The most talked about sketch from last weekend's "Saturday Night Live" was, hands down, the "Picture Perfect" bit about a fake game show in which contestants faced the awkward prospect of being asked to draw the Prophet Muhammad.
But in the aftermath of the skit's popularity, some are claiming that the comic bit was ripped off of a Canadian show that aired a strikingly similar sketch back in January.
In the "Saturday Night Live" skit, two faux-contestants are handed a card and asked to draw Islam's most prominent prophet. When they fearfully decline, other cast members — who have no idea what their fellow contestants have been asked to draw — urge them on.
"I don’t think I can," say one terrified character, who was played by Bobby Moynihan.
But the skit, which attracted a fair amount of attention, was soon compared to a sketch that was recently produced as part of "This Hour Has 22 Minutes," a Canadian comedy show, Mediate reported.
Canada's CBC News — whose parent company produces that show — didn't mince any words in addressing the matter, reporting that "it appears the NBC sketch comedy show may have stolen the punchline from CBC's 'This Hour Has 22 Minutes.'"
The outlet went on to call the "Saturday Night Live" skit "remarkably similar" to the contents of the CBC sketch from January that featured a game show called "Win, Lose or Draw" in which a character was also asked to draw the Prophet Muhammad and declined.
"Please don't make me do this," the character pleads. "Am I allowed to pass?"
Watch the "This Hour Has 22 Minutes" sketch below:
Now, watch the "Saturday Night Live" skit for comparison sake:
Among the similarities in the two sketches is a $1 million prize as well as female contestants successfully guessing that it's the Prophet Muhammad after their counterparts blatantly — and fearfully — refuse to draw the image.
After Twitter started buzzing with claims that "Saturday Night Live" ripped off the Canadian comedy show, one of its actors, Shaun Majumder, quipped, "Wow if only we could steal some of their budget."
He followed that up with the hashtag #MuhammadGate and wrote, "You've got to admit it's [a] little too close for comfort."