In case you missed it, HBO’s VICE News recently took a look at joke theft through the prism of an ongoing lawsuit by a Twitter user named Robert Alex Kaseberg, who alleges Conan O’Brien and his Team Coco staff on TBS stole jokes from him for use in his monologues.

VICE News didn’t get to talk to Kaseberg or anyone from Team Coco, but Patton Oswalt sat down with them to talk about joke theft in general.


What’s the big deal? It’s just jokes, right? Or do we need a lawsuit to stop joke theft?

Oswalt says the comedy scene is more focused on original material now than ever, than back when hack material was ever present, and people went to comedy clubs just to see generic comedy.

“If you’re a comedian, you know when something’s been stolen. When something is not right. When clearly someone is doing something that is just not theirs,” Oswalt says.