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Once A Joke Goes Viral, Who Cares Where It Came From? | The New Republic

Despite all the fun and games of comedyin fact because of all the fun and gameswe are likely making more Clyde Bruckmans every day. Whenever a big new Hollywood comedy is released ( Trainwreck , Spy , Ted 2 ) there's often a lot of talk about the collaborative or improvisational nature on set. Credit gets passed between the biggest , starriest names, whether they're the lead actor, director, or producerJudd Apatow, Amy Schumer, Paul Feig, Melissa McCarthy, Adam McKay, Will Ferrell, Tina Fey, etc. But what about an uncredited screenwriter who may have done a pass and punched up a gag or two? The cinematographer who found the perfect framing or the editor who knew just when to cut? Tracing a joke back to its origin, whether that be in the 1920s or two months ago, is a difficult and nebulous task, and the danger in not performing it might be greater than we think. As Bruckman's troubles proved, validating someone's intellectual effort is no laughing matter, even when it's literally a joke.