Conan O'Brien accused of stealing sketch from oft-copied Cleveland comedy troupe
A recent episode of Conan featured a sketch in which stand-up comedians Jon Dore and Rory Scovel, as a result of accidental “double booking,” were forced to perform their acts simultaneously. It’s a simple premise—and, quite possibly, a stolen one. It seems sketch troupe Last Call Cleveland has been doing a very similar routine for several years now (here’s an example of one from 2009), and while the idea is, again, a pretty basic idea that may well have been conceived by two independent comic minds, the group's side-by-side comparison video below certainly makes a convincing case. As you’ll notice, they’re being fairly diplomatic about the possible theft: The YouTube description wryly notes, “Conan O'Brien was gracious enough to allow one of our most popular and beloved live sketches to be performed on his highly rated television show by people who aren't us,” and the video ends with a request for compensation by way of just allowing them to perform on the show.
It’s a small request—especially considering this isn’t the first time the group has claimed plagiarism of one of its sketches, as seen in this video from 2008 pointing out the similarities between LCC’s “Airband: The Oxygen Story” sketch and MADtv’s “Air Band.” And going back even further than that, Saturday Night Live aired a 2004 sketch about people trapped on a stuck escalator that bore a remarkable resemblance to LCC’s “Escalator” short film from the year before. So, if you’re looking for some ideas for your TV show, definitely hit up Last Call Cleveland’s YouTube channel, is what we’re saying.