Joke Stealing

Recently I saw a youtube clip of Joe Rogan disrupting one of Carlos Mencia’s sets. Rogan was accusing Mencia of stealing jokes. I guess youtube pulled the clip off the internet, but I am sure if you look hard enough you can find it.

Anyways, a wiki search of Joe Rogan has a little history of his battle against other joke stealers, including Dane Cook, Denis Leary, and Mencia.

Obviously Mencia is a bit of a hack. I do not find him that funny, and it is amusing that he steals material. Making bad jokes about Mexicans can get really old. Do any of you actually watch him?

As most of you know, I enjoy Dane Cook, but I have noticed that some of his material feels like it was taken from other comedians I have seen. I noticed the other night (I cannot remember the guys name) this comedian who was on Tourgasm with Cook, made a joke very similar in nature to the kind Cook uses. The show seemed like it came from early 2000ish. The two guys may be good friends and just have similar styles, which is my guess.

I have noticed though that many comedians seem to take material from George Carlin. Does that mean they steal his shit? Not really. Carlin talks about everything, so it would not be that hard to make the same observation as him.

On the other hand, Denis Leary blatantly steals Bill Hicks’ Jim Fixx joke. I guess Hicks and Leary were friends until Hicks learned Leary was stealing some of his material. I guess there is a joke that goes “How come Bill Hicks never became as popular as Denis Leary?” The response: “Because there is no cure for cancer.” No Cure for Cancer was the name of Leary’s comedy special, and Hicks died of cancer (sad that I have to explain this to some people.)

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5 thoughts on “Joke Stealing

  1. The joke stealing debate is a very interesting one. After looking at a few articles, it is clear to see that Carlos Mencia (real name Ned Hollness or Ned Arnel – has a German father, which is humorous in itself), does steal jokes. I watched the video of Joe Rogan confronting him (joerogan.net to see the video), and the guy is telling the truth. I mean you see him talking to 5 or 6 different comedians who all know Mencia steals jokes. It’s funny too because the one comic realizes he is on camera so he won’t say what Carlos stole from him because he doesn’t want negative reprocutions.
    If you didn’t hear, Joe’s agent dropped him after the confrontation, and the Comedy Store banned Rogan from coming back.

    A good article to read on this is http://www.radarmagazine.com/from-the-magazine/2007/02/take_the_funny_and_run_1.php
    by Larry Getlen. He does a nice job of breaking down the material that is in question. Dane Cook seems to have three jokes in question on his one CD that are very similar or blatently stolen from Lewis CK. Apparently, Robin Williams and Denis Leary are also joke stealers, which you eluded to already.

    But the video of Rogan and Mencia is hilarious in the fact that he keeps calling him out over and over. The debate is certainly one that interested me, and I am not really sure what the long-term or short-term solution is or will be to joke stealing. I guess the problem becomes, how do you officially make the joke “yours”, and how do you know you were the first one to do it? If it comes down to a question of merely trusting someone to not use your material, we all know people will use anything for a quick buck. So who knows….

  2. Jim…yeah, from what i understand, the dane cook/lewis ck jokes in question are: itchy asshole, naming a child, and well i cannot remember off hand the third one.

    but yeah, the whole rogan thing is hilarious. sadly he gets punished for being honest, yet mencia is praised for being a thief. if this were the recording industry mencia would have been sued for tons of money.

    by the way, which jim is this?

  3. It’s manager Jim.

    I can’t remember the 3rd skit either, but it involved a person being hit with a car….The itchy asshole and naming a child seemed blatent, and the third one didn’t seem as bad, possibly just coincidence.

    Yes, I agree. Any other industry and Mencia, Cook, Leary etc. would be paying the price. javascript:void(0)
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    Now I know that there are some jokes that are more common and many people use them (basis for The Aristocrats). However, if you are going to steal a joke, at least put some personal twist on it. These jokes in question are almost taken verbatim from the other person. The only difference may be in the delivery a bit involving the personality of the comic.

  4. I think the child naming joke is actually taken from Steve Martin, where he joked about his real name being something silly.

    I guess that is probably a common kind of joke. I know i have heard other comedians tell jokes about how they named their dog something obscene or random in order to offend/confuse people.

    The Mencia jokes are blatant though, he does not even change the wording on some of them.

    I guess in some cases, it would be like two bands writing a song about their wives leaving them and their dogs dying (a la every country song ever). It is not stealing, it is just coincidence and development of the same kind of event.

    On a side note, I got a call about a second interview, they want to do it on saturday at our restaurant.

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