LCS Comic Called Out for What’s Probably Parallel Thinking by Ant

Filed Under Jokes, Stand-Up Comedy

I’ve been ignoring much of Last Comic Standing - but I couldn’t pass this up. If you’re sick of hearing about joke stealing, just skip this post.

As part of Last Comic Standing’s web extras, LCS 2 contestant Ant commented recently about the similarity of one hopeful’s joke to that of another comic. Here’s his vlog entry:

Ant seems to go just about to the line of accusing Pete Zedlacher of stealing from Ali Mafi, stating that he’s “putting that out there” then mugging a skeptical face.

It’s a little disappointing in a way because, as Ant mentions, he himself has been accused of lifting material by Joe Rogan. He knows how damaging it is, so it seems like to me, that he’d be loathe to do it himself. If you don’t like what Rogan did to you, if you thought it was unfair, why do it to someone else? He even has a great little forum to educate people on the idea of parallel thinking.

The material in question is, as some have stated, an obvious joke, but I’m going to outline a little bit how obvious it is.

Both Pete and Ali are talking about an actual chart - the Body Mass Index chart. They didn’t make it up (or steal it from the other).

When you have a certain BMI number, you can be clinically described as anywhere from “underweight” to “morbid obesity.” The chart is tilted more to the “overweight” side - hence there’s a lot of different words to describe how fat someone is (it’s the American version of the many Eskimo words for snow). It’s a measure that many a doctor uses. Several people a day are told that they are clinically obese by the BMI chart in hopes of scaring them a little into losing weight. (Read more about the chart on wikipedia’s entry for obesity.)

In other words, neither Ali nor Pete have had a little snowflake experience - it wasn’t unique to either. It’s entirely possible that they were both amused at how weighted the BMI scale is for describing obesity. I.E.: parallel thinking.

Now, if Pete’s been on the same bill as Ali or toured with Ali or performed regularly with Ali, perhaps there’s a case here. There has to be a chance that you might have seen the other’s bit. But Ant doesn’t really outline that here. I’m a little dubious that there was much as the two comics are based in different ciites (Pete in Toronto, Ali in San Francisco.)

This has made me think I show write up a flow chart for determining whether a joke might have been stolen or not. If you have some input on some of the diamonds (conditional steps) that would make up that chart, feel free to suggest them in the comments.

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Posted by Rick Logan on 06/10  at  09:51 AM

Yeah, I don’t get it - first Ant makes the accusation, then he mentions the accusation made against him, he talks about how that can affect someone’s career and how serious that is, and says “Don’t make accusations like that unless you have something to back it up”, but then he doesn’t back it up himself, just says he’s “throwing it out there”.

Yes,  the jokes are similar. Does that make it stolen? I’ve also lost weight recently and thought that same stuff - as I’m sure many people who’ve lost weight do. I won’t do any jokes about it now, but if I hadn’t seen that, I probably would have. Does that make me a thief?

Posted by Oak on 06/10  at  04:23 PM

Either Ant is an idiot, or the producers edited some serious stupid into him.

Hackery is abounds.

Posted by Howie on 06/10  at  05:10 PM

Interesting. I told almost the exact same joke at an open mic last week. (Inspired by the 2 days use I got out of a Wii Fit)

So, I guess I stole it from a show I never watch and two comedians I never heard of.  God, I suck.

Posted by JackSzwergold on 06/11  at  01:05 AM

Ant is milking what little of his fame he has left.  Let’s hope it dries out by 2009.

Posted by Anthony on 06/11  at  01:34 PM

Let’s face it; Ant is a terrible comic who uses money he should be spending on writers for bad plastic surgery. Jack is right… he’s just trying to hang on to his little scrap of “fame,” hence stunts like this one that extend his sell-by date a few more days.

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