Dumb Answer of the Week
What Happens When You Speak Before You Think

April 20th - April 26th, 2013

Text by: Jim Williams

Note: This article contains frequent graphic language, so if you’re offended by such language, you may want to stop reading now.

This week's DAotW is from a program that you haven't seen on television yet. As a matter of fact, you probably will not even see this specific incident on television at all. It's not even a dumb answer so much as it is an insanely dumb act by a comedian on “America’s Got Talent”. In fact, it may be one of the more mind-numbingly asinine moments in the history of reality television.

This is a comedian known as The Greg Wilson. Mr. Wilson is a stand up comedian who you may have seen across the country at comedy clubs or on national television shows like TruTV's "World's Dumbest..." and FOX News Channel's "Red Eye with Greg Gutfeld". So, we have a guy who has made a quasi-name for himself auditioning in a talent competition to make a quasi-name for himself. Okay, he's not the first and won't be the last to do so, but it's never rubbed me the right way seeing people who have a level of national fame auditioning against local acts and amateurs.

Allow me to give proper credit to Peter Sciretta of SlashFilm.com for the following rundown of Mr. Wilson's "AGT" audition.

"He praised Howie Mandel, one of the show’s judges, saying he had seen his stand-up show in Dallas during the 1990's. The two bonded in the pre-act interview. He went on to perform his routine, which was basically a reenactment of a wife and husband fighting in a car. The unique angle is the bit is done from the point of view of a driver in another car, and the fight is reenacted without words, only a visual performance. The bit killed, the audience loved it. So did the judges."

Good for him. Maybe he'll be on his way to Las Vegas. Or will he? We pick things up with the judge's comments towards Wilson as Sciretta continues.

"Eventually it got to Howie who opened with a strange question, paraphrased, 'Did you write this yourself or are you performing someone else’s material?' The comedian on stage claimed that he created the bit himself, much like Howie created his own bits. He seemed very offended by the question. Howie seemed unsure how to handle the situation. Something was off. After one of the other judges prodded, Howie admitted that he had seen this same act before, performed by another comedian."

Well, that's not good. But, it's not like the comedian was right there to confront Wilson or anything, right, Peter?

"Howie eventually reluctantly revealed the name of the comedian: Frank Nicotero. And it just so happens that Frank Nicotero was the warm-up comedian at this LA taping of America’s Got Talent."

Oh boy. Sciretta goes on to say that "AGT" staffers tried to get a reaction from Nicotero for potential use on air, but Nicotero wanted no part of it. Taping stopped for a short while and Mandel even went so far as to backtrack on his assertions of comedic theft saying that it's entirely possible that two comedians could have honed the same concept unknowing of the other's work. What follows next just blew my freakin' mind.

"Time was ticking so it was decided that the judges had to make a decision, they had to move on to the next act. The judges decided to judge the comedian based on the performance alone, and they agreed to let the contestant pass to the next round in Vegas."

Are you freakin' kidding me? Even though there's a possibility (and a strong one at that) that Wilson stole Nicotero's material, Wilson gets to prosper and move on in the competition?!? Really?!?

And people wonder why I have such disdain for reality competition programs?

So, how did Nicotero take this? Again, back to the SlashFilm article we go.

"The video cameras stopped and everything got even more awkward. The producers came over to the judges and had a discussion, unmic’d. Moments later, Nicotero went up to Howie at the Judges table and began screaming and ranting. He also wasn’t mic’d, so none of the audience heard what he said. He was visibly pissed."

And, truth be told who could blame him? If Nicotero was indeed the original creator of the content Wilson used, he should have every right to be pissed off at someone trying to get ahead on his talents.

Not long after the taping, Nicotero took to his Facebook account and wrote the following:

"ATTENTION ALL COMEDIANS AND CLUB OWNERS: The "comedian" The Greg Wilson is a total fucking thief and a horrible person and was just busted on national TV.

As many of you know I've been closing with a bit in my act FOR YEARS - The fight between a girl and a guy in a car where I pantomime the entire bit. Tonight I was doing warm up at America's Got Talent and that fat piece of shit The Greg Wilson went on tonights taping and DID MY BIT EXACTLY LIKE I'VE BEEN DOING IT FOR YEARS.

