The most recent episode of Saturday Night Live featured a pre-taped parody commercial for a dating app called Settl. The premise, as you may have gathered from the app's name, is that dating via apps is a soul-crushing and futile task, and expectations must be lowered if any hollow form of happiness is to be achieved. Enter: Settl, the app that will bring you together with someone who is just okay, in a world where just okay is better than alone forever.
The sketch earned a top of the show spot, following Ryan Gosling's monologue, and now two men have come forward to claim it's an outright rip off of a sketch they performed live at Comedy Hack Day. And the evidence is pretty damning, as the app in SNL's segment is exactly the same.
Earlier this year Matt Condon and Ben Zweig gave their presentation for a parody app called Settl at CHD, which is put on by the agency formed by Daily Show producer Baratunde Thurston (who is shown as a Settl user in their sketch). Their performance has been on YouTube since September—here it is:
Here's the SNL version:
The only notable difference is that while Condon and Zweig made the hopeless daters men, SNL made them middle-aged females desperate to get hitched.
Is it possible that your writers happened to come up with the same concept, and the same name? Totally, but given the well-connectedness of our esteemed Comedy Illuminati judges (an ex-Onion editor, an un-aired NBC pilot co-star, the host of BuzzFeed’s “Ask a Lesbian”), I find a total lack of relation unlikely. But let’s assume the best and say that your writers thought this up completely independently. Even then, a simple Google search would’ve informed you it had been done. Hell, one Reddit user who was searching for your very recent SNL sketch inadvertently found our months-old project instead, and thought them similar enough to post about it. If that ain’t damning, I don’t know what is. What happened is either a degree of comedic plagiarism, or an impressive lack of basic, easily-done research. In 2015, I’m not sure which one is worse.
— Matt Condon (@mattgcondon) December 7, 2015
Of course, this isn't the first time the show has been accused of joke-stealing, last year they were accused of stealing a sketch from the Groundlings.
We have reached out to SNL about the accusation, and will update if we hear back... but they typically do not respond to these sort of things.