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Groundlings comedians accuse 'Saturday Night Live' of stealing sketch

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Sarah Silverman
Dana Edelson/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

River boats are apparently a hot spot for Tina Turner impersonators.

After Saturday Night Live aired a sketch in which Cecily Strong, Sasheer Zamata, and host Sarah Silverman donned Turner-style wigs and flashy red dresses, two comedians from improv company the Groundlings took to Twitter to point out that the SNL sketch was strikingly similar to one of their own. 

In SNL version’s, the three women perform on a river cruise and interrupt their rendition of “Proud Mary” to tell stories about their struggles. In the Groundlings version, two women—comedians Kimberly Condict and Vanessa Ragland—interrupt their rendition of “Proud Mary” to tell stories about their struggles, with one of those stories involving a gig on a river cruise.

Condict and Ragland have both commented on the similarity, providing Twitter users with a link to their own sketch they posted on YouTube Sunday and promising theirs is the “funnier/OG version.”

SNL’s “River Sisters” sketch isn’t available on Yahoo or Hulu, but the A.V. Club found a brief clip online. Although Saturday Night Live hasn’t issued a statement, a source close to the show tells EW, “It’s a common idea since Tina Turner is such an iconic figure. The similarities represent parallel thinking in the comedy world.”

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