Warning: Lewd content.
On Friday, Variety reported accusations of plagiarism against "Saturday Night Live" by a comedic group who says the iconic show blatantly stole their ideas — and they've got evidence.
Two video sketches released by SNL over the last six months are eerily similar to sketches produced and published on YouTube years earlier by comedic group Temple Horses. One sketch aired by SNL last October titled "The Pumpkin Patch" features an owner of a pumpkin patch questioning his employees about an accusation that they had intercourse with some of the pumpkins. Another SNL sketch, "Pound Puppy," released in mid-February, is a fake infomercial about a new product that allows couples to have sex without worrying about offending their dogs.
Both of the videos, Temple Horses co-founders Nick Ruggia and Ryan Hoffman said in a letter sent to NBC in February and obtained by Variety, were lifted from sketches their troupe published on YouTube back in 2014 and 2011: "F*** A Pumpkin" and "Pet Blinders" (videos linked rather than embedded due to NSFW content).
In the Temple Horses' pumpkin sketch (uploaded Oct. 2014), an owner of a pumpkin patch is appalled by the lewd acts customers suggest performing on a pumpkin. "Pet Blinders" (uploaded Sep. 2011) is an infomercial advertising blinders for dogs so they don't have to be traumatized by watching their owners getting intimate. The "Pound Puppy"/"Pet Blinders" videos are particularly similar. Variety explains:
In the Temple Horses’ “Pet Blinders” and the “Saturday Night Live” sketch “Pound Puppy,” a fictional product is being sold that prevents pets from watching their owners perform sex acts. In the former, the product is a blind that goes over the pets’ eyes. In the latter it is a large, dog-shaped blinder that the owners climb inside in order to have sex while obscured from their pets’ field of vision. Each sketch, as the letter points out, uses “[three] separate settings for pet-interruption, introducing the pet owners’ dilemma.” Each sketch uses a dog’s-eye-view and reverse shot. In each, a labrador retriever, a mid-size dog, and a custom-breed dog is used.
"Imagine, one day you come home and it looks like somebody’s robbed your house," Hoffman told Variety in an exclusive interview. "What do you want from that situation? We feel like somebody took our stuff, and this isn’t the kind of thing where you can just get it back or call your insurance company to have it replaced, so at this point we’re just speaking out about it."
Ruggio and Hoffman told Variety that they received a verbal response to their letter from an NBC attorney about a week after they sent it and were told that an internal investigation found that the writers of both sketches "had independently developed the ideas for those sketches and found no similarities to the Temple Horses sketches that would be protected by copyright law," Variety reports.
Variety's SNL source confirmed Ruggio and Hoffman's claim and said NBC is currently working on a more official response.
Below are the two videos produced by SNL followed by links to the Temple Horses' previously released sketches.
SNL's "The Pumpkin Patch":
And here's the link to Temple Horses' "F*** A Pumpkin."
SNL's "Pound Puppy":
Here's the link to Temple Horses' "Pet Blinders."