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02nd Nov 2022

James Corden responds to accusations he copied a Ricky Gervais joke

Tobi Akingbade

James Corden copies Ricky Gervais joke

Not a great look for anyone really,

Ricky Gervais has called out James Corden after the television host repeated one of the comedian’s jokes pretty much word for word on his show.

But now Corden has spoken out and offered an explanation for the saga.

On Monday night’s episode of ‘The Late Late Show’, Corden was delivering a monologue to camera about Elon Musk and his takeover of Twitter.

During the monologue, he mentioned Musk’s idea to charge verified users $20 a month to keep their blue ticks.

He continued: “When you see Elon Musk talk about Twitter, he does this thing where he goes ‘It’s the town square.’

“But it isn’t, because if someone puts up a poster in a town square that says ‘guitar lessons available’, you don’t get people in the town going ‘I don’t want to play the guitar! I wanna play the piano you piece of s**t!’

He finished: “But that sign wasn’t for you, it was for somebody else, you don’t have to get mad at all of it.”

Cue laughter and applause from the delighted audience at this sharp piece of satire.

Except some of you may recognise this joke. Because it’s a complete copy of one Gervais made  in his stand-up show ‘Humanity’, which was released on Netflix in 2018.

Responding to the accusations, Corden tweeted from The Late Late Show account: “Inadvertently told a brilliant Ricky Gervais joke on the show last night, obviously not knowing it came from him.

“It’s brilliant, because it’s a Ricky Gervais joke. You can watch all Ricky’s excellent specials on Netflix. J x”.


You can see just how similar they jokes are below.

Never one to shy away from a bit of confrontation, Gervais decided to address this in a post on ‘the town square’ itself.

In a tweet sharing the clip from Corden’s show, Gervais wrote: “The bit about the town square advert for guitar lessons is brilliant.”

Gervais defended his fellow comedian earlier in the day after a Twitter user asked if Corden asked permission to use the joke.

He replied: “No. I reckon one of the writers ‘came up with it’ for him.

“I doubt he would knowingly just copy such a famous stand up routine word for word like that.”

Many more noticed that Corden had nicked the witty summary of Twitter from the Extras comedian, and decided to call him out as well.

One person wrote: “You could’ve at least credited @rickygervais when using his jokes @JKCorden…”

Another said it was “absolutely shameless” behaviour from Corden.

A third said it was a “new low” for him.

It could be that this isn’t exactly the ‘Gavin and Stacey’ star’s fault though, as one person pointed out.

They wrote: “He clearly has no idea—all these talk-show monologues are written by a team of writers. One of those writers will most definitely be fired for plagiarism today (and rightly so).”

So maybe he was simply oblivious to the plagiarism.

Either way, it’s not a great look for him, and is unlikely to do much for his popularity

In April, Corden said he would be stepping down as host of The Late Late Show.

The actor and comedian recently made headlines after he was banned from New York’s Balthazar restaurant for alleged bad behaviour. The restaurant’s owner, Keith McNally, claimed he had been “extremely nasty” to his staff on two separate occasions.

Corden later addressed the incident during an episode of The Late Late Show and said it was “never my intention” to upset staff, but acknowledged he had been “ungracious” during the incident. McNally has since overturned the ban.

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