Kimmel Writing Team Accused of Stealing Jokes

For once, a case of joke theft can be proven or disproved with a single trucker hat. Some of the first words out of Kimmel’s mouth were sarcastically thanking his audience for the “sitting ovation” after the Oscars crowd on their feet dancing, sat down as Kimmel took to the stage. It’s a joke “30 Rock” writer and actor Judah Friedlander accuses Kimmel’s Oscars writing staff of taking from him and the NBC show. It’s a very simple turn of a phrase, but Judah backed up his claim with physical proof; he had liked his joke so much, he made it into one of his signature trucker hats. If only every dispute could be resolved with a funny phrase hat. Friedlander first raised the issue on Twitter, later expanding on Instagram. “Kimmel did my sitting ovation joke on the #oscars tonight,” he said blaming the writers, more than Kimmel. “Probly stolen by one of his writers. I first did that joke years ago. Even made it into a hat and wore it on #30Rock years ago. Not the first time a tv show gas done a joke of mine. (And im well aware, sometimes someone does someone else’s joke unknowingly. That happens. But there are some tv writers who just want the job & have no morals & will steal).” Friedlander added that the practice of taking someone else’s joke is running rampant on television right now. “Tv has a lot of great writers who dont steal, but the joke thieves, & theres too many of them, always seem to squirm their way into a writing job, and risk giving the tv writing industry a bad name.”

Friedlander and others also called joke theft on another simple joke of Kimmel’s; he congratulated Andrew Garfield’s forty-pound weight loss transformation for “Silence” as being remarkable, or what every actress does for being in a movie. The joke landed well, but is fairly verbatim to a joke that and made at the 2014 Golden Globes, except about Matthew McConaughey, when said, “For his role in Dallas Buyers Club, he lost 45 pounds or what actresses call, being in a movie.” Twitter responded accordingly.

Both alleged incidents of plagiarism are simple, strong jokes that were arguably broad and relevant enough to be applied to multiple situations, but Friedlander’s assertion that there is rampant joke thieving taking place is troubling. Really what’s weird is that the Academy doesn’t have a more stringent fact-checking process to make sure they’re not recycling past award show jokes.

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Rachel Crowe

The most notable lies Rachel Crowe has ever told were that she has 10 children (no twins), she’s running a marathon retracing the path her ancestors took to evade the IRS and that she found childcare for 10 on a Saturday night. She’s also a stand-up comedian and dog walker living in Los Angeles. Follow Rachel on Twitter @Racheddar or on Instagram @thelma_and_disease. Or don’t, but at least appreciate those fresh hot puns.


  1. Joooooooo

    February 27, 2017 at 6:01 pm

    Why would anybody steal such unfunny jokes?

  2. Chris

    February 28, 2017 at 9:25 am

    This is like that time Joe Rohan attacked Carlos Men is for stealing the “Mexico wall” joke from Ari Shaffir, that Ari stole from the old HBO Dennis Miller Show that wasn’t that original or funny to begin with.

    • Chris

      February 28, 2017 at 9:26 am

      Rogan, fuck

  3. FLIP

    February 28, 2017 at 10:24 am

    How about Kimmel telling the audience they are rocketing Yoo-Hoo out of their asses. Thief!

  4. A Name

    February 28, 2017 at 12:15 pm

    Sitting ovation isn’t a joke, it’s an obvious play on words that I’ve known about since at least the 70s, and I’m sure it existed long before then. Is he next going to try to take credit for jokingly referring to oneself as a world champion?