Conan O’Brien and Writer Settle Joke-Theft Lawsuit Weeks Before Trial

Weeks before a showbiz trial was due to begin, Conan O’Brien has settled a lawsuit that accused him and his writers on Conan of stealing topical jokes from a man on Twitter. In an essay written for Variety, the host explained that he decided to settle to avoid a “farcical” lawsuit over jokes that aren’t even that funny four years after they were made. The accusations stem from a 2015 lawsuit with California writer Robert Kaseberg, who alleged the talk-show host stole five jokes from his Twitter feed and blog. “I decided to forgo a potentially farcical and expensive jury trial in federal court over five jokes that don’t even make sense anymore,” O’Brien wrote. “Four years and countless legal bills have been plenty.” O’Brien still insists, however, that he and his staff had never heard of Kaseberg and didn’t steal any jokes. He said the similarity between the jokes was bound to happen in the age of social media, saying: “That joke was being written by literally 34 other people on Twitter, and one of those people decided he had been robbed.”