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BY OVERNIGHT COURIER

February 27, 2019

NBC #
Attn: Legal Department
30 Rockefeller Center
New York, NY 100##

RE: INFRINGING USE OF TEMPLE HORSES MATERIAL


BY NBC & SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE

Dear Sir/Madam:

This firm represents writers Nick Ruggia and Ryan E. Hoffman, creators of the sketch comedy
duo TEMPLE HORSES (“Temple Horses”). The Temple Horses Sketch Comedy online channel
is recognized by SAG_AFTRA and WGAEast, and contains sketch comedy going back nearly a
decade.

This season, NBC Network’s sketch comedy program SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE (“SNL”) has
plagiarized entire sketches from Temple Horses.

Nick and Ryan love comedy and revere SNL as an institution—but unless they’re paid writers on
SNL, NBC has no right to broadcast or use their material on SNL by NBC. It saddened Nick
and Ryan to learn that SNL has plagiarized Temple Horses at least twice this season.

43 West 43th Street, Suite 65, New York, NY 10036-7424


646-524-6502 www.wallaceneel.com wallace@wallaceneel.com
1. “Not Trying to F**k this Pumpkin” becomes SNL’s The Pumpkin Patch

On October 21, 2014, Temple Horses released the sketch NOT TRYING TO FUCK THIS
PUMPKIN, which is set in a pumpkin patch. On October 6, 2019, episode 2 of this season
(hosted by Awkwafina), SNL aired THE PUMPKIN PATCH.

SNL’s composition is near-identical to Temple Horses earlier production. The protagonist is the
patch’s owner…

Introduction to TH sketch: The owner of the Introduction to SNL sketch: The owner of the
pumpkin patchs operates the business. pumpkin patchs operates the business.

… who interacts with a group of men (and, in each case, only one woman)…

TH SNL

… and accuses them of having sexual desire for pumpkins:

TH Dialogue: SNL Dialogue:


Did you just say you were going to fornicate Did you perform a lewd act on the pumpkins?
that pumpkin?

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They all deny such a disgusting desire, and that conflict drives the sketch. Both owners play the
straight man:

TH Dialogue: I’m not the kind of guy who


f**ks pumpkins.

TH Dialogue: If I were the type of person who SNL Dialogue: Noooo, sir
f**ked pumpkins I wouldn’t be able to travel
for work due to strict agricultural laws

In each sketch, the owner scolds them for their disgusting behavior:

TH: SNL Dialogue:


[Owner sternly denies the customer Do you see how
requests to dress up and fetishize the this could be a problem?
pumpkin, one by one.]

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Each owner berates the pumpkin “lovers” on the basis that there are children around:

TH Dialogue: SNL Dialogue:


There are children everywhere! This is a family business.
Kids come here with their parents…

In each sketch, characters role-play the part of the pumpkin in the lovemaking act:

TH SNL

At the end of each sketch, both groups are dismissed from the pumpkin patch, with the group
being banned in the Temple Horses sketch and fired in the SNL sketch.

TH Dialogue: SNL Dialogue:


Get the hell out of my pumpkin patch, So now, surprise guys, I have to let you all go.
pumpkin f**kers.

The stills printed above are conclusive, but viewing the video in full leaves no doubt that this
Temple Horses sketch was plagiarized by SNL.

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2. “Pet Blinders” becomes SNL’s “Pound Puppy”

Four months later on February 16th, 2019, Episode 13, hosted by Don Cheadle, SNL ran a pre-
taped sketch called "Pound Puppy," which is near-identical to Temple Horses’ sketch, "Pet
Blinders."1 Pet Blinders was released 8 years earlier than “Pound Puppy,” and has been online
for 8 years).

In Temple Horses’ “Pet Blinders” sketch, there is a facetious “product” being sold: a “blind”
placed over the pet’s eyes to prevent the animal from seeing its owner(s) engaged in nookie. The
SNL sketch “Pound Puppy” is identical in concept: a facetious product is being sold to prevent
pets from watching owners have sex. The only change in the SNL sketch is that the owners, not
the pets, “wear” the “product” (an animal blind, in the SNL sketch).

Both sketches use 3 separate settings for pet-interruption, introducing the pet owners’ dilemma.

TH

SNL

Both sketches use a dog’s eye view, and a reverse shot to introduce the problem.

TH: Dog’s eye view of owner and reverse.

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“Pet Blinders” was registered with the Writers Guild of America as part of Temple Horses’ 2013
pilot, WATCH THIS DRUNK.

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SNL: Dog’s eye view of owners and reverse

Both sketches’ solution to the problem is the faux “product” to blind the animal to the sex act:

TH: SNL:
A blinder is placed over the dog’s eyes to The owners crawl into a blind to hide the sex
obscure its view of the sex act. act from the dog’s vision.

Both sketches have an aggressive dog who barks at the owner in mid-gratification:

TH: SNL:
Dog misunderstands pleasure Dog misunderstands
of owner, barks at him aggressively. intentions of owners barks at them.

Both sketches have the same outcome: a confused dog that allows the owners to finish their
sexual acts because they can’t see. One of the dogs in each sketch interacts with the product in
some unintended sexual way.

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TH: The dogs are confused, no longer interrupting, and
one of the dogs’ blinder is accidentally hit with bodily fluid.

SNL: The dogs are confused, no longer interrupting, and


one of the dogs joins in on the fun.

Even the dog type of dogs used are similar: A Labrador-retriever, a mid-sized dog, a custom
breed dog.

TH

SNL

Notably, SNL’s version completely removes the third dog from the sketch after its introduction--
underscoring the point that it was never an organic component of the SNL sketch, but rather was
an artifact left over from the plagiarized Temple Horses sketch.

This is not “parallel construction:” Two separate instances of wholesale lifting of concept,
setting, characters, plot, and outcome in the same season do not happen by coincidence.
Notably, the known web traffic for the plagiarized SNL sketches—approximately 655,000 views
for “Pound Puppy,” and 1.4 million for “The Pumpkin Patch.”

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Someone(s) at SNL is plagiarizing material. There is no current reason to think that this
plagiarism was more broadly known within SNL or NBC. But, it must stop—and NBC needs to
do right by the writers whose work has been plagiarized.

Nick and Ryan are pros who have been writing and performing comedy for years. They’re in the
funny business, not the quarreling business. They are not looking for anything salacious. They
want credit and a genuine token of recognition for two hilarious sketches they wrote that aired on
SNL, which is a genuine “win” for any comedy writer. They did it, and they deserve that win.

If you’d like to discuss ways to bring that about, please contact me before close of business
Monday, March 4, 2019.

All of my clients’ rights and remedies are reserved.

Very truly yours,

Wallace Neel

cc: Nick Ruggia


Ryan Hoffman

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URLs for videos (currently):

NOT TRYING TO F**K THIS PUMPKIN https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=DwuDCcOnveA

THE PUMPKIN PATCH https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=d2jcw6-iKQc

PET BLINDERS https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UAyVo7u5_0I

POUND PUPPY https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dn9no3ZzfFo