Have you heard the joke about the internet-connected fridge that sent so many text messages it was like having a nagging partner?
It might not leave you in stitches but it is at the centre of a potentially landmark legal case between two standup comedians over who owns the rights to a comedy routine – and whether it’s possible to prove in a British court that a performer has stolen material from a rival.
When up-and-coming comedian Kae Kurd performed a short routine on ITV’s Jonathan Ross’ Comedy Club last September, he gained highly valuable exposure on national television. Kurd told a series of jokes in which he explains to a salesperson that he doesn’t want to buy a smart fridge because it would be needy and harangue him with text messages when he goes on a night out.
“I’m not married for a reason … I don’t want to be out with the lads, suddenly I get a message, and my friends are like ‘is that the fridge again?’” Kurd said to laughter from the crowd, as Ross looked on from the side of the stage.