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Saturday Night Live accused of stealing comedy sketch

Saturday Night Live accused of stealing comedy sketch

Most comedians would be thrilled to see their work end up on Saturday Night Live — but only if they ended up getting credit for it. Kimberly Condict and Vanessa Ragland, who perform with the improv comedy company The Groundlings, have alleged that SNL "lifted" the premise from one of their sketches during its most recent episode.

Last Saturday's SNL featured a sketch in which Sasheer Zamata, Cecily Strong, and guest Sarah Silverman performed as "The River Sisters," a trio of hard-luck performers on a Nebraska riverboat cruise. (You can watch the SNL sketch, via DropShots, here.) The problem? The sketch bears a distinct resemblance to a sketch written and performed by Condict and Ragland in the Groundlings' Sunday Company:

Both sketches feature women, wearing near-identical Tina Turner costumes, performing a version of "Proud Mary" while expounding on the more depressing aspects of their lives. Condict and Ragland took to Twitter to complain, and invited comedy fans to compare their original sketch to the sketch that appeared on SNL:

Reached for comment by The Week, a source close to Saturday Night Live said that any similarity between the two sketches was coincidental. "It's a common idea, since Tina Turner is such an iconic figure," said the source. "The similarities represent parallel thinking in the comedy world."