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Did Woody Allen Rip Off 'The Flintstones'?

Photo of Eric Kohn By Eric Kohn | Eric Kohn June 15, 2012 at 4:45PM

The latest Woody Allen vehicle calls to mind an unexpected precedent.

As I have already made clear on the main site, I am no great fan of the new Woody Allen movie, "To Rome With Love." I would, however, like to defend one sequence: A climactic gag that finds Allen's retired manager convincing a mortician to perform opera in the shower before a live audience. Enjoyably surreal, it has the kind of inspired lunacy Allen hasn't truly indulged in for years. 

Sadly, even this bit has a familiar ring to it. As a friend pointed out to me today, the onstage shower singing directly echoes an episode of "The Flintstones" in which a televised Barney sings in the bathtub. 

Did Woody Allen rip off "The Flinstones"? Not intentionally, I'm guessing, but the precedent for this gag does reflect the overall staleness of the humor in his latest effort. Better luck next year?

This article is related to: Blogs, Woody Allen