The founders of a New York comedy sketch troupe have accused “Saturday Night Live” (“SNL”) of plagiarizing two of their sketches, Variety reported Friday.
Nick Ruggia and Ryan Hoffman, the founders of Temple Horses, claim the late-night show ripped off their sketches “Not Trying to F— This Pumpkin” and “Pet Blinders.”
“Imagine, one day you come home and it looks like somebody’s robbed your house,” Hoffman told 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.”
Ruggia and Hoffman first uploaded their sketch “Not Trying to F— This Pumpkin” on YouTube in October 2014 — four years before a similar sketch titled “The Pumpkin Patch” was aired on “SNL,” according to Variety.
In a letter to NBC last month and later obtained by Variety, their attorney, Wallace Neel, detailed how the two sketches are similar.
Each sketch opens with a character owning a pumpkin patch. The owner then encounters a group of multiple men and one woman and accuses them of engaging in indecent acts with the pumpkins, the outlet noted.
The two sketches both feature the owner noting that there are children nearby and banning the offenders from the pumpkin patch.
“The Pumpkin Patch” was uploaded to YouTube in October 2018 and has more than 1.5 million views.
Temple Horses also accused “SNL” of ripping off its “Pet Blinders” sketch for a skit on the show called “Pound Puppy.”
Both skits offer a fictional product being sold to cover a pet’s eyes while the owner is performing sex acts, Variety reported.
“This is not ‘parallel construction’: Two separate instances of wholesale lifting of concept, setting, characters, plot, and outcome in the same season do not happen by coincidence,” Neel wrote in the Feb. 27 letter, which continued, “Someone(s) at SNL is plagiarizing material.”
The Hill has reached out to NBC for comment.
Ruggio and Hoffman told Variety that an NBC attorney responded verbally to their letter.
According to the writers, NBC said an internal investigation found that the “SNL” writers of “The Pumpkin Patch” and “Pound Puppy” had independently developed the ideas for those sketches.
The investigation reportedly found no similarities to the Temple Horses sketches, which Variety noted would be a violation of copyright law.