Cold war! | Comic Kae Kurd accused of ripping off a fridge routine he used on TV

Cold war!

Comic Kae Kurd accused of ripping off a fridge routine he used on TV

Comedian Kae Kurd has been accused of stealing a routine he performed on Jonathan Ross’s Comedy Club last weekend.

Fellow stand-up Darius Davies says the jokes Kurd told on the high-profile ITV show about getting smart fridges bear a remarkable similarity to material he does on the same topic.

Both talk about how getting a fridge with an ice-dispenser was a major status symbol, and likening an internet-connected appliance that texts you when supplies are running low to a nagging girlfriend.

And both include the punchline: ‘Why can’t you be more like the kettle?’

Davies has been performing the routine since 2015 and has a video recording from the Komedia comedy club in Brighton from that year to prove it. Chortle mentioned the routine when reviewing Davies in the final of the 2017 English Comedian Of The Year.

He said Kurd was at a gig in Up The Creek in April of that year when he performed the routine, and that he had previously challenged his fellow comic over the gag.

Comedian with microphohone

Davies, above, told Chortle: ‘At the end of 2019 a few other comedians told me that Kae was doing my routine. I messaged him and he called me on the phone. He said that his routine was significantly different. I was upset but I hadn't seen it his actual routine so couldn't say for sure.’

But then, Davies says: ‘Last Saturday I got a flurry of messages from other comedians saying Kae did my bit on television. So I watched it. 

‘I understand that parallel thinking  happens but there are too many bits and turns of phrases that are similar. 

‘What I think happened is Kae saw me do it, forgot I did it, then thought he had independently come up with the routine. 

‘It's seem almost impossibly unlikely that Kae would independently write a joke that has the four ostensibly unrelated cornerstones of: 1) I've come of age by buying a fridge; 2) ice dispensers are a proxy for wealth; 3) an internet connected fridge messaging me as if it were a partner; 4)  kettles don't need to be internet connected. 

‘I am absolutely certain he was heavily inspired by my routine.’

Davies said he spoke to Kurd after the ITV appearance to ‘resolve the situation amicably - maybe get a writer's credit or something’. But they did not resolve the situation, so he went public with the accusation, posting this video on YouTube comparing the two routines.

He added: ‘I’m lucky I actually have some footage of me performing the jokes, so many comedians don't in this situation.’

‘Too many times acts go on television or have a big agent  and use someone's jokes, then try to gaslight the original comedian who wrote the joke.

‘Yes I am doing this to defend my work, but also other comedians - and many of us have the same story, just we don't have video to back it up.'

Because the routine has now been on TV, it makes it more difficult for Davies to use it himself on the circuit, without punters thinking he was the one who was recycling the material.

Kurd’s agents have not responded to Chortle’s request for comment.

Published: 21 Sep 2020

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