When fresh ideas are hard to come by, don't settle for plagiarism.
Or Settl, as the case may be, which happens to be the name of a satirical dating app featured in a sketch on last week's "Saturday Night Live." Coincidentally, it's the same name used by developer Matt Condon and designer Ben Zweig in a sketch earlier this year at a Los Angeles event known as Comedy Hack Day, or CHD.
The two sketches also share the exact same premise: In a world where dating apps enable users to search endlessly (and fruitlessly) for "the one" perfect partner, "Settl" forces users to ... well, settle for someone more realistic.
Zweig called out SNL in a post on Medium earlier this week in which he acknowledges there's a tiny sliver of a chance the two came up with the same idea independently. Then he proceeds to destroy it:
But let’s assume the best and say that your writers thought this up completely independently. Even then, a simple Google search would’ve informed you it had been done. Hell, one Reddit user who was searching for your very recent SNL sketch inadvertently found our months-old project instead, and thought them similar enough to post about it. If that ain’t damning, I don’t know what is. What happened is either a degree of comedic plagiarism, or an impressive lack of basic, easily-done research. In 2015, I’m not sure which one is worse.
Matt Condon, Zweig's partner in the sketch, has been similarly critical on Twitter:
For the sake of comparison, here's SNL's sketch:
And here's the version from Condon and Zweig:
Condon and Zweig's plagiarism accusation is the second one to hit SNL this year. In May, viewers noted a sketch called "Picture Perfect" was oddly reminiscent of a similar bit on the Canadian show "This Hour Has 22 Minutes."
A representative for NBC Universal did not immediately respond to a request for comment.