Remember back in 2007, when about ten or so 7-Elevens across the country became Kwik-E-Marts as part of an unprecedented marketing push for the The Simpsons movie? Just about everyone agreed it was a genius promotional stunt. Well, now it’s 2011 and it looks like Hollywood hackman J.J. Abrams has shamelessly copied the whole thing. Over 2,000 Motel 6 motels across the United States and Canada have been transformed into “Super 8” motels in order to market Abram’s latest popcorn flick, Super 8. Each room has been specially designed to resemble the 1970s, the time period in which the film takes place. They’ve even made a super-convincing viral web site.
Back in February, we blew the doors off the biggest plagiarism scandal to rock the entertainment industry since Disney’s wholesale appropriation of Osamu Tezuka’s Kimba the White Lion (Really, Disney? “Simba?”): former Tonight Show guest host Conan O’Brien’s blatant theft of The Simpsons‘ iconic “couch gag” in the titles of his new show. After three months of stonewalling our indisputable allegations, the thievery gang known as “Team Coco” has finally broken down and acknowledged the shameful theft in the titles of last night’s Conan:
You can see it in action in this curiously unembeddable video. For the watching-impaired, the silhouetted family from Conan‘s titles returns home to find the Simpsons (including a Small Bart) making off with their television. Clearly the subtext is clear: Conan has stolen The Simpsons‘s couch gag, so the Simpsons are stealing a television.
Now, obviously this can’t undo all the hurt and damage that has arisen as a result from their reckless disregard for intellectual property, but this acknowledgement is certainly a step forward on the path to recovery. While our editorial policy forbids the tooting of one’s horn, we would be remiss without noting that once again, rubbercat.net/simpsons has achieved positive change as a direct result of our steadfast reporting. You’re welcome, everyone.
Disgraced talk show host Conan O’Brien, who was famously exiled from network television for being such a bad man, has apparently resorted to blatantly ripping off the beloved American institution known as The Simpsons in an act of brazen desperation, a new low for this sad, sad man. In the opening titles of his new variety show on TBS, a silhouetted family drives over a bridge from a city and then runs inside their home to watch TV. Sound familiar? If that weren’t enough, a wacky gag involving the family – a couch gag, if you will – occurs on Thursday shows.
Earlier this year, some radio show noticed that singer-songwriter Usher’s chart-topping hit song “OMG” sounds remarkably like a song Homer Simpson tried to compose in the particularly awful 2003 episode “Dude, Where’s My Ranch?” Judge for yourself:
I don’t believe Mr. Usher intentionally committed songtheft. Like most of us who watched that episode, he must have tried to block it from his mind, but no matter how hard we try to repress our memories of Current Simpsons, bits and pieces still manage to escape. Try as I might, I can’t forget about Sideshow Bob Jr., or that Snowball II is actually Snowball V now, or the time Homer was Kurt Cobain for some reason. In Usher’s case, that little ditty somehow seeped through his mental blockade, years later and drained of its context, and because of cryptomnesia, he thought he’d come up with the tune himself and then proceeded to turn it into a hit single.
Unfortunately for him, this is not the first time he has been accused of plagiarizing a non-human. Last year, a devastating expose revealed he had stolen the opening of “Papers” from a goat. [YouTube via @ShawnElliot]
Classic Simpsons writer Mike Reiss usurped current Simpsons writer Matt Selman’s Xanga page to spin a sordid tale of lies, deceit, greed, and avarice. In the cutthroat world of children’s literature, celebrities have all the advantage, while run-of-the mill schlubs like Emmy Award-winning comedy writer Mike Reiss are forced to eat bowls of tough breaks for brunch. It seems a certain “Steve Martin,” famous person and noted bluegrass musician, penned a little book titled Late for School (adapted from the song by the same name), which as M. Reiss points out, is uncannily similar to Reiss’s 2003 book, also titled Late for School:
Both tell the story of a boy facing adventure on a mad dash for school. Both are written in verse. Both have the boy jumping over a pool (it rhymes with school). The biggest difference is that my book’s final twist has the boy arriving at school right on time, and then – spoiler alert! – realizing it’s Sunday. In Steve Martin’s book, it’s Saturday.
Well, well, well. Looks like these celebrity punks who’ve been taking picture book jobs away from real Americans are finally going to get their comeuppance. Reiss is holding all the cards here. Undoubtedly, he’ll slap Martin with a lawsuit so fast his head will explode. This will be the literary theft case of the decade. This will be —
I’m not saying Steve ripped off my book, or even knew it existed. Steve Martin is a brilliant comedian, playwright and novelist. I’m thrilled that we had the exact same idea. And that I had it seven years earlier.
I… b-but…. whaaa?…. *sputters incoherently* [Techland]
Celebrated Goosebumps author Stephen King churned out a new book, Under the Dome, which features a town encased in a giant dome (possible metaphor???), which The Internet immediately declared to be a rip-off of The Simpsons Movie, which was of course the first movie to feature a dome. King denied these grave charges of plagiarism, claiming to have come up with the plot when he started the story in the 1970s, which pre-dates The Simpsons by a week or two. He further attempted to prove his innocence by scanning the first 60 pages of his manuscript, typed out in their original IBM typescript, which should erase any lingering doubts because faking old typewriter fonts is impossible.
Wikipedia user “a metal shard” has blown the doors off the biggest plagiarism scandal to rock the animation world since the Lion King/Kimba the White Lion fiasco of 1994:
Neon Genesis: Evangelion—theme?
While viewing the movie, I was reminded several times throughout of the old Anime: 1. The corporation EPA and their helicopters = NGE’s EVA and their large scale assaults + heli’s are almost identical 2. Dome = Angel’s shields (were they called AT Fields?) 3. Homer’s Epiphany = Shinji’s numerous experiences, almost identical, with the clapping hands and such, 3.5 the boob-ladie’s blowing into Homer’s mouth remind me of the NGA’s women cleavage and kissing scene (during Shinji’s dream?). 4. Homer’s pig = Masato’s penguin
A naysayer attempts to shoot down his theories, forcing a metal shard to respond with these sage words of wisdom: “Maybe if you had seen the anime show, watched the movies, played the games, read the manga, or set foot in Japan, you wouldn’t be so quick to claim that I was implying anything…” Don’t let the bastards grind you down, a metal shard! Keep on fighting the good fight! [Wikipedia]