Saturday Night Live, or SNL, has been accused of plagiarizing two separate comedy sketches from New York comedy duo Temple Horses. The duo is made up of Nick Ruggia and Ryan Hoffmann, whose attorney, Wallace Neels sent a letter to NBC concerning the sketches’ similarities last month.
According to Variety, SNL may have taken ideas from the duo’s skits “Not Trying to Fuck This Pumpkin” and “Pet Blinders” on separate occasions.
Allegedly, SNL aired a skit about people potentially having sexual intercourse with pumpkins, which is very similar to Temple Horses’ skit from 2014. In both skits, the owner of a pumpkin patch accuses the actors of performing sexual acts on his pumpkins. After similar banter back and forth, the actors in both skits are eventually removed from their respective pumpkin patches.
You can check out the similarity below.
Additionally, “Pet Blinders” from Temple Horses also appears to be strikingly similar to SNL‘s “Pound Puppy.” Each skit follows the plot line of a product that allegedly prevents people’s pets from watching them engage in sexual activity. According to Variety, the similarities occur in multiple ways: The number of disruption scenes, the number and types of dogs used and shots using the angle from a dog’s point-of-view.
“Imagine, one day you come home and it looks like somebody’s robbed your house,” Hoffman says in a story with Variety. “What do you want from that situation? We feel like somebody took our stuff, and this isn’t the kind of thing where you can just get it back or call your insurance company to have it replaced, so at this point we’re just speaking out about it.”
However, according to Variety, an NBC attorney has since responded to the duo’s letter, refuting any acts of plagiarism. Additionally, the attorney says that their writers had independently written and developed the ideas for “The Pumpkin Patch” and “Pound Puppy.”
That said, Hoffmann and Ruggia are far less known on the internet, amassing only a little over 3,000 subscribers, compared to SNL’s 7.7 million.
The two were made aware of SNL‘s performances by friends on both occasions. However, it wasn’t until the second alleged instance occurred with “Pound Puppy” that Temple Horses decided to take action.
“It was twice in the same season, and we felt that at this point, that we didn’t really have a choice but to address it,” Hoffman says. “And we don’t really want to be involved in a mess like this, but there’s a certain point you have to stand up for yourself and your work.”
“In an ideal world, we’d get what all artists want: attribution and compensation,” Ruggia says. “We tried to settle this amicably and quietly, but we feel like the mechanisms for dealing with this in comedy really need to change. These situations arise way too frequently.”
Do you think the skits show similarities? Sound off in the comments below.