Comedian Tig Notaro has expressed her disappointment with Louis C.K.’s “Saturday Night Live” skit “Birthday Clown,” believing it to be a ripoff of her short film “Clown Service.”
In “Clown Service,” Notaro stars as a depressed woman who orders a clown for herself. The “Saturday Night Live” skit “Birthday Clown” has a similar storyline with C.K. portraying a depressed man who orders a clown to his house to cheer himself up.
Notaro and C.K. have worked together in the past. C.K. served as executive producer on her show “One Mississippi.” In 2012, he also hosted her standup show on his website.
In a statement released to Entertainment Weekly, Notaro says she found the skit “extremely disappointing.”
“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 NYC as well as numerous film festivals around the country and I am currently screening on my national tour),” Notaro said in the statement.
She continued on that a writer/director who worked on “Clown Service” also worked on C.K.’s “SNL” sketch. She claims she has not communicated with C.K. almost a year and a half.
“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,” Notaro concludes.