Conan O’Brien heading to court for stealing jokes

Conan - Credit: TBS
Conan - Credit: TBS /

Late night comedian Conan O’Brien is heading to trial over allegations of stealing jokes from another comedy writer, Alex Kaseberg.

Stealing jokes is seen as a very serious sin in the comedy industry. In some cases, as with Carlos Mencia, being caught doing so can derail an entire career. It’s not something any comedian, whether a rookie or a veteran, wants to be caught doing.

What’s worse for them, is if joke theft can be proven in a court of law, these people can be held liable and have to pay out hefty fines in damages.

This is the situation longtime TV veteran Conan O’Brien is now finding himself in. According to THR, O’Brien is heading to court over accusations of stealing jokes for his Conan monologues. The lawsuit is being filed by comedy writer Alex Kaseberg, who contends O’Brien stole several of his jokes from his blog and social media accounts.

In total, Kaseberg alleges O’Brien took five of his jokes. A judge has dismissed two of those claims, but is allowing a trial to move forward on the other three. It’s unclear what exactly the jokes are, but they involve Tom Brady, Caitlyn Jenner, and the Washington Monument.

O’Brien is insisting he has not stolen the jokes, implying any similarities are coincidental. “Accusing a comedian of stealing a joke is the worst thing you can accuse them of, in my opinion, short of murder,” the Conan host says in his deposition. He adds that it’s “absolutely terrible”, clearly pointing out how he feels about the accusations.

Next: John Oliver says Trump should be investigated

Indeed, O’Brien has been in the game a long time, and it seems unlikely he’d make such a mistake. I have yet to see the jokes in question, but those details should probably be available before the trial in August (barring a cash settlement before then).