Comedic genealogy

Austin Kleon on imitation and originality:

Johnny Carson tried to be Jack Benny but ended up Johnny Carson. David Letterman tried to copy Johnny Carson but ended up David Letterman. And Conan O’Brien tried to be David Letterman but ended up Conan O’Brien. In O’Brien’s words, “It is our failure to become our perceived ideal that ultimately defines us and makes us unique.”

Stolen from Steal Like an Artist

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Don’t try to be God, try to be Shakespeare

Three views of originality

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