Some have called it edgy, while others have claimed it to be unprovoked and unnecessary.
Saturday Night Live’s ‘Draw Muhammad’ sketch from last weekend’s episode has been hailed as a homerun, but has at the same time drawn some familiar controversy. The sketch involves two contestants (Bobby Moynihan and Kenan Thompson) who are asked to draw the prophet Mohammed in a game show parody of “Win, Draw, or Lose”. The two can’t bring themselves to actually draw the prophet and based on their reactions contestant number three (played by Reese Witherspoon) is successfully able to guess what they were trying to draw as time runs out.
Critics hailed the sketch for edginess. But with these accolades, it’s also drawn familiar accusations from fans of the Canadian show This Hour Has 22 minutes who are claiming that SNL outright copied the idea from sketch they aired last January. The two versions are nearly identical. Two contestants are asked to do the same thing on a similar game show, with the script and punch-lines mirroring one another perfectly.
But this isn’t the first instance where SNL has been accused of borrowing someone else’s material. Last October, the famous Groundlings Comedy Club in Los Angeles accused the show of stealing one of their skits about a Tina Turner tribute band. In 2010, Tim and Eric Awesome Show fans were outraged after SNL premiered its “Ladies Who Lunch” sketch, which was similar to a sketch the two aired in 2007 about women wearing small hats. In 2004, SNL alumn Jay Mohr published “Gasping For Airtime,” regarding Saturday Night Live in the early 1990s. In the book Mohr admits to lifting an entire premise for an Irish Bartender sketch from comedian Rick Shapiro.
This may be the most recent controversy regarding Saturday Night Live’s originality, but certainly not the last. You be the judge, check out the video here.