A few days ago, someone accused the writers on Conan O'Brien's talk show of stealing his material from Twitter, which is a little like accusing someone of stealing something from the sidewalk. I mean, I guess it's possible to do, and can legally fit the definition of theft – I can't really say with any concrete authority: I'm not licensed to practice law in the state of California – but there's a lot of material flying around Twitter every day – in that respect it's a lot like the writers' room of a television talk show – and though most of it is filthy and repellent and totally offensive – and in that respect it's a lot like the writer's room of a television talk show – some of it may, somehow, out of sheer luck and the laws of statistics, end up being both funny and usable, and in that respect it's a lot like the writer's room of a television talk show...
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