I stole a guys joke once. It was my second gig, an open mic show at the Fringe Festival 2 years ago, and after a few minutes I stumbled due to a drunk guy in the audience yelling through my set, and without thinking, I blurted out the last crowd-pleaser I’d heard at the last show I’d been to.
I know. Fail, right? But as I was new, and I'd stated publically that the joke was his, I figured he wouldn’t be too pissed if I e-mailed him to apologize for panic using his joke.
......I was wrong. He was fuckin' FURIOUS! He shared a video of my set with the caption, “THIS CUNT IS OPENLY STEALING MY MATERIAL!” And my little stand-up hobby blossomed with 600+ people telling me to quit and die.
Personally, I think that using his ‘star power’ to make an incident out of an honest mistake that I'd already addressed was a little bitchy. But, the whole point of stand-up is to be original, genuine and personal. And in this business, you soon find out that performers, for the most part, carry an over-sized and fragile ego, as well as a temper like a lesbian getting dumped on heavy-flow day. Confidence is a lovable trait. Arrogance most certainly is not. And self veneration borders on the repulsive.
So the point I'm trying to make is... DON'T steal other peoples ideas on purpose! But remember, accidents happen, so try not to be a cunt off stage. There's enough of them already.