Pete and Brian think McDonald’s ad stole the idea from their 2009 video

Have you seen the new TV ad McDonald’s is running to promote its line of “premium” chicken sandwiches?

Pete Karinen and Brian Sacca sure have. And they see a little too much of themselves in the commercial. Specifically, they see that McDonald’s used the same essential idea that they drew out to an even lengthier degree in this 2009 “Pete and Brian” video sketch, “Two Guys Who Spend Too Much Time Together.”

Roll this one, and about a minute in, you’ll see what they’re both talking about.

So is it joke theft? Well, not exactly. It’s certainly not outright theft, as the McDonald’s ad uses a different script. But as Sacca vented on Twitter last night: “I think @mcdonalds SHOULD be “lovin’ it,” they ripped off our bit.” Karinen also voiced their displeasure on Facebook.

Sacca backed that talk up today with The Comic’s Comic, writing: “Even though McDonalds did not use our exact language, it is obvious to us that their commercial was inspired by our bit. We are currently talking to our lawyers to see what type of legal action we can take. Who knows what will happen but we can’t let this slide! What’s the point of creating original online content if big corporations can just steal it whenever they like!”

What is the point? What do you think the fellas should do?

And slightly related to their dilemma, Alex Blagg and former UTA agents Jason Nadler and Jon Zimelis announced today that they had launched a new company, Serious Business, whose sole purpose is to “partner with top creative talent to produce television properties with a web sensibility and build digital platforms with television potential. Our goal is to find the most interesting people on the entire Internet and make sweet media together.” Maybe Blagg can help Pete and Brian out?


Sean L. McCarthy

Editor and publisher since 2007, when he was named New York's Funniest Reporter. Former newspaper reporter at the New York Daily News, Boston Herald and smaller dailies and community papers across America. Loves comedy so much he founded this site.

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5 thoughts on “Pete and Brian think McDonald’s ad stole the idea from their 2009 video

  1. They’re definitely similar but this isn’t exactly a completely original concept anyway. Also, I’m not pro-corporations or anything, but let’s give credit to where credit is due. If it WAS stolen, it wasn’t by McDonalds. It was by some unfunny advertising copywriter who lacks creativity so he writes a commercial based on a sketch he saw on the internet. He then pitched it to his bosses who had never seen the sketch. He then continued to get paid a lot of money. HE is the asshole.

    1. this is a vaudvillian concept that dates back to 1800s and has been “thought of” by sketch groups for generations. lazy writing. Shut up Pete and Brian.

  2. They can’t sue over an idea as broad as “talking at the same time”. If they went to court with that, McDonalds’ lawyers would rip them apart by showing videos that pre-date Pete and Brian’s. I know they probably feel bad about the McDonalds bit gaining national exposure, but they would have to believe that they actually came up with that idea, which is just ludicrous.

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