I rushed to the producers table to talk to the Executive Producers and point blank said he is stealing my bit. I was shaking with anger.

THANK GOD FOR HOWIE MANDEL....Howie pointed out that he's seen the bit before and it's from our warm up guy Frank Nicotero. That piece of shit said, "he stole if from me...I'm a headliner on TV and he's the warm up guy! I have a mic and he doesn't!" Funny thing is I DID Have a mic and chose to not jump in and ruin the show.

Needless to say I lost it. That bit is personal. It's the bit people request. It's my "Free Bird!"

HERE IS THE BEST PART. What are the odds that I'm there!!! THANK YOU COMEDY GODS. That could have made the air and it would have destroyed my heart. It's personal folks....comedians you get it. It's not a one liner, it's a piece.

He then got voted thru to Vegas (BECAUSE IT'S A GREAT BIT EVEN THOUGH HE BUTCHERED IT the judges thought he was funny because he claimed somebody stole it from him!)

I'm not much for fighting but I went backstage and called him out and rushed him. Security held me back (not hard) and we screamed. He said I stole. I BEG OF YOU, MY FRIENDS. Please write in the comment section how many times and for how many years you've seen me close with that bit. As a comedian it's the worst thing that can happen. He's SO FUCKING DUMB HE STEALS AN ENTIRE BIT AND NOT A ONE LINER.

I then see him again and had to be separated by security. Thanks guys...he's not worth getting sued over. People he stole it exactly the way I do it but 100 times less funny.

As I left the producers had already told me they got my back and you will never see his performance on the show. He's was being talked to by the shows lawyers when I was whisked out. No vegas trip...just one to hell for being a horrible person.

Backstage one of our great stage mangers Harve, showed me doing the bit on YOUTUBE to the producers. LET'S SEE YOU PRODUCE THE BIT ONLINE, Greg! I just did a search and I have several online....fat guy ZERO!

By the way I have TAPES, THAT'S RIGHT VIDEOTAPES of me doing that bit. So a note to the Anchorage comedy club KOOTS. You have a piece of shit thief playing your club next week. Let me know if he tries to steal MY bit again!


Here is a link to MY bit...not that fucking hack in a cheap argyle sweater...have fun in Alaska hack and El Paso....I hope you wander into Mexico and get killed for thievery.

And now I'd LOOOOOOOOOVE to see him respond. Don't even try....just die...like you would have on the show had you done your own material. Oh that's right...you don't have 90 seconds apparently. And yeah I did the warm up, Love doing it, it's a blast and I made in one night what you'll make for a week in Alaska!"

BTW, here is the bit Frank is referring to: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UGJHQvpGwnM&feature=share&list=UU82I7SUlsQ_rdS2MqxS-eJw

And here's another performance from Frank with the bit starting near the end at the 42 minute mark: http://vimeo.com/36330398

For what it's worth, The Greg Wilson has not made any response to any of this via social media. His last Twitter update (as of the time of this write up) was on April 23rd and his last Facebook post was from that same day.

Friday brought some necessary closure to the whole ordeal. When the subject was brought up on his Facebook page, Nicotero responded: "The judges were in shock and put him thru. Later he was dq'd after the producers and judges watched my version online. He was being confronted by the shows lawyers when I left. His set will never air. He's off the show!"

And to make things even more damning Nicotero offered up this little dagger on Facebook: "A good friend of mine who is a well known actor called me last night and said unfortunately he hosted a showcase with the guy and he did the bit that night. That was about 6 months ago. What a jerk."

All of us at GSG are fans of Frank Nicotero's body of work as a comedian and game show host. Heck, Frank even responded to our article on "The Game of Life" some time ago.

That notwithstanding, for anyone to steal the work of another human being and pass it off as their own is just inexcusable.

So, since the judges didn't do this to him Thursday night, I feel it is my civic duty to give The Greg Wilson what he so richly deserves.

You can read Peter's full article at http://boxyblogs.com/film/howie-mandel-catches-comedian-stealing-another-comics-material-during-americas-got-talent-taping-62276/

And, like Frank on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/franknicoterocomedian

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