In mid-November, Tosh.0 host and stand-up comedian Daniel Tosh blasted sports news network ESPN, accusing the TV channel of stealing one of his bits from a recent episode of his show.
For years, Tosh.0 has played cringe-worthy, embarrassing viral videos, but with a twist — the subjects of the videos are invited on the show, where they’re interviewed and given a chance to get things right. The segment is appropriately titled “Web Redemption.”
Recently, ESPN debuted its new segment, called “The Awesome Video Segment,” the first of which showed a Canadian anthem singer falling over a carpet that’d been laid out on a hockey rink. ESPN hosts then gave the singer a second chance to successfully jump over the carpet without falling.
“The Awesome Video Segment” sounds, as Tosh says, “eerily familiar.” He also accused ESPN of stealing his trademarked catchphrase (“Are you ready to give it another shot?”), and had some other choice words on a recent episode of his show.
“You [expletive] hacks are cheapening my brand,” the comedian said. “I’m fine with kids in high school and college plagiarizing, but once you work for a real network, you should have some [expletive] self-respect.”
ESPN has since responded, saying that they did not steal his phrase, nor will they stop producing “The Awesome Video Segment.”
“This was more of an instance of us using a common phrase than it was copying his wording,” ESPN told the entertainment website TMZ. “We know that doesn’t sound like the strongest explanation yet it’s the truth.”
Whether or not a lawsuit will actually emerge is still unknown.
ESPN was also sure to add that they’re “looking forward to ‘giving it another shot’ in future installments of ‘The Awesome Video Segment.'”