No Joke: Joke Experts Booted From Conan O’Brien Trial

Apr 16, 2019  •  Post A Comment

“Conan O’Brien’s joke theft trial is expected to feature a guest appearance from fellow comedian Patton Oswalt, but a California federal judge has decided two experts proffered by the man suing the late-night host aren’t relevant enough to testify,” The Hollywood Reporter’s THR, Esq. reports.

The decision comes in a suit filed in July 2015 by Alex Kaseberg against O’Brien, his company Conaco, TBS and Time Warner. Kaseberg claims writers for “Conan” stole jokes about Caitlyn Jenner, Tom Brady and the Washington Monument from his social media feed and blog.

THR reports that U.S. District Judge Janis Sammartino “granted O’Brien’s request to bar testimony from David Barsky, Kaseberg’s expert who was brought in to analyze the ‘pattern’ of jokes that appeared on both Kaseberg’s blog and ‘Conan’ monologues and whether that pattern suggests those overlaps were coincidental, and Elayne Boosler, a comedian who was intended to address the substantial similarity of the jokes.”

The report notes: “While Sammartino doesn’t dispute that Boosler is ‘an expert comedienne,’ he found her evidence is ‘neither necessary nor helpful’ because it doesn’t delve into the requisite analysis.”

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