Sometimes kids will mimic their favorite stand-up comedians to impress their family in the living room or the friends in the classroom. But in a comedy club, it's never OK to steal another comedian's jokes for the sole intent and purpose of trying to further one's own career. Some joke thieves think they can get away with it if they play only one-nighters in small towns far away from thriving comedy scenes (Exhibit A: this guy last year ripping off Patton Oswalt).
Others think they can get away with it if they pick their jokes from the fruits labored by a deceased stand-up who was good but not famous enough to be known by all audiences. Such as Mitch Mullany, who died three years ago this month.
But Eric Gruber and Carlos Herrera, who host The Mostly Normal Show in the Hollywood Improv's Lab studio, decided to take this joke thief to task in front of a live audience at their show this Wednesday night.
Here is a video showing how the joke thief in question — who isn't named in the video — even ripped off the cadence and physical act-outs of several bits straight from Mullany.
When called out on it, at one point, he says while they're trying to play the video: "Obviously, I've seen it." This video also includes several comments from other stand-up comedians about joke-stealing. Roll it.
And in this second video, one comic chases the thief down the street and confronts him with a profanity-laced tirade, while the thief calmly claims that he "wrote the material."