Parker and Stone apologise for plagerism

Plagerism of, regarding the Inception parody. Seriously.

Their excuse is that they couldn’t find a watchable copy of the film (legal or otherwise) and so instead inferred its content from other parodies, most notably the College Humor parody.

Matt Stone:

In other words, they had decided to create the parody three months after the film was released, then had only six days to cobble together the episode?

Assuming this is true, it’s lazy and certainly “stupid”. A moment’s thought would surely have suggested that the line “Sometimes thoughts of my dead wife manifest themselves as trains” was not actually in the movie.

“The dog ate my homework” would have been a better excuse.

Judging by their commentary tracks, that’s pretty much their method. If nothing in the news inspires them, then it’s whatever else they can manage to think about.

Have the creators of Family Guy ever apologized for plagiarizing, say, the Burger King song?

Oh, that’s really bad. I don’t see any reason to question Stone’s explanation, but really it’s the half-assedness about it that’s really bad.

Seems their apology has been accepted. Indeed, it seems the College Humor guys have taken it as a “Plagiarism is the sincerest form of flattery” kind of a thing.
Really didn’t make for a good episode anyway. Sometimes after they come back from a long break, it seems they can’t let go of the urge to cover something they missed during their time off.

Guys: It was a summer movie. You weren’t working in the summer to be able to hit it in a timely manner. Let it go.

That’s my take on it, too. If they couldn’t adequately remember the film and couldn’t source a copy, they should have chosen another target for this week instead.

The alternative–creating a pastiche based on another parody–is just lazy.

I thought the episode was really lame. I mean, it was just another rehash of chase movie stuff they’ve done dozens of times before.

Now, they started off with parodying the TV show “Horders”. That had real posibilities. Could you imagine Mr Mackey having piles of crap in his house and at the bottom of all that they find the withered corpse of Sparky, Stan’s gay dog that we haven’t seen in ages? Or maybe Miss Choksondick? Or even Mr Hat? Mr Hankey lost in piles of Mr Mackey’s own shit that he keeps wrapped up in old City Wok bags?

See? That’d be great, and I’m not even trying.


That’s not plagiarism, it’s straight up parody. Homage, even.

We saw Mr. Hat as recently as last spring. He had an important role in episode 200 (or 201, I forget which).

But, yeah, I liked the Hoarders angle. They ruined it with the Inception take. And the Woodsy the Owl pay-off at end was a super-lame cheap shot of shock humor.

Parody? Certainly not. It’s only funny to the extent that the original is funny–not funny in its own right. It’s virtually an exact reproduction of the original.

Homage is more likely. It’s certainly common in Family Guy–homage to a fantastic music video or an old movie (quick search of youtube reveals no video captures of that segment–strange) isn’t unheard of. The ‘homage’ to Burger King guy is a bit less clear-cut in my opinion. It’s one thing to pay respects to a professional production, but a virtual frame-by-frame reproduction of an amateur internet video strikes me as less of an homage and more as a lazy “That’s funny; let’s put it in,” sort of thing. Certainly there are scores of Family Guy viewers who think of it as a random bit (among many) in Family Guy where Peter sings a funny song about Burger King, rather than homage to an internet video from a half dozen years ago.

Now, the guys who made the Inception spoof are being pretty gracious about the incident and interpreting it, as bienville said, as an example of imitation being the sincerest form of flattery. It seems to me Matt and Trey could have played it as if they were ‘paying homage’ to the spoof. What’s the distinction here?

Or at least wait until the DVD has been out for a while. I haven’t seen Inception, so I didn’t get a lot of the jokes. I just hope they didn’t spoil the movie for me, I’ll be pissed off otherwise.

Judge to Parker and Stone:

“Lazy, stupid and illegal is no way to go through life, boys.”

I have to say, when they went to get Freddy Kruger out of retirement, and he had a family, that’s the shit they do best. He’s the original dream master. What was the line, “…you said after I killed those kids I’d be done…”

And looking back, I liked the way they tied in the absurdness of Inception, with the absurdness of psycho-therapy. That’s classic satire.

And Dan’s dad being a butterfly, “I’m a butterfly, and I don’t care about anything…” then later he tried to hump another butterfly.

“I’m gunna go get some butterfly poon!”

Nitpick: it was Stan’s dad (Randy). There is no Dan.

I thought the episode wasn’t that bad. I liked the Hoarders stuff, the pizza guy going into the dream to deliver a pizza, the randomness of Matt Hassleback and the Freddy Kruger thing.

I thought it was a meh episode. It wasn’t bad but wasn’t close to be the best.

My favorite part was at the beginning when they called Stan a hoarder. I really thought they were going to have his locker be perfectly clean, but everyone else is insane. I was pleasantly surprised when he was an actual hoarder.

I think if they had stuck to the “Hoarders” parody, it would have been an excellent episode. Instead, it became an incoherent mess. I did like the homage to “Generations,” when they went to Freddy Krueger’s cabin and found him outside chopping wood * a la * Captain Kirk.

They held their hands up and admitted wrongdoing. That’s a he’ll of a lot more than most people do.

Yet people still manage to have a go at them.

You’re richnfamous and you plagiarize something so obviously that denial is futile, but as long as you fess up, no one should “have a go” at you?

That’s your position?

If my understanding is correct, they were saying they didn’t know they werte plagiarizing. They were using a oarody as a source material for the movie and thought that some of the parody quotes were real movie quotes. They admitted it was a mistake, and that it was sloppy, but they did not intend to steal jokes. They thought they were taking real movie lines.

I’m forced to wonder how hard they really looked for a watchable copy of the movie. A friend who just got back from Iraq brought one with him he bought on the street over there for about $5 while it was still number 1 at the box office- says the quality was quite good. Obviously this isn’t legal, but I’d expect Parker and Stone to have more pull than an army reservist.