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Did SNL Rip Off an Improv Comedy Group?

The Groundlings are a relatively well known improv/comedy troupe out in LA who has enjoyed a fairly happy relationship with Saturday Night Live. Saturday Night Live is, well, you know who they are. Or do you? The events of today suggest none of us may know what dark secrets lie the heart of sketch comedy’s brightest star. Last weekend, guest host Sarah Silverman joined Cecily Strong and Sasheer Zamata as some Tina Turner-lookalikes using “Proud Mary” to complain about their personal lives. The following day, two Groundlings named Kimberly Condict and Vanessa Ragland took to Twitter to point out the sketch had an awful lot of similarities with an old sketch of theirs, in which they, well, played Tina Turner-lookalikes using “Proud Mary” to complain about their personal lives.

A rep from SNL dismissed the comparisons. “It’s a common idea since Tina Turner is such an iconic figure,” he says. “The similarities represent parallel thinking in the comedy world.” Of course, the sketch isn’t really about Tina Turner, but about Tina Turner impersonators singing “Proud Mary” and complaining about their personal lives, which doesn’t seem like that common of an idea …

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