Last year, a funny young comic named Mike Bridenstine (one of the Blerds) turned me on to another case where comics have similar sounding jokes. I just recently put all the pieces together.
This one involves a young Judd Apatow, before he fully established himself as the comedy writer and comedy director that he is today, and Denis Leary, who is held in suspicion by some Bill Hicks fans because they believe he stole much of the late comic’s act.
Here’s the video of the two up against each other. It’s the last part of the bits that are similar - I give you the rest to show how they got there.
The wrinkle is both of these were performed around the same time - 1992. It doesn’t seem to far of a leap to me to think this is parallel thinking - if you had to describe what the sound at a drive thru sounds like, a man with a voice box seems a likely conclusion any creative person might come to. But the back and forth of the patter and how you feel about Leary’s work might lead you to the other side of the argument.
With Apatow beginning to perform again in preparation for his new movie “Funny People”, which is set in the world of stand-up comedy, it’ll be kind of interesting to see if he touches on joke stealing (or other comedy issues) in the film. I doubt it’ll be too inside baseball, but when your character live in that atmosphere, it’s probably something they’d be concerned with.
That aside, what do you think? Parallel thinking or do you suspect joke stealing?