Gad Elmaleh accused of plagiarizing French counterparts

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French-Moroccan-Canadian stand-up comedian Gad Elmaleh. / Ph. DR

French-Moroccan-Canadian stand-up comedian Gad Elmaleh is once again accused of plagiarism. This time, several French comedians told French bimonthly magazine Society that they were allegedly «copied» by the Netflix stand-up comedian.  

Quoted by L’Obs, the magazine reveals that a «renowned humorist» who refused to be named said that he was told twice that Gad Elmaleh had copied his sketches. The same source said that videos made by anonymous Youtube channel CopyComic made him discover the third sketch allegedly «plagiarized» by the comedian. «It really harms our job. Humor is a serious thing», he said.

Society spoke to Kamel Bennafla, a French humorist based in Marseille. The latter told the magazine that Gad Elmaleh’s «The Blond» character, a young man who knows everything in a way that embarasses people, is reportedly «inspired» by a character he invented years ago.  

Bennafla and Elmaleh met for the first time in the 1990s, when they were both invited to a radio show. «Bennafla told the story of the Blond in his sketch ‘Ma femme au ski’», said Society. «When the show ended, Gad Elmaleh asked him for a copy of the sketch (…) Years later, Kamel Bennafla’s fans told him that the Blond sketch belongs to Gad Elmaleh», Society added.

For the record, on January the 29th, a Youtube video «revealed a slew of examples of comic routines by Elmaleh that show uncanny resemblance to jokes by other comics».

The video alleges that the Netflix comedian copied the routine of two American stand-up comedians, namely George Carlin and Steven Wright, and Canadian actors Patrick Huard and Martin Matte.

It is not the first time that Gad Elmaleh faces similar accusations. In October, 2017, the same channel revealed in a video that several French comedians, including Gad Elmaleh, were overly inspired by their American counterparts.

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