Funny “It” girl Amy Schumer is in the headlines this week and not for her comedic chops; but lack thereof according to joke stealing accusations from prominent stand-up comedians Kathleen Madigan, Tammy Pescatelli, and Wendy Liebman.
Madigan, Pescatelli, and Liebman took to Twitter to accuse Schumer of stealing material from their routines. It all began when Liebman tweetwed,
“Between Amy Schumer doing 1 of my best jokes on her HBO special and this meme of my joke, I’m done with social media.”
A fan then responded to Liebman,
“So maddening. You and @kathleenmadigan should talk”
Madigan proceed to retweet the tweet adding,
“Wow. Finally. Get ready for a shitstorm.”
Pescatelli followed suit with her own series of tweets accusing Schumer of stealing her jokes.
“What has always been amazing to me is that she purports to be a feminist and yet only steals from other female comedians. If we call her on…”
“…it we are “jealous” or career shamed. Be successful. WE want you to do well, just do it will your own material. BTW she blocked me”
“Look @WendyLiebman here is my joke from my #ComedyCentral half hour ’06 https://t.co/nEU4SCrmGA ….”
“Amy’s sketch https://t.co/uVxtn7cY6V … So many more but nobody listens…at least Cosby knocked his victims out b4 he raped them.”
A fan responded to Pascatelli asking if she was instigating a fight with Schumer to which she responded,
“No beef. Just presenting facts of oppression and degradation”
“I tell my truth today, because I too, have a dream…… #MLKDay”
Madigan then ended her rant by letting Liebman know she was going to be releasing a comparison video because she too was done.
“I have a split screen being released of the disgusting amount of stealing being released tomoro. im done also. Game over @WendyLiebman”
A video was in fact released, but whether it was video Madigan threatened to be releasing is unknown. Vimeo user “Joe Schmo” posted a mash-up with examples of routines from Liebman, Pascatelli, Madigan, and the late Patrice O’Neal that compares them to jokes from Schumer’s stand-up special, television show Inside Amy Schumer, and her movie Train Wreck. The mash-up also compared Train Wreck‘s poster to a promotional image, featuring actress Kaitlin Olson for the show It’s Always Sunny In Philadephia. The video has since been taken down.
Schumer did respond to the allegations tweeting,
Schumer took it one step further and went on Jim Norton’s radio show on SiriusXM to defend herself against the joke stealing accusations. She starts out by saying,
“I wanted to come and talk to you about [these accusations] and clear my name, because I would never ever do that and I never have.”
The comedian went on to say that the jokes people are accusing her of stealing were independently thought of by herself or her writing team.
“I have to come up with so much material…and I’m so careful and none of these things had ever reached me. I will literally take a polygraph and I just would never do that. Like that would be so stupid for me to do that.”
As to why these allegations have surfaced she believes Pascatelli is behind it because Liebman and Madigan “know her” and know “that she’d never do that.” Schumer’s guess is that she probably doesn’t have much going on. It could be that Pascatelli is still upset over her blocking her on Twitter for treating her best friend poorly, and might be jealous of Schumer’s success.
Schumer finished things off by saying that she’ll take a polygraph on her show and will air the results regardless of what they are and ended with,
“This stuff makes me upset and angry and then I just get stronger, and I’ll fight back. I am not going to become one of these other comics who’s been accused of stealing jokes. This will not be a part of my name.”
Since Schumer has spoken out against the allegations Liebman and Pascatelli have changed their tune. After her interview on Jim Norton Liebman tweeted,
Pascatelli called in to Jim Norton’s show and clarified her position basically saying that it probably is parallel thinking and because of her loyalties and friendships she quickly jumped in. She further explained that fans reached out to her congratulating her on her joke making it on Train Wreck, and that there were a flurry of memes that did kind of support there being some joke stealing. Ultimately, she apologized for going too far especially with her Bill Cosby comparison.
You can check out Amy’s full interview along with Pascatelli’s interview, and footage of the the mash-up below.
Amy Schumer’s Jim Norton Interview
Tammy Pascatelli Jim Norton Interview