The sketch comedy series Saturday Night Live is coming under some fire amid accusations of plagiarism. On Saturday night, the show returned to NBC with the premiere of its 48th season. Miles Teller (Top Gun: Maverick) made his hosting debut in the episode while Kendrick Lamar served as the musical guest. Jon Hamm and Shaun White also made special appearances in the cold open segment to help kick off the new season.
But the night was not flawless, given the controversy associated with one particular sketch. In the segment, the SNL cast members portray the animated blue-and-white bears from Charmin’s toilet paper commercials. Teller comes clean to his fellow bear family members (played by Kenan Thompson, Heidi Gardner, and Punkie Johnson) about how he has found a new passion in life, hoping to become a dancer. His family disapproves, reminding the bear that their sole purpose in life is to help sell toilet paper for Charmin.
Watch the skit below.
Some viewers found the sketch to be amusing, but is it an original idea? Per PopCulture.com, there have been some fans crying foul about the sketch by suggesting that the concept was lifted from another video. In particular, filmmaker Joel Haver uploaded a similar video to YouTube back in July. This video also has the son of a Charmin bear informing his father he’s found a new passion in musical theater. Though animated and much shorter than the SNL version, the similarities between the sketches are seen as uncanny by some viewers who feel that it’s too much to be coincidental.
See for yourself by watching this version below, compared to the SNL skit.
As of now, no one from SNL nor Haver has publicly commented on the alleged plagiarism.
Joel Haver’s Fans Aren’t Happy
Joel Haver fans were quick to recall the Charmin sketch from the filmmaker after seeing the SNL version on Saturday night. Some are criticizing SNL in a threat on Reddit devoted to calling out the alleged plagiarism while defending Haver.
“I only caught the tail end of a sketch on tonight’s episode of SNL, but the general premise was Charmin/toilet paper bear mascots, one of them realizing there’s more to life than wiping his ass — he wants to make art! … Seems familiar,” one fan wrote.
“I literally just joined this sub now to see if someone caught that they stole the toilet paper bears skit,” responded another Redditor.
Someone else noted, “Totally stole it. And SNL has a long track record of stealing sketches, so I never give them benefit of the doubt with this stuff. Unreal.”