Rabbi Dovid Sondik is somewhat of a YouTube sensation. Search “The Flying Rabbi,” and a myriad of videos featuring Sondik rapidly talking to people in their cars will pop up. Over the summer, Jimmy Kimmel spliced himself into one of those videos for a bit about LeBron James meeting with a different Rabbi—Rabbi Yishayahu Yosef Pinto. Sondik took objection to his image being used, and tried to sue Kimmel. Unfortunately, as the judge threw out Sondik’s case.
The Daily News reports Judge David Schmidt rejected the claim because “The clip of plaintiff at issue was used as part of a comedic (or at least an attempted comedic) or satiric parody of LeBron James meeting with Rabbi Pinto, itself undoubtedly an event that was newsworthy or of public interest." Watch the bit below and feel free to decide if it’s worthy of Judge Schmidt’s high praise for its, “attempted comedic” nature:
"Plaintiff looks nothing like Rabbi Pinto," Schmidt asserted. "It is apparent that the piece primarily makes fun of the idea that LeBron James was seeking business advice from a spiritual leader with whom he could not actually converse." Schmidt used an old Leno bit as precedent. Leno was sued years ago for featuring someone’s business card without authorization during one of his Headlines segments, but that claim was thrown out. Had David Letterman sued Leno for stealing the Headlines bit from him, however, he may have had a case (but that’s a whole different story).
Sondik’s Lawyer told the Daily News, “My client is a private person and didn’t do anything to deserve being the butt of a joke on national TV." Cheer up, Rabbi Sondik. The joke was on LeBron.