On this past weekend's Saturday Night Live, there was a sketch featuring Sarah Silverman, Cecily Strong, and Sasheer Zamata as a trio of singers performing Tina Turner's "Proud Mary" with depressing confessionals interspersed. It's unclear who came up with this sketch, but the following day LA-based writer and director John Irwin noted on Facebook that it certainly wasn't an SNL original idea. He pointed out that "for several weeks at the Groundlings, Vanessa Bruiser Ragland and Kimberly Condict performed the heck out of their brilliant and hilarious sketch featuring a Tina Turner tribute band singing 'Rollin' at a casino with their musings during the music pauses about the establishment's food, the bad hands life dealt them, and a past gig on a Nebraska river boat." His description of the Groundlings sketch is also an exact description of the SNL sketch that ran over the weekend.
Ian Gary, at teacher at The Groundlings in Los Angeles, shared Irwin's post, and added that this isn't the first time it's happened:
"Alright. So this is weird. And a delicate subject... I, like many of my friends, do sketch comedy. I have a lot of influences, especially SNL to thank for that. Over the years, I, and many of my friends have performed in front of Lorne Michaels and his staff. And this is not an attack on SNL or anyone that has ever been a part, will be a part, or was a part of it... But, over the years I have seen MANY, MANY sketches flat out stolen from my friends by Saturday Night Live. Nearly verbatim. Word for word... And everyone in our community goes 'Oh man. That sucks.' and nobody says anything because I guess SNL is still some dream for some people or they don't want to get involved, or a million other reasonable things that stop people from standing up for each other when things are blatantly wrong.
Well, enough of that. This is fucked up. This is stupid. And we have the means to make people aware of blatant rip offs of other peoples material. It doesn't need to be a witch hunt. It doesn't need to be pointing fingers, assigning blame, or taking sides. But a simple case of what's right and wrong.
SHARE this photo and let people know that STEALING other peoples art and passing it off as your own like you're the biggest bully in the room is NOT okay, and stop being silent about the blatant theft of other people's creations."
Here is the original sketch, as performed by Vanessa Bruiser Ragland and Kimberly Condict:
The sketch's original co-creator, Kimberly Condict, has also spoken up, sharing her video and declaring, "If you liked the sketch SNL did about a Tina Turner tribute band musing and singing... then you'll LOVE this sketch Vanessa Bruiser Ragland and I wrote and performed for six weeks this summer at Groundlings about a Tina Turner tribute band musing and singing."
We've reached out to SNL for comment and will update if we hear back. In the meantime, a source close to the show told the A.V. Club that: “It’s a common idea since Tina Turner is such an iconic figure. The similarities represent parallel thinking in the comedy world.” [via Defamer]