(VIDEO) Joke Thief Caught On Tape
Originality is the only prerequisite in the world of stand-up comedy. Stealing jokes from another comic and passing them off as your own is the cardinal sin in the world of comedy.
Over the years stories of jokes being stolen by big names like Robin Williams became part of the folklore of the Hollywood comedy scene of the 1980’s, where Williams (a notorious cocaine addict) would regularly lift jokes from a variety comics and quickly pay them off on the spot with his large cache of Mork and Mindy money. Later on in the 1990’s Denis Leary would be accused of stealing legendary comic Bill Hicks’ entire act and persona, with the famous inside joke being, “Why is Denis Leary a star while Bill Hicks is unknown? Because there’s no cure for cancer.” A reference to Leary’s highly reviewed one-man show of the same name and the fact that Hicks, would tragically die from pancreatic cancer at the young age of 32.
In recent years allegations against Dane Cook and Carlos Mencia have been brought to light due to their high profile status and constant presence on television. But more often than not, common joke thieves exist on the lower rungs of the comedy ladder, performing material done by lesser known comics in different cities and passing them off as their own to unsuspecting crowds who are searching for laughter and not authorship. In 2002, a young comic from Boston named Daniel Kinno was subdued in the dressing room of the Comedy Connection by a group of comics who discovered Kinno had been stealing material from comedians in the Boston scene. Kinno has since relocated Los Angeles where the act of joke stealing is an all too common and tragically accepted occurrence. Which leads us to the video above.
Los Angeles based comics Eric Gruber and Carlos Herrera recently filmed a confrontation with joke thief Jason Garret in front of a live and suspecting audience. Garret had been performing material originally written by the late comedian Mitch Mullany, who unfortunately passed away from a diabetes-related stroke in 2008. In the video you can see clips of Garret performing Mullany’s jokes alongside video of Mullany doing the exact same bits that pre-date Garret’s video. In the end, Garret runs away before Gruber and Herrera were able to show the clips in front of the live crowd and reveal him as a fraud, but this video sends a strong message to all the hack comics out in the world that have been stealing and performing other comedians’ material: You will be found out and exposed as the unoriginal and spineless hack that you are.
Follow Gruber and Herrera's The Mostly Normal Show on twitter.