I've read this essay in the past, and didn't reread it now, but here's something relevant I recently thought about:
Most people are now on board with sampling in music, or quoting people in written work (even without giving credit). And rightfully so. Why then, is it such a cardinal sin for a stand up comedian to appropriate some other comedian's jokes? I remember a lot of crap flying in Carlos Mencia's and Dan Cooke's direction for that. Now, I'm not a fan of either, but what is the deal with that? To quote the article I linked to:
“Virgil himself was accused of stealing from Homer, and the voice of Bob Dylan is like that,” Thomas said. To underscore his point, he quoted to me Virgil’s response to charges of that he plagiarized Homer, as recounted in Roman historian Suetonius’ The Life of Virgil: “Why don’t they try the same thefts? They’ll find out it’s easier to snatch Hercules’ club from him than a single line from Homer.”
If they do it in their own style, have they not changed it enough?