'It's OK to steal a gag'

...but not too many, John Bishop tells one comedy hopeful

John Bishop told a young would-be comic: ‘You can steal someone's gag’.

But he warned that lifting whole segments of another comedian’s material was going too far.

The Liverpudlian stand-up doled out the controversial advice when he saw a teenager rip off one of his routines word-for-word.

It came at a charity gig in his home town, showcasing the efforts of youngsters who had been given help in performance skills.

‘There was this one young lad who just did my act; the whole thing,’ he told the Digital Spy website. ‘My performance at Live At The Apollo - he did a whole section from that. He started saying, “You know what it's like when you have kids...” I was thinking, “You're 15!'"

‘He was pretty amusing. I went and spoke to him at the end and said, “Look you can't do this, you can steal someone's gag here and there, but you can't steal their life - you can't steal their persona!”’

Bishop was speaking to promote his new Sky1 show Only Joking, which features members of the public, celebrities and full-time comedians cracking simple gags.

Published: 13 Jan 2013

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