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Did Conan O'Brien Steal These 3 Jokes?

Did Conan O'Brien Steal These 3 Jokes?

On a couple of jokes, the Conan writers moved for summary judgment by arguing they had first created jokes before Kaseberg did.

O'Brien lost an effort to toss out a federal copyright infringement lawsuit in San Diego last week, potentially setting up a novel trial over comic creativity and the value of laughter.

The suit names not only O'Brien, but his production company, Turner Broadcasting System, Time Warner Inc., and the executive producer and head writer of the show.

"Tom Brady said he wants to give the truck that he was given as Super Bowl MVP.to the guy who won the Super Bowl for the Patriots".

That joke bears a striking resemblance to one that Kaseberg posted that same day: "The Washington Monument is ten inches shorter than previously thought. So Brady's giving his truck to Seahawks coach Pete Carroll".

The following day, claims Kaseberg, O'Brien told the following joke in his monologue: "Big news in sports". The defendants must still contend with allegations that O'Brien's show, "Conan", stole jokes about Tom Brady, Caitlyn Jenner, and the Washington Monument from a freelance comedy writer.




Kaseberg's tweet, June 9, 2015: "Three streets named Bruce Jenner might have to change names. You know it has been a cold winter when even a monument has shrinkage". However, Team Coco's lawyers claim that the jokes in question - one of which was about Caitlyn Jenner's gender transition - were using facts and commonly available expressions, and as such, can't be considered as protected. All parties have denied the accusations and said the material was original.

O'Brien: "Yesterday surveyors announced that the Washington Monument is ten inches shorter than what's been previously recorded".

Although Conan changes the punchline from "sackless" to "no-sack", the framing is identical: the change happens to the observer no matter what, and that change is the removal of the sac from "cul-de-sac". "Yeah. Of course, the monument is blaming the shrinkage on the cold weather". "And if you live on Bruce Jenner Cul-de-Sac, it will now be called a Cul-de-No-Sac".

The case is now moving forward, and assuming a settlement isn't made in the next few months, the two sides will meet for a pretrial conference in August.

LawNewz.com reached out to the defense attorneys at Glaser Weil for comment, but they have not responded as of yet. There is a genuine issue of material fact whether a jury would find these objective similarities to be virtually identical within the context of the entire joke.

Meanwhile, in a deposition from September 16, 2016, O'Brien said he was sickened by the charges.


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