Was South Park’s Inception Spoof Too Similar to College Humor’s?


Only a month after Saturday Night Live took some flak from comedy nerds who thought the show had ripped off a "tiny hats" sketch from Tim and Eric Awesome Show: Great Job!, a new comedy controversy is brewing over whether South Park lifted too much of its recent Inception parody from College Humor's own spoof of the movie, "Inception Characters Don't Understand Inception." "I’m conflicted, because I absolutely adore South Park," said College Humor co-writer Dan Gurewitch on his blog, adding, "I am VERY careful about accusations like this, because parallel thinking happens all the time in comedy ... but our sketch is lifted almost line by line." Then again, maybe there are only so many ways to parody Inception.

Here's Gurewitch's comparison of his own dialogue to South Park's similar lines:

That doesn’t sound so hard. / That doesn’t sound very difficult.
It is. / It is.
Why? / Why?
Aaarrgh! / Aaarrgh!
We don’t have time for this! / We don’t have time for this!
Okay, fine, so next we’re going into Arthur’s dream, and then what? / Okay, fine. So you’re gonna take my son to a dream within the dream, then what?
Then we go into Fisher’s dream. / Then we go into your husband’s dream.
Okay got it / Okay…
But Fisher will think we’re in Browning’s dream / But your husband will think you’re in Hasselback’s dream.
Okay. Wait, who’s Browning? / Okay wait, who’s Hasselback?

Sorry that’s my bad. Sometimes my thoughts of my dead wife manifest themselves as trains. / Sometimes thoughts of my dead wife manifest themselves as trains.

And here's the original College Humor sketch, which premiered in August:

Well, this is interesting... [Dan Gurewitch]
Inception Characters Don't Understand Inception [College Humor]