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Profile of tacrowl
Bob -
Independent creation. I use a similar line with the blow off - I give you the illusion of sanity.

Years ago I did a joke about "telepathetic powers". Someone accused me of taking the joke from and act I had never seen. It wasn't that far a stretch to go from pathic to pathetic. You're in a situation, you come up with a line. Chances are someone else has been in the same situation and had a similar thought. I spent some time recently with a respected act - we were watching TV and heard a joke. His response - that is so going in my show. It happens on all levels.

What bothers me more than anything is when someone takes an entire routine, word for word. Another fairly well known act that has actually written articles about comedy and using stock jokes, released a video of a new routine. The content was almost word for word, joke for joke, to another act.

As Mark said, if you use something old, make it new again by giving it your own twist.

Tom Crowl - Comedy Ventriloquist

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Profile of wizardpa
I actually love coming up with stuff that as far as I know is totally original. Almost every magic trick I do and every vent routine I do is original as far as I know.
It's not that I would mind if someone copied something I did, but that they were claiming it as their own. That is when someone crossed the line as far as I am concerned.
I saw a magician I actually know, do the magic coloring book on our local PBS station. He said he invented this trick. COME ON!
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Profile of Servante
YeI DID add a linoleum/aluminum addition, which strengthened the correct pronunciation of "ventriloquist" as the snapper.

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Profile of Joseph_Then
On 2011-03-22 18:38, Bob Baker wrote:
There is also the issue of independent creation. One of my best lines is:

Bob: You know, I'd think you'd have more respect for me and what I do.
Oscar: Why should I?
Bob: Because I give you the illusion of life.
Oscar: And I give you the illusion of talent.

I had something similar in that style with my bird puppet.

Joseph: Be a good boy and don't make me angry. If you make me angry, and I'll become an angry man.
Bird: If you make me angry, I'll become an "angry bird"!

Feel free to use this. Smile

Joseph Then

Singapore Ventriloquist
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Profile of swiss_magician
I agree with the fact that some jokes principles have been around for so long, these are kinda classics in ventriloquist routines. As an example, taking the lines between Bob and Oscar, a popular youtube video has Paul Zerdin and Sam talking:

Paul: if it wasn't for me, you wouldn't talk
Sam: if it wasn't for me, you wouldn't eat.

The bit of humour concerning the fact that the ventriloquist is 'playing with dolls' to make a living has been heard in quite a few routines.

I guess that using some classic gags in routines and stealing a whole routine is the big difference. Someone already invented the wheel: Still, it does not prevent anyone to imagine and create a new vehicle Smile
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Profile of Servante
Yeah, and since I write for a living, that part's no trouble. A few years back I thought I was semi-retired from vent, with just one annual show that I'd done for forty years...but then I discovered Puppets and Props and ebay...and the next thing I knew, I had five new figures begging for material.
I have no idea what will happen next...but whatever it is, I'm gonna need to start writing material.

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Nashua, NH
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Profile of olivertwist
I also respect the rights of the originator of a routine and won't borrow his/her material without permission. However, if I later find that the routine was performed long ago by some deceased vent, or, as is usually the case, that it is a "standard" bit, then I consider its copyright to have expired and I have as much right as the other performer to use it.
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Profile of kidshowvent
I think that's a fair assessment of the situation. Some jokes are old and almost considered public domain in status, and I don't think anyone objects to you using those. I would suggest , however, that a person needs to either rewrite the old joke to make it more of his or hers, or use the joke premise and write another. Ther are several joke premises such as "exaggeration", "entertainer in trouble", "surprise endings" and many others. Also as comedy writer Robert Orben once wrote.."What's wrong with an old joke? It may be old to some but the majority of people probably haven't heard it, so go ahead and use it. It's in the DELIVERY of the joke that the comedy comes throught" (This was paraphrased..). I agree..

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