Finger-pointing and fury on NYC comedy circuit over ‘SNL’ ‘ripoff’ of comic Yannis Papas



The New York comedy scene is being shaken by allegations that a “Saturday Night Live” cast member lifted a catch phrase from a veteran member of the city’s club circuit.

Page Six is told that there has been a flurry of angry messages and finger-pointing between comics, cast members and other members of the “SNL” team after the alleged “blatant rip off.”

“SNL” featured player Marcello Hernandez played a flamboyant Hispanic character in a skit on last Saturday’s show with guests Adam Driver and Olivia Rodrigo. The punchline was the character repeating the phrase “Das it!” many times.

The problem is that Brooklyn comic Yannis Pappas has been doing a beloved Hispanic character called Maurica for years with the catch phrase “Das It!”

In fact Pappas released as a comedy single as Maurica in 2022 called “Das It.”

Marcello Hernandez did a flamboyant Hispanic character who repeats the phrase “das it!” Will Heath/NBC

Pappas told Page Six: “I am kind of torn on the situation. Part of me is honored but the other part of me has to find out [about the bit] the next day from people tagging me and writing to me about this.”

He added, “I have been doing stand up comedy for two decades now, so I am not an up-and-coming comedian. I am surprised nobody in the writer’s room spoke up about this. I find it hard to believe Marcello wasn’t aware of me and the character.”

We’re told Pappas — who appears as a frequent guest on the immensely popular (and occasionally hackle-raising) “Joe Rogan Experience” podcast — has the backing of many on the scene, some of whom have reached out to Hernandez to demand he make amends.

Brooklyn comic Yannis Pappas has been doing a character called Maurica for years who uses the same catchphrase. Getty Images

A rep for the long running NBC institution didn’t comment.

A source close to the show told us, “With respect to Yannis and his comedy, this sketch and it’s premise was independently created. ‘Dassit’ was a commonly used phrase in Marcello’s household and Latin community growing up in Miami. The sketch was… not written with Yannis’ character in mind.”

The show has been accused of plagiarism a dozen or so times in its 48-year history. In his 2004 memoir, “Gasping For Airtime” former cast member Jay Mohr admitted to stealing a sketch from comic Rick Shapiro.

Pappas says he would be shocked if Hernandez isn’t aware of his character and her catchphrase. Getty Images

He wrote in the book, “For a few weeks after the show [with the lifted bit aired], I avoided going to the comedy clubs for fear of running into Rick or any comic who had ever seen him perform, which was all of them.”



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