Amy Schumer Fires Back at Accusations That She Steals Jokes
Amy Schumer is definitely not laughing over a recent viral video accusing her of stealing jokes from other women – in fact, she’s ready to take a lie detector test to debunk it.
“I would never ever do that and I never have,” she insisted during an appearance on Jim Norton’s Sirius XM radio show, which she arranged specifically to address the video. “I’m literally going to take a polygraph test and put it on my show this season.”
The video’s already been taken down from an infringement claim by Viacom (ooh, conspiracy!), so if you didn’t get a chance to watch it, someone dug through Schumer’s standup and clips from her sketch comedy show “Inside Amy Schumer,” and compared them to bits from comedians Patrice O’Neal, Tammy Pescatelli, Kathleen Madigan and Wendy Liebman.
It showed some similarities between the other women’s material and sketches like “Slap Chef,” where chefs slap food out of women’s mouths to help them lose weight, and “Sleep Gym,” where women get drugged into a coma and pay people to move their bodies around at the gym.
“WHO DO YOU THINK YOU’RE FOOLING?” the video said at the end – but Schumer said she had never seen any of that material when she wrote her work.
“I didn’t happen to catch [Pescatelli’s] 2006 Comedy Central special and sit on that bit until I got a movie – like I sat on that bit for nine years and then was like, ‘Here’s my chance to steal the famous Tammy P. bit!’”
The most convincing bit of evidence is a Wendy Liebman joke, “I think the guy should always pay on the first date… for sex,” which Schumer told years later almost word-for-word. Schumer claims that’s because it’s a “hacky” joke that many comedians have used. “She did that joke in the 90s. I didn’t know Wendy until I got older – I never would have seen her standup in the 90s.”
What’s really going on, Schumer says, is that she and Pescatelli had a falling out and now Pescatelli is jealous, because Schumer opened for her back in 2007 and is now much more successful than her.
“I think people get upset by success, and I think it makes sense. You see someone that you used to identify with, and now all of a sudden you think, “I don’t think I like her anymore. She’s doing too well and she’s gotten a big head.’ And I haven’t.”
Schumer echoed Anne Hathaway’s recent claim that people like to build up celebrities – especially women – and then tear them down when they become too successful. “It’s women. It happened with Jennifer Lawrence the other day. … People are afraid and angry at women and they want to bring them down. I just believe that.”