In the age of social media, the same joke gets used again and again… and again, but now it seems alleged joke stealing is cause for a lawsuit as Conan O’Brien recently found out.
The beloved late night talk show host was slapped with a lawsuit on July 22 from a man named Robert Kaseberg who claimed that O’Brien, TBS, Time Warner Inc. and several others violated copyright on four of his jokes about things like flights, Caitlyn Jenner and the Washington Monument.
The lawsuit states that Kaseberg had posted the jokes to his personal blog and Twitter account and later very similar ones were used on Conan O’Brien’s show.
He claims he published the first joke on January 14, writing, “A Delta flight this week took off from Cleveland to New York with just two passengers. And they fought over control of the armrest the entire flight.” That same day on his show O’Brien made this joke, saying, “On Monday, a Delta flight from Cleveland to New York took off with just two passengers. Yet somehow, they spent the whole flight fighting over the armrest.” Another joke was aimed at Caitlyn Jenner’s transition from Bruce Jenner which he posted on June 9. “Three streets named after Bruce Jenner might have to change their names. And one could go from a Cul-de-Sac to a Cul-de-Sackless,” which he says was then used by O’Brien “on or about the same day.”
After receiving the lawsuit with the four allegedly stolen jokes outlined, a representative from Conan O’Brien’s production company stated, “We at Conaco firmly believe there is no merit to this lawsuit.”