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Comedians Nikki and Sara Allege E! News Stole Their Bit

Nikki & Sara Live was a show that aired on MTV in 2013 for two seasons. It was very funny and it's sad that it's over but according to the women behind it, the jokes they told live on, not in reruns, but on the E! Network.

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In April of last year, Nikki Glaser and Sara Schaefer went to the MTV Movie Awards and each tried to touch as many celebrities as possible in a fun game meant to make fun of the way red carpet correspondents always seem to try to touch celebrities. You can watch the clip of their hijincks above; they really got some good pats in. On Wednesday, Schaefer tweeted a link to a montage of clips that aired on E! News sometime this week of host Giuliana Rancic patting celebrities on the red carpet of the Grammys. The video uses same exact bell sound effect every time she gets a touch in and there's also a ticker at the bottom counting the total number of pats.

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While Glaser and Schaefer were making fun of idiocy of the people who cover celebrity news, including Rancic, E! is trying to demonstrate their love of Rancic and make her rather detestable habits endearing. By pointing out how Rancic sucks up to celebrities, they're attempting to give her a gentle ribbing in a way that suggests to viewers that they're all just one big happy family. Unfortunately, the joke is far too real for those for whom Rancic's presence on the red carpet circuit is enough to inspire fantasies of giving up this media life and abandoning everything for a world where spray tanning doesn't exist.

But that's not really the point: the point is that to Schaefer and Glaser, the joke was a total rip-off.

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I've watched too many episodes of E! News in my life (read: more than one) so I can attest that the show's writers do like to make fun of Giuliana for buddying up with celebrities. This particular joke does feel familiar in a way that could mean that it could be a recurring one for E! News that predates Nikki & Sara, but I've got no proof that that's the case. And because of the ephemeral nature of the news E! covers, they're hardly good at putting clips of these segments online, so I haven't been able to tell if they've done it before in a similar way. But given that Rancic is one of the celebrities shown in the original Nikki & Sara clip, the coincidence certainly doesn't look great.

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DISCUSSION

I can understand why comedians are so possessive about their material. It's not like they can sue someone for stealing a joke or a bit the way that people are always suing over song sampling and stealing melodies or ideas for movies or for being Shia LaBeouf. It seems the only way to combat it is to draw attention to it. I would be livid.