I found out this week that one of the young comics that's been coming to amateur nights at Hecklers, has been telling my jokes on stage. He was at gig in another town, and he told one of my best jokes, word for word. What he didn't know is the guy he was doing the show with happens to be one of my best friends.
I know it was not a case of him writing a similar joke by mistake, because I know he's seen me do the joke at Hecklers. Aaargh. There really is no feeling like being stolen from. And stealing jokes and ideas is no different than stealing my i-Pod or my DVD player. In fact, I think it's worse. It's a feeling of being totally violated. In the comedy business, being a joke thief is the absolute lowest of the low.
And it happens in radio too, sometimes.
The bright side, is that people who jack other people's ideas... do it because they lack the talent and creativity to think of something original on their own. They will continue to steal until they get caught and exposed, because that is all they know how to do. On the other hand, original and creative people can always think of more ideas and more jokes, and that is why we will always win.