Bill Maher Accuses The Onion of Stealing a Joke He Stole

A comedy tiff over who coined,"Afterbirthers demand to see Obama's placenta"

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Yesterday, when President Obama produced his birth certificate proving once and for all he was born in Hawaii, the satirical newspaper The Onion responded with an appropriately hilarious tweet: "Afterbirthers Demand To See Obama's Placenta." It was a timely little quip that was rewarded with thousands of retweets. But amidst the laughter was an angry Bill Maher who believed the Onion had committed the comedy world's greatest sin. "I see The Onion stole my placenta joke that I did in Feb 2010 HBO special," tweeted Maher an hour ago.

Unfortunately for Maher, he's wrong and The Onion actually beat him to the punchline by six months. If he would've followed the link to the Onion's tweet he would've landed at this page from August 2009 titled "Afterbirthers Demand to See Obama's Placenta." You see, good satire is often times timeless and the Onion routinely recycles its content from previous issues. Rubbing it in a little The Onion's features editor Joe Garden tweets "Bill? We don't watch your show. And check the date." Throwing a little salt on the wound Comedy Central's Daniel Tosh recalls when Maher stole one of his jokes. "calm down @billmaher plagiarism happens a lot. for example, you said 'Life starts at the erection' a year after I told that joke on my show." Ouch!

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.