Some members of Los Angeles improv group The Groundlings are taking issue with Saturday Night Live's recent Tina Turner-inspired sketch.
Vanessa Ragland and Kimberly Condict claim that their skit about struggling Tina Turner impersonators, which they performed all summer long in L.A., was lifted by the infamous comedy show, TheWrap reports. In their version, Ragland and Condict are dressed like Turner and performing in a casino where they take breaks to talk about the unfortunate turn of events that brought them to their present gig. An emcee interrupts the two, telling them to continue with the performance for the people enjoying a nice crab buffet. They crack a joke about being offered a gig in a riverboat casino, a shout out to Turner's hit cover of "Proud Mary."
For SNL's take, Sarah Silverman joins Cecily Strong and Sasheer Zamata as Tina Turner impersonators who scored a gig on an actual riverboat casino. They outline how they each got there and talk about the shrimp buffet before an emcee tells them to get back to work. In both sketches, the women are wearing very similar outfits (check out the videos below).
A source at SNL informed TheWrap that the similarities are coincidental, claiming that writers for the show hadn't even seen the Groundlings version. "It's a common idea since Tina Turner is such an iconic figure," the person said. "The similarities represent parallel thinking in the comedy world."
Read Groundlings teacher Ian Gary's take on the matter below.