray angry Tina Turner impersonators working on a riverboat. (Probably due to copyright music issues, NBC has not made the sketch available to stream. But it’s embedded here on the AV Club for the curious.)
The sketch bears some remarkable similarities to a recurring sketch performed at the LA Groundlings theater by comedians Kimberly Condict and Vanessa Ragland, ALSO about Tina Turner impersonators in red dresses with region-specific complaints. Take a look:
Both Condict and Ragland responded to the SNL sketch on Twitter.
As well, Groundlings teacher Ian Gary shared his thoughts on Facebook about the controversy, writing “…over the years I have seen MANY, MANY sketches flat out stolen from my friends by Saturday Night Live. Nearly verbatim. Word for word… And everyone in our community goes “Oh man. That sucks.” and nobody says anything because I guess SNL is still some dream for some people or they don’t want to get involved, or a million other reasonable things that stop people from standing up for each other when things are blatantly wrong.”
“Saturday Night Live” has not officially responded yet, though an anonymous source “close to the show” told AV Club the following:
“It’s a common idea since Tina Turner is such an iconic figure. The similarities represent parallel thinking in the comedy world.”
So do you think these two sketches are TOO similar? Or is the SNL source right, and this is just one of those ideas that’s out there in the world? Let us hear from you in the comments!