If you're a late to the Amy Schumer "joke stealing" scandal, here's what happened: Three comedians recently took to Twitter to accuse Schumer of pilfering their jokes , which sparked an online debate with people sharing ever more instances the Trainwreck star seemingly borrowing content.
Joke theft is one of the most damaging claims you can make against a standup comedian. So Schumer was quick to deny the plagiarism allegations and went on Jim Norton's SiriusXM radio show to attribute any similarities to "parallel thinking" and vowing to take a polygraph.
On my life, I have never and would never steal a joke.
— Amy Schumer (@amyschumer) January 20, 2016
Schumer's accusers (including the most vocal) accepted her explanation and apologized for creating the controversy. But the specter of the charges still linger.
Thankfully, Schumer may have a prominent defender: Joe Rogan.
You probably know Rogan best as the host of Fear Factor in the early 2000s, but he's a powerful voice in the comedy world. Rogan's been actively doing stand-up since 1989 and famously confronted comedian Carlos Mencia in a 2007 video for he was called a "vigilante of comedy" for the incident. He's also something of demagogue of anti-feminism and men's rights (although, he's not very extreme).
So Rogan weighing on Amy Schumer's "joke stealing" is important. And yesterday on his podcast, talking with guest and fellow comedian Hannibal Buress, that's he pretty much defended her.
Here's what he said:
"I think the real issue is whoever wrote for the sketch show."
Rogan thinks the most egregious instances of similar jokes were the ones involving sketches from Schumer's Comedy Central show Inside Amy Schumer. For Rogan, the issue is with the writers on the show, not Schumer herself. Any of the similarities from her standup act only can be excused as parallel thinking.
"There's so much content out there today!"
Wondering why Schumer didn't catch writers possibly plagiarizing on her show? Rogan explains that idea away by noting the vast amount of places from which to steal jokes, including standup specials, TV shows andweb shows.
"That sh*t happens all the time"
According to Rogan, who has more than 25 years' experience in show business, comedy show writers stealing from standup comedians is nothing new. "Writers would hang out in the back [of the Comedy Store]," he says "and then those sketches would appear on television!"
"I don't think you can make her necessarily responsible for those sketches"
Rogan admits there's an "originality problem" with Schumer's show, but then asks "who's problem is it?" For him, you can't blame Schumer for not noticing plagiarized content being pitched to her for her show. There's no real way to catch it all.
"There's a fire right now after her"
Can the accusations all be fueled by Schumer's sudden stratospheric climb to fame? "She's a movie star now. She'd doing arena tours," Rogan admits. "People want to knock her down because she's taken off so high."
"She's f**cking funny"
Rogan's biggest exoneration of Schumer is the fact that she doesn't need to steal other people's jokes to be funny. "She's sharp, she's smart, she's ambitious!" exclaims Rogan.
"Comics like her"
Schumer is a comic's comic. Many in the comedy world, including Rogan, like and respect her. "If she were anybody else," according to Rogan, "people would want her head."
Listen for yourself to the episode below, Rogan and Buress start talking about the controversy at around the 22:53 mark and finsh at around 50 minutes.