Supposedly, the British author and cleric Charles Caleb Colton is the one who said "Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery." We think he stole it from someone else (and hope they thanked him for it).

Anyway, that's the sentiment behind this Tuesday night's weekly open mic at the Down and Over Pub, 2535 S. Kinnickinnic Ave., in Milwaukee's Bay View.

Christopher Schmidt, a connoisseur of comedy, and co-host Tom Grimm are turning the free forum for stand-ups into a used-joke session, a humor swap night, an opportunity to blatantly share some other artists' material without any pretense of making it their own.

From the Facebook event, Joke Thief Night at the Down and Over Comedy Open Mic:

"Stealing jokes is one of the most despicable crimes a comedian can commit. But sometimes you hear those jokes that you really wish you'd written, and maybe you feel a little tempted. Well, here's your chance to embrace that envy. For one night only (at the Tuesday 4/15 mic), it will be completely okay to pilfer each others' joke books. Here are the rules:

-This is an open mic event, anyone can sign up to do up to five minutes of material. Sign up will be at 8:30, the show will start at 9:00.
-That material must not be your own, but you can "borrow" from any source material you'd like: local comics, famous comics (yes, you may finally bust out some Mitch Hedberg Jokes), street jokes, etc…It's all fair game.
-You may draw from as many different sources as you'd like during your set; it isn't necessary to only tell one comic's jokes.
-Repeats will probably happen. That's okay.
-This is a tribute to our fellow comics, so be respectful. The intention is to have fun, not to mock or ridicule."

Because that was better said and eaiser than putting it in our own words. That's why.

The open mic starts at 9 p.m., Tuesday, April 15. And it's free.

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