In the Media

Washington Post: Did ‘SNL’ settle on someone else’s joke? It doesn’t matter.

Dec. 9, 2015 at 12:00 p.m. MST

If you’re single and dating, you’re likely to relate to last week’s “Saturday Night Live” sketch hawking a fake dating app called Settl, which allows users to only swipe right. The sketch (which you can watch here) features women who want to get married NOW — and most important, before their sisters. They talk about going on “tons of okay dates” with “normal guys” whose characteristics they’re “now willing to overlook.”

The sketch capitalized on a familiar feeling for online daters: Is this all there is?! At this point, I’d settle for a normal human. 

But is the sketch too familiar?

Two men — Matt Condon and Ben Zweig — are claiming that “SNL” ripped off their September presentation at Comedy Hack Day in Los Angeles, about a dating app called … wait for it … settl. Their fake app also only accepts right swipes! “At settl, we try to really push a culture of acceptance and positivity for abandoning relationship expectations,” Zweig says in the settl presentation, which has the feel of a mock TED talk.

“SNL” hasn’t commented publicly about the accusation. (I reached out by phone and email and haven’t heard back.) But whether or not the joke was stolen, no sketch about mediocre online dates — and the impulse to give up and settle — is all that original. The premise might be as common as the lackluster dates found on any dating app or site.

Here are a few other examples: Earlier this week, Re/Code pointed out that the Settl sketch closely resembled YouTuber Ryan Higa’s mock TV ad for Notice the familiar phrasing in the final line in “SNL’s” sketch: “Because, remember — it’s not giving up. It’s settling up.”

And then there’s JDate’s parody, an ad for a site called Eh for those who are “sick and tired of having high expectations when you meet someone on a dating site.” How’s this for a romantic How We Met story: “When I first met Nathan, my initial thought was: ‘Sure, ya know. I guess.’”

Seen any other videos like these? Drop ’em in the comments.

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