For fun, I'm writing a comedy-zombie screenplay (yeah, I know...). Even though it's for fun, I may try to do something with it. For the most part, I have zero expectations.

However, as I write it, I keep thinking that a lot of the stuff I am writing has been done before. That always happens to me with comedy stuff, or high-concept-type stuff. In fact, I had recently entered a contest for a Simpsons script (it was run by a producer with no connection to the show but who wanted to see how the character of Apu could be turned from a stereotype into something better than that) and, considering the show has so many episodes, it felt like everything I wrote has already been done! (I haven't watched too many Simpsons, but enough such that I felt I could write something halfway decent).


Just curious how other writers handle this. When writing comedy, do you feel that coincidental replication is happening? Is it a long shot that two gag sequences could be the same? The problem with comedy vs. straight stuff is that two straight-stuff concepts that two writers come up with coincidentally can be expressed in different ways, but a concept of a set-piece in a comedy seems pretty limited in terms of expressing it differently.