Comedy fans are engaged in a debate today after video of Amy Schumer’s HBO’s comedy special at the historic Apollo Theater hit the web. In one clip, the Trainwreck star is seen talking about sex positions in a way that reminded many of the late great comedian Patrice O’Neal.
O’Neal, who passed away in 2011, has had his jokes ripped off before, but did (white) America’s favorite comedic darling jack her old friend for his jokes?
It’s hard to say for certain, but many people on Twitter seemed to think so.
Did Amy Schumer do her stolen Patrice bit at the Apollo? Cuz if so that's the strongest gentrification metaphor of all time
— Not So Slim Jesus (@Joe_Schmucc) October 19, 2015
Alot of the ppl who cape for Amy Schumer also respect Patrice O'Neal as the GOAT. She stole his bit. So now what? https://t.co/L3s7CN5RPj
— Pia Glenn (@PiaGlenn) October 19, 2015
Why do so many people steal jokes from Patrice O'neal? @amyschumer
— Jay Jay Walters (@JayJaynn2) October 20, 2015
Love Amy Schumer, but her closing bit in her special resembles Patrice O' Neal's Nasty Show set. YouTube it and tell me I'm wrong.
— Michael Brown (@Michael54289459) October 18, 2015
So I'm sitting here watching Amy schumer Live at the apollo That Culture Thief stole my dude Patrice O'Neal jokes.
— Leonardo Mason (@bdaddybootknock) October 18, 2015
Schumer defenders, like comic Jim Norton, say the comedian did nothing wrong.
Norton wrote on Facebook:
Even comedic geniuses like Patrice would do silly things sometimes onstage. Those terms have been in the Urban Dictionary for years, Patrice did not come up with them (I’m not saying he didn’t change any of them to make them original, but they have been around for as long as I can remember). To think that Amy would watch Patrice do something onstage and then decide to close with it on her HBO special is simply ludicrous.
People doing similar bits has been happening in comedy for as long as people have been telling jokes. The comedians know who the joke thieves are. We understand the difference between two people doing a similar bit and one person seeing the bit and stealing it
Here’s the video of both comics doing their thing via ComedyHype. You be the judge.
(Warning: these jokes are seriously NSFW)