Did ‘SNL’ steal Tig Notaro’s sketch for Louis C.K. sketch?

Louis C.K.
Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for The Bob Woodruff Foundation
Louis C.K.

Comedian Tig Notaro has spoken out about a short film that Louis C.K. appeared in last weekend on “Saturday Night Live” that closely mirrors a film she made called “Clown Service.”

In the “SNL” sketch, called “Birthday Clown,” the Newton-bred C.K. hires a clown, played by cast member Bobby Moynihan, to cheer him up — which is the same premise as Notaro’s short film. Notaro, in a statement to Entertainment Weekly, said she found the “SNL” sketch to be “extremely disappointing,” and that a “writer/director” who worked on the “SNL” sketch knew of Notaro’s “Clown Service.”

Notaro says she has screened the film at a variety of festivals around the country and continues to show it while on a national tour.


Notaro also said that she hasn’t communicated with C.K. in almost a year and a half, despite the fact that both comedians are involved in the Amazon series “One Mississippi” — Notaro as the star, producer, and one of the show’s writers, and C.K. as an executive producer.

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“I never gave anyone permission to use anything from my film,” Notaro said in her statement to EW. “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.”

C.K. has not responded to Notaro’s claims.

“SNL” ’s “Birthday Clown”:

Notaro’s “Clown Service”:

Lexi Peery can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @LexiFP.