Author Topic: The Trial of Conan O'Brien  (Read 2108 times)

Petey Pate

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The Trial of Conan O'Brien
« on: April 18, 2019, 10:28:30 AM »
This lawsuit has been ongoing since 2015 but I've only just heard about it now. A comedy writer is suing Conan O'Brien for alleged joke theft, and the case is going to court next month.

https://www.vanityfair.com/hollywood/2019/04/conan-o-brien-joke-theft-lawsuit-trial-date-details

I doubt that there was any deliberate plagiarism (the jokes listed could easily have been thought up by different people), but can understand why the guy felt compelled to take legal action, especially as Conan's production team implied that they were not worth copyrighting.

We've certainly come a long way since the days when vaudeville comedians would all use material from the same joke books, or the interchangeable mother-in-law gags of ITV's The Comedians.

up_the_hampipe

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Re: The Trial of Conan O'Brien
« Reply #1 on: April 18, 2019, 11:10:24 AM »
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Meanwhile, on Twitter, Richter took aim at the purported banality of the jokes in question: “There’s no possible way more than one person could have concurrently had these same species-elevating insights! THESE TAKES ARE TOO HOT!”

Andy Richter can be such a mess on twitter. Attempting to discredit this writer but ends up discrediting the writers he works with.

Kaseberg's behaviour was a bit odd though. Telling Mike Sweeney they stole his jokes, and when he's challenged, saying he doesn't want any trouble and would just like to be hired on the show. Then taking legal action.

Anyway, I wouldn't be surprised if they stole the jokes. I've heard writers for those shows have to submit up to 100 jokes per day or something like that. The urge to poach from an unknown writer's blog seems plausible. At the same time, twitter shows us that a bunch of people can arrive at the same joke at the same time. When a bearded, dishevelled Assange was arrested last week, David Letterman was trending because thousands of people made the same comparison. My point is joke theft is so difficult to prove, I'm surprised it even gets to trial.

Re: The Trial of Conan O'Brien
« Reply #2 on: April 23, 2019, 10:40:50 AM »
Nag-subscribe ako sa forum na ito para sa direktang pag-aaral at umaasa akong makakuha ng kaalaman mula sa forum na ito.

Bodog?

Puce Moment

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Re: The Trial of Conan O'Brien
« Reply #3 on: April 23, 2019, 12:29:03 PM »
I love Conan and the show, and especially the travel VTs, but the ubiquity of shitty jokes in the monologue is quite depressing. Whenever I see one it always sounds like those bits in Hollywood films where they get Fallon or Kimmel or Letterman to say something about the alien invasion happening in the storyline. It's phoney baloney and probably why Conan is trying to overhaul the entire format of the late-night chat show.

I do wonder what goes on in the writer's room, and I was surprised when Conan openly criticised one of his writers on twitter when they fired a sardonic salvo at Fallon because of all his shitty games.

kngen

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Re: The Trial of Conan O'Brien
« Reply #4 on: April 23, 2019, 02:25:39 PM »
They are pretty hacky, obvious jokes, but I could easily see a stressed writer thinking 'yeah, anyone could come up with these. So no one will know if I nick them.'

up_the_hampipe

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Re: The Trial of Conan O'Brien
« Reply #5 on: May 11, 2019, 12:42:29 AM »
So the trial didn't happen. Conan has written a piece about why he settled the lawsuit:

https://variety.com/2019/biz/news/conan-obrien-jokes-lawsuit-alex-kaseberg-settlement-1203210214/

Bennett Brauer

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Re: The Trial of Conan O'Brien
« Reply #6 on: May 11, 2019, 02:14:13 AM »
So the trial didn't happen. Conan has written a piece about why he settled the lawsuit:

https://variety.com/2019/biz/news/conan-obrien-jokes-lawsuit-alex-kaseberg-settlement-1203210214/

He's done a decent thing in the circumstances. Any long-time internet user knows that Twitter-saming means that posting "original" gags 10 years ago was easier than it is now. The plaintiff got lucky.

amnesiac

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Re: The Trial of Conan O'Brien
« Reply #7 on: May 11, 2019, 11:37:09 AM »
any american sports fans here to explain the joke? "Tom Brady re-gifting his Super Bowl MVP truck to opposing coach Pete Carroll "

Re: The Trial of Conan O'Brien
« Reply #8 on: May 11, 2019, 12:10:46 PM »
Jesus Christ, I just had a quick read through the guy's twitter feed and was dumbfounded at how bad his jokes are. For instance this run of gold from may 8th:

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Donald Trump claims he intentionally lost one billion dollars for tax purposes.
This is the adult version of a kid falling off his bike and announcing, "I meant to do that."

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Donald Trump claims he took over a billion in losses for tax purposes.
That's like trimming your nose hairs with a sandblaster.

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Donald Trump claims he had over a billion in losses for tax purposes.
That's like trimming your toenails with a chainsaw.

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Donald Trump claims his over one billion in losses reported by "The New York Times" were for tax purposes.
That's like cutting your hair with a flamethrower.

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"The New York Times" reports Donald Trump lost one billion dollars.
Who is surprised by this? This is a guy could not sell vodka, gambling, red meat and football to Americans.

Truly grim.

amnesiac

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Re: The Trial of Conan O'Brien
« Reply #9 on: May 11, 2019, 12:12:44 PM »
fucking hell and to think Conan referred to him as a gentleman.

Mister Six

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Re: The Trial of Conan O'Brien
« Reply #10 on: May 11, 2019, 03:46:47 PM »
any american sports fans here to explain the joke? "Tom Brady re-gifting his Super Bowl MVP truck to opposing coach Pete Carroll "

I guess it's that the game was lost by a shit team rather than won by a good one?

The armrest gag is too close for comfort. That one I'd be swayed by. Also, the phrasing in the original gags is tighter than in the Conan ones, which makes it seem like someone copied the gag then mangled it a bit so it would be "different", like a kid clumsily rewording his classmate's homework.

Re: The Trial of Conan O'Brien
« Reply #11 on: May 12, 2019, 12:22:26 PM »
Jesus Christ, I just had a quick read through the guy's twitter feed and was dumbfounded at how bad his jokes are. For instance this run of gold from may 8th:

Truly grim.

Him writing the same joke four different ways is a bit suspicious to me, like he just blasts a load of shit onto Twitter in the hopes that a real comedian says something similar and he can take them to court over it.

Ornlu

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Re: The Trial of Conan O'Brien
« Reply #12 on: May 13, 2019, 10:35:41 AM »
The honorable Judge Edward Symczyk presiding.

Re: The Trial of Conan O'Brien
« Reply #13 on: May 13, 2019, 10:59:30 AM »
any american sports fans here to explain the joke? "Tom Brady re-gifting his Super Bowl MVP truck to opposing coach Pete Carroll "

Very basically; people claim Carroll made one of the worst decisions which denied his team the victory. So the premise of the joke is the guy who was most valuable was the one who effed it up to let the opposing team win. Probably a type of joke going regularly around pundits at the time. Pretty much a joke that would go around many bar-rooms between groups of friends who aren't being paid to make jokes.

Slightly more in depth - basically in a  close game that Tom Brady's New England won with a comeback. Carroll's Seattle had a chance to score a potential winning touchdown in last minute. Noted for the best running team only a yard from line this seemed inevitable option. Carroll' decided to go for a pass which got intercepted and saw New England win. Some people defend Carroll that he was attempting to manage the clock and maximise the amount of chances his side had to score (as clock runs with a stropped run, but stops for a failed pass (usually not intercepted - just grounded before anyone can claim it).