Two months ago, at How to Kick People, before a New York audience of approximately 120 people, I revealed THE SHARKTOPUSS, a creature of my imagination, created (and drawn) when I was in the 1st grade. A couple of days later, on this web site, the Sharktopuss made a second appearance for an online audience of approximately 348 BAJILLION.
Last night, on a new episode of Saturday Night Live, the Weekend Update segment contained a joke with a punchline about a Sharktopuss. (Including a photoshopped image of the creature that looked almost exactly like a CGI version of my own drawing – minus super-awesome eye laser beams. The graphic on SNL appeared as if George Lucas had gone back in and slicked it up a bit for contemporary audiences. Here's a screenshot. Please note Tina Fey's pained expression. COINCIDENCE? Yes, totally. But still!)
People have already written to me, claiming SNL stole the Sharktopuss directly from me. Though this wouldn't be unprecedented, I guess – I know of at least one NYC performer who has actually sued the show for stealing some of his comedy. (Read Jay Mohr's SNL memoir, Gasping for Airtime. Wait. On second thought, don't.) And the show does have a history of cannibalizing their own sketches (Wayne's World/Jared's Room, and the endless stream of Washed-Up Lounge Singer Character Showcase™ sketches that usually air around 12:52am EST.) – I'm willing to believe it was probably all a big coincidence. Think about it: can you imagine Saturday Night Live would be so hungry for ideas that they'd steal a joke originally conceived by a seven year-old? (That is a rhetorical question.)