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Conan O’Brien isn’t the first A-list comic accused of stealing jokes

Robert “Alex” Kaseberg makes it his business to watch all of the late-night monologues on TV. A comedy writer, the 60-year-old has sold bits to David Letterman and Jay Leno, earning as much as $125 for a joke. On the night of Jan. 14, 2015, Kaseberg sat in his home office, near San Diego, Calif., taking in the opener of “Conan” on TBS. Host Conan O’Brien told a joke about how there were just two passengers on a Delta flight — and “somehow they spent the whole flight fighting over the armrest.” It was almost the exact joke Kaseberg had written and posted to his blog earlier that day. (His punchline: “And they fought over control of the armrest the entire flight.”) Over the next several weeks, the writer claims, two ...