Thursday, February 15, 2007

Bitergate: The History of Joke Thieves

Joe Rogan's recent outing of Mencia on stage as a joke thief has the whole comedy world buzzing. It's like the Watergate of comedy. I call it Bitergate. Of course Mencia was not the first to steal. Radar has an article on the history of joke thieves (via Cracked). One of the most notorious is Robin Williams.

"I've been in clubs in L.A. where Robin'll walk in the room and whoever's on stage will just get off," says Boston comedian Kevin Knox. Ritch Shydner, a former Improv regular and coauthor of the book I Killed: True Stories of the Road From America's Top Comics, agrees. "Robin is a ferocious performer," he says, "but he isn't the kind who can generate material, material, material. His style is to watch people and regurgitate what he sees."

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