Amy Schumer has responded to allegations by three comedians that she had stolen their jokes, a major accusation in standup comedy.
“On my life, I have never and would never steal a joke,” Schumer, 34, tweeted of the contretemps that began over the weekend. She also appeared on “The Jim Norton Advice Show,” part of Sirius XM’s Opie Radio, telling the comedian and radio personality, “I’m being accused of stealing jokes and I wanted to come and talk to you about it and clear my name because I would never, ever do that and I never have. And I’m literally going to take a polygraph test and put it on my show this season,” referring to Comedy Central’s “Inside Amy Schumer.” “And I promise whatever the results are … I won’t let them cut .”
The accusations appear to have started with an amateur video — removed from Vimeo on Thursday after Comedy Central-owner Viacom claimed copyright infringement — comparing Schumer performances from her TV shows and specials and her movie “Trainwreck” with performances by other comics including Wendy Liebman, Kathleen Madigan and Tammy Pescatelli. Liebman then complained, in a since-deleted tweet, about “Amy Schumer doing 1 of my best jokes on her HBO special.”
This led to a series of since-deleted tweets by Pescatelli, who wrote, “What has always been amazing to me is that she purports to be a feminist and yet only steals from other female comedians. If we call her on it we are ‘jealous’ or career-shamed. Be successful. WE want you to do well, just do it with your own material. BTW she blocked me.”
Liebman eventually backtracked, tweeting, “I never said Amy Schumer stole my joke.I just said it was the same. It’s possible we both wrote it. I just wanted you to know I wrote it 1st.”
“Both Kathleen and Wendy believe me,” the Rockville Centre-raised Schumer told Norton. “They know me and they don’t believe that I would do that. I think … Tammy’s trying to get something going,” adding, “I think she’s upset. I blocked her on Twitter a couple of years ago because she was unkind to my best friend … Rachel Feinstein, a comedian. … And so I was, like, ‘Well, I don’t want to talk to that chick. … We got along fine -- I opened for her on the road in, like, 2007.” She said, “I didn’t happen to catch her 2006 Comedy Central special and sit on [an allegedly stolen bit] till I got a movie. Like, I sat on that bit for nine years and then was like here’s my chance to steal that famous Tammy P bit.”
Responded Pescatelli, “I appreciate the credit of being a mastermind, but I am a hard working wife, mom & comic. I barely have time 2 start my car.” She also averred, “I love Rachel Feinstein. I don’t know who, what or where that rumor stared but couldn’t be further from the truth.”