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Tig Notaro Accuses Saturday Night Live Of Copying Her Sketch

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Tig Notaro is not happy with Saturday Night Live.

The stand-up comic who has appeared on Inside Amy Schumer, One Mississippi, Community, and The Office, alleges that the show stole the idea for one of its sketches from this week's Louis C.K.-hosted episode from a short film she made.

The sketch in question is called "Birthday Clown" (watch it above), and it features cast member Bobby Moynihan as Seth, a clown hired for a birthday party for Ernest (Louis C.K.). Moynihan's clown is pretty shocked to find that Ernie is the only guest at the performance, and then puts on his show for the depressed 53-year-old.

Notaro's film called Clown Service (available to watch on Vimeo) is about 10 minutes longer than the SNL sketch, and features Notaro as a depressed woman who finds an ad for a clown in the classified section of the local newspaper. She calls the company and requests a clown to come over because she is feeling "kinda sad" after a breakup. The two end up getting on far better than Moynihan's clown and Louis C.K. do. The clown in Notaro's version enjoys giving his performance, while Moynihan is openly perturbed. SNL's sketch also ends with a dark joke about C.K. murdering Moynihan, while Notaro's ends with the two bonding and getting through their troubles together (with the help of another clown).

"It has been impossible for me to ignore the cacophony of voices reaching out personally and publicly about the potential plagiarizing of my film Clown Service (a film that I screened at Largo in Los Angeles for over a year and it premiered at Vulture's Comedy Festival in New York City as well as numerous film festivals around the country and I am currently screening on my national tour)," Notaro said in a statement to Entertainment Weekly. She also alleges that a writer who was "fully aware" of Clown Service worked on the SNL sketch.

Louis C.K. was responsible for convincing Notaro to record and release her stand-up special Live, which was a highly personal set surrounding her struggle with cancer. While he also serves as an executive producer on her Amazon series One Mississippi, Notaro said she hasn't spoken to C.K. for nearly a year-and-a-half. "While I don't know how all this actually happened, I did find it extremely disappointing," she said. "I hesitated to even address any of this, but I think it is only right to defend my work and ideas and moving forward, I plan to continue screening Clown Service with the joy and pride I always have."

It is unclear if Notaro will pursue any legal action surrounding the alleged plagiarism. This isn't SNL's first run-in with controversy over its long run. For more on the show's insane and stories history, read the untold truth of Saturday Night Live.