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You Don't Mess With The Zohan-- No Really, You Don't

By Tanya Roth, Esq. on July 06, 2011 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

You don't mess with The Zohan. Or at least, you don't mess with the guys who invented The Zohan.

Robert Cabell claims that Adam Sandler, Robert Smigel and Judd Apatow stole his idea of the wacky character that ultimately became "The Zohan" in the comedy film "You Don't Mess With The Zohan".

According to New York Post, Cabell had a similar character, Jayms Blonde, which he claims was ripped off by the Hollywood trio. He filed a copyright infringement lawsuit but his suit was thrown out by the Second Circuit Court of Appeals. The Second Circuit upheld a lower court ruling that Cabell had failed to establish his claim for copyright infringement.

Cabell reportedly represented himself in the lawsuit.

The 2009 lawsuit involved a comic book written by Robert Cabell, where a former Navy SEAL becomes a crime-fighting hairdresser who brandished a hair dryer as a secret weapon in his crime fighting adventures. His story, “The Hair Raising Adventures of Jayms Blonde” was pitched to Columbia in 2007, reports Hollywood Reporter.

The case was dismissed at the summary judgment stage by a federal district court with some quotable statements on the use of hair dryers as weapons. The district court noted that Cabell failed to establish that his work was the one shown in the movie, as the movie involved a hair dryer that was just an ordinary hair dryer whereas Cabell’s comic book involved a hair-dryer disguised as a real weapon.

The Second Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the lower court ruling, blowing Cabell away by finding that there was “no plausible reason” that a jury could find the expressions of the two concepts “substantially similar.”

So maybe Robert Cabell should have taken advanced warning from the title of the movie and not have messed with the Zohan after all.

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