The Great Piff Rip-Off?

At TIC Towers, we know that there is very little new under the sun. Some days, it feels that every song has been sung and that we are facing endless rounds of remixes.

As our columnist Myra DuBois recently put it: “You can’t escape pop culture. It’s entirely natural that other people will be popping up on the scene with similar acts to your own as they will have been exposed to the same influences as yourself. No one is stealing your act.”

Having said all that, there are cases when a homage goes too far, a pastiche becomes a photocopy and a performer not only takes the biscuit but the entire biscuit tin it came in. We’ve all seen this before.

Compare and contrast the following two videos and let us know what you think.

Piff The Magic Dragon attempting to fool Penn & Teller.

An entrant on what is apparently a Russian show on Channel TV3 called Surprise Me.

You can follow Piff on Twitter or Facebook.


From his first experience of cabaret in a converted toilet off The Strand, Franco knew he was seeing a revolution that would not –- could not -– be televised. He created the web’s favourite cabaret recommendations column at Londonist.com and, when not gadding about town like a dark, swarthy Sicilian stereotype, he will be spreading the love about the UK’s kookiest and kinkiest entertainment scene.

'The Great Piff Rip-Off?' has 8 comments

  1. 21 May 2012 @ 12:21 am Myra DuBois

    Well I just go ahead and say what everyone else is ignoring…

    Russian Piff is very, very attractive.


  2. 21 May 2012 @ 12:50 am Chris Beyond

    That is extremely embarrassing to watch. But did he license the act from Piff or was this really a full on televised rip-off?


    • 21 May 2012 @ 1:07 am Franco Milazzo

      From @thepiff: “Wow! Just found out I have a long lost brother in Russia! Andrey Chekanuk!! Which loosely translated means ‘I’ll see you in court MoFo’!”


      • 21 May 2012 @ 10:07 am Chris Beyond

        I have no idea what the court system is like in Russia, but if that is indeed the case, I hope he gets compensation for this.

        It’s still so hard to believe. The guy seems like he could be bright. Mind you, I don’t speak a lick (nor drink) of Russian so the guy could have a sack of rocks in his head. If the guy really did rip him off, did he really think that, with the internet being what it is, he’d ever get away with this? And with the same costume???

        It’ll be interesting following this story.


  3. 21 May 2012 @ 1:41 am Markabre Charade

    That’s just taking the Piff!

    Utterly shameless to a stomach-churning degree not to mention completely and utterly inferior in terms of performance..

    I wish Piff and his lawyer the best of luck slaying this particular beast!


  4. 21 May 2012 @ 1:32 pm Franco Milazzo

    From Piff: Andrey The Epic Fail Dragon – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yNbjlJFDM00&feature=youtube_gdata_player


  5. 22 May 2012 @ 10:14 pm Sharon Cooper

    Wow, beloved Piff this is indeed shameless, good luck sorting it out. Terribly cheeky of the RuskiePiff!


  6. 10 Jul 2013 @ 3:59 pm What’s The Difference Between Borrowing And Stealing An Act?

    […] instance of this last year when a Ukrainian talent competition entrant chose to closely duplicate almost the entirety of one of Piff The Magic Dragon’s acts, down to costume, mannerisms, tricks and props. In that case, the performer decided against legal […]


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