“Saturday Night Live” has been accused of plagiarizing elements of a scene from a short film by Tig Notaro. The incriminating skit, “Birthday Clown,” was featured on Louis C.K.’s episode that aired on April 8. Since the episode went out, a number of Tig Notaro fans drawn attention to similarities between the sketch and Notaro’s 2015 short film “Clown Service,” which was funded by a successful Kickstarter campaign.
The sketch and the film are pretty similar, but there are also quite a few noticeable differences. Even so, Notaro released a statement to Entertainment Weekly today about it, and it’s clear that she’s at least somewhat annoyed by the whole thing. While it seems very unlikely that C.K. would purposely copy her work, Notaro highlights the fact that she and C.K. “have not communicated in any way for nearly a year and a half” in her statement.
Tig Notaro’s “Clown Service” is available on Vimeo. You can watch the “Birthday Clown” sketch below.