No one owns a concept, and the idea behind the skit — many white people feel entitled — is far older than “SNL” or Louis C.K. But it’s notable that one of the most prominent comedy shows on television either didn’t know or didn’t care that it was re-using a premise that one of the most popular stand-ups in the country introduced less than two years ago.
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In his special “Hilarious,” C.K. argued that Americans are so spoiled by technology and other gifts that they complain about tiny inconveniences like having to choose a language at the ATM.
“We have white people problems in America,” C.K. said. “That’s when your life is amazing so you just make shit up to be upset about.”
That’s also the premise of the “SNL” skit, which features white people complaining about such minor problems as not getting to sit together on a plane.
“SNL” used C.K.’s concept, but unfortunately not his jokes — the show added some stale stereotypes about black people going on break a lot.
The one good joke in the skit, which featured host Charles Barkeley: “For those of you at home, ‘awkward’ is a white people word that can be applied to every situation.”
C.K. is accustomed to having his ideas, um, borrowed. In an episode of his FX show “Louie,” last season, he included a scene in which he confronts comedian Dane Cook over claims that Cook ripped off his premises. (Cook denies it, and blasts C.K. for not defending him.)
The “SNL” skit also features a riff about white people and free range chicken that’s awfully similar to one on the last season of “Portlandia” — the very funny IFC comedy series that features Fred Armisen, who’s also in the “White People’s Problems” sketch. We know there are no completely new jokes, but wow.