On Monday night's "Jimmy Kimmel Live," Kimmel aired a hilarious, alternate trailer for the new Jodie Foster-directed Mel Gibson vehicle "The Beaver." In this new cut, Gibson's infamous rants berating then-girlfriend Oksana Grigorieva over the phone are spliced into the lighthearted preview. It was quite funny, but we got an odd sense of deja vu while watching it.
Turns out, it's because we had seen a very similar video only days before. On Sunday, The Daily What featured a video created by YouTube user birthdayboypresents that utilized the exact same joke (although Kimmel's excerpts from Gibson's tapes were more TV friendly). Far from an underground hit, the original video has gotten over 20,000 hits on YouTube since it was posted last Thursday.
Although we have no reason to believe Kimmel's show intentionally ripped anyone off, this unfortunately comes hot on the heels of "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno"'s cavalier theft of an Internet video last week, when Leno's producers stole a montage from BestWeekEver.tv without properly giving credit until they were caught red-handed.
Considering "Jimmy Kimmel Live" was a pioneer of using reedited videos in a talk show monologue and would hardly need to scour YouTube for material, we certainly don't want equate the two incidents. (Especially as Kimmel himself has made no secret of his distaste for Jay Leno.) Not only that, but a cursory YouTube search reveals several other videos that employ the same joke of inserting Gibson's phone rants into "The Beaver" trailer.
No matter who came up with it first, the joke is funny. Still, no credit appeared to have been given either during the show or in the credits of the episode as it appears on ABC.com. In an age when the Internet makes the proliferation of comedy easier and more accessible than ever, ideas are bound to overlap, but it also means the professionals must be that much more careful.
WATCH: Kimmel's alternate "Beaver" trailer
WATCH: The "Beaver" trailer mash-up from birthdayboypresents