A SCOTS comedian has accused Irn-Bru of “ripping off” a punchline she used during an audition for their new advert.
The drinks company released its commercial on Thursday, and “Scotland’s funniest woman” Janey Godley alleges they took her winning line without giving her a credit or a role.
The 30-second clip features a train passenger who ends up exposing his backside when the toilet doors malfunction.
The advert, which contains references to a Billy Connolly joke – parking a bike in a bum – also contains the punchline “crack on”.
Janey, from Glasgow, says that she came up with the phrase while unsuccessfully trying out for the role of the onboard attendant at The Leith Agency in Edinburgh.
The ad-lib went down so well that she feared it might be lifted, and even posted a comment about it online as proof that she came up with it.
The 54-year-old wrote on social media on March 4 that “if they use that line in the final advert and don’t credit me, this is proof that I was shafted”.
After seeing the advert for the first time, Janey told the website Chortle: “When the guy asks ‘Where can I park my bike?’, I was the trolly dolly lady and was supposed to just motion with my eyes.
“But I went ‘crack on’ and the four people in the room all burst out laughing. I told them ‘Guys, you cannae use that, that was me ad-libbing. You can’t get me to write your advert.’
“I just had my suspicions because of they way they looked at each other.”
In the advert, the line is delivered by the semi-naked passenger and not the trolley lady.
But Janey insists “it was those specific words, said at the exact same time, with the same intonation and situation”.
“It’s frustrating to have been bang on the money,” she added.
The advert begins with sliding doors opening to reveal a man on the toilet in full view of two glamorous women and a female drinks attendant.
The stunned bloke makes a dash for the door but trips up and ends up on all fours with his trousers round his ankles.
The deadpan drinks attendant hands him a can of Irn-Bru with the words: “Bottoms up, son.”
The stricken chap takes a drink and with newfound confidence declares: “Ladies”
The mood changes when a man appears with a bike and asks where he can park it – a reference to Billy Connolly’s debut appearance on the BBC’s Parkinson show in 1975.
The advert ends with the toilet man, still on all fours, taking another drink of Irn-Bru before nodding behind him and telling the cyclist: “Crack on.”
Irn-Bru’s “cheeky” new advert is just one in a long-line of hilarious commercials created by the company to promote “Scotland’s other national drink”.
It is the most recent in the Irn-Bru Gets You Through theme, which takes a tongue-in-cheek look at how the soft drink can lift spirits and help you see a lighter side of life.
Janey, who has enjoyed a successful comedy career, was once called a “f****** great comedian” by Billy Connolly himself
The New York Times once described her stand-up as “some of the sharpest-elbowed comedy in the world”. Her biography, ‘Handstands in the Dark’, was a UK top-ten bestseller, and she was also a finalist in the 2006 Scotswoman of the year.
Janey Godley challenged Irn-Bru to produce the audition video.
She said: “There was definitely video taken on the day which would show that I came out with the line myself.
“It’s f****** unbelievable that they took the line that I came up with and not only used it in their advert, but gave it to the man to say.
“It would have been so much better if they had kept it for the drinks lady. They can’t even get f***** humour right.
“They used my exact words, timing, intonation, everything. It’s so upsetting that a big ad company just ripped off a comedian.
“I’m so disappointed because I love Irn-Bru. But I know I don’t have a leg to stand on so there is nothing I can do about it.”
She added that she is considering calling her next Edinburgh Fringe show ‘Irn-Bru Ripped Me Off’.
A spokesman for Irn-Bru appeared to suggest that Janey Godley was not the only comedian to crack the “crack” joke.
He said: “We met lots of budding comedians during the creative stage.
“Bottoms up” was almost as popular as “crack-on”. It’s good to know our consumers share our sense of humour.”
Janey hit back strongly at Irn-Bru’s remarks.
She said: “They are basically admitting that they stole the joke off a lot of people, and not just me, which makes it worse.
“That’s an admission. When we went to the auditions we were not told that what we said may be used in the video.
“I am a professional comedian, not “budding” in any way.”