January 21, 2016 3:35 pm
Updated: June 19, 2019 11:41 am

Amy Schumer denies joke theft, swears ‘on her life’ that she never would

Amy Schumer accepts Critics' Choice MVP Award onstage during the 21st Annual Critics' Choice Awards on January 17, 2016 in Santa Monica, California.

Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Comedian and actress Amy Schumer took to Twitter and SiriusXM to defend herself against allegations she stole jokes from three fellow comedians.

Appearing on The Jim Norton Advice Show on SiriusXM, Schumer emphatically denied the accusations.

“I’m getting accused of stealing jokes and I wanted to come and talk to you about it and clear my name because I would never ever do that and never have,” she asserted. “I would never, ever do that, and I never have. I’m so careful. I will literally take a polygraph. And I just would never do that. That would be so stupid.”

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Schumer insists she is extra-careful when coming up with material.

“I’m so like: ‘Is this anyone’s bit?’ I have to come up with so much material, for my TV show, this movie, stand-up, and I’m so careful, and none of these things had ever reached me,” she said to Norton.

Pop Goes the News was the first to report the story, which started up on Monday when the three accusing comedians —  Wendy Liebman, Kathleen Madigan and Tammy Pescatelli — posted to social media, calling out Schumer for allegedly stealing their jokes.

The cardinal sin of stand-up is to steal another’s jokes, so the accusations are pretty serious. (Hours after Pop Goes the News reported the story, MadiganLiebman and Pescatelli deleted their tweets that implied Schumer stole their jokes.)

A video was also published, juxtaposing Schumer’s work on Inside Amy Schumer with that of the three comedians. It indicates very strong similarities between the separate material, indicating that it could, in fact, be stolen.

Madigan’s jokes about paying someone to slap food out of your hands and work your body out are reminiscent of Inside Amy Schumer sketches, while Liebman’s zinger, “Maybe I’m old-fashioned but I like it when a guy pays — for sex,” is compared to Schumer’s: “I’m very old-school, I think the guy should always pay on the first date — for sex.”

As for why the veteran comedians are bringing up the accusations now, Schumer believes that it could be due to her skyrocketing fame.

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“Kathleen and Wendy know me and don’t believe I would do that — I think that Tammy is trying to get something going, I don’t know,” Schumer said to Norton. “I think she is upset… people get upset by success.”

Schumer added that she blocked Pescatelli on Twitter after she was “unkind” to a mutual friend, Rachel Feinstein. Pescatelli denies that statement, and seems to dispute the fact that she’s “trying to get something going.”

Leibman’s only public acknowledgement was this tweet (the rest were deleted).

Madigan’s Twitter page is void of any Schumer mention.

Schumer ended her time with Norton by saying she will not be silenced by the accusations.

“You can edit together a video, and it’s not fair and it’s not cool, but I’m not a little weakling,” she said. “It makes me upset, and angry, and then I just get stronger, and I’ll fight back. I am not going to become one of these other comics who’s been accused of stealing jokes. This will not be a part of my name.”

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