Bill Hicks vs David Hare

George Bush tries some new stand-up material

George Bush tries some new stand-up material

Here’s a thing I didn’t include in my Sunday Times article on joke theft and my list of suspicious gags. It seems that a joke performed by Bill Hicks (who died in 1994) about the 1st George Bush is the same as a joke from David Hare’s 2004 play about the 2nd Iraq War and the 2nd George Bush, a joke which the Guardian review described as the biggest laugh of the night. This is that joke: Colin Powell says – “People keep asking how do we know he’s got weapons of mass destruction? How do we know? Because we’ve still got the receipts.”

I’d say here it’s a case of someone (David Hare) coming up with a joke without knowing it’s already been thought of before – something I just did myself with a tweet I did on the same day my plagiarism article came out about typing Google into Google to break the internet. A joke which, I soon found out, had been done by comedy writer Andy Riley, Graham Linehan in the IT Crowd and, according to Google, on 12,200,000 other occasions. That’ll teach me to write a smug piece about ripping off jokes.

Anyway, here’s Bill Hicks doing the joke (46 seconds in; thanks to @lozbar for the tip-off)…

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