- Ricky Gervais suspects a writer for James Corden copied his joke for Corden to say on air.
- Corden poked fun at new Twitter CEO Elon Musk and the fact that he often refers to the platform as a “town square.”
- Gervais told a very similar joke to the one on Corden’s show in a 2018 stand-up comedy special.
Ricky Gervais suspects that a writer for “The Late Late Show with James Corden” copied one of his jokes from a 2018 stand-up routine for Corden to use in his Monday night show.
In Corden’s monologue, the comedian poked fun at Elon Musk’s recent Twitter takeover, noting that the new CEO has often referred to the social media platform as “the town square.”
“When you see Elon Musk talk about Twitter he does this thing where he goes ‘Well, it’s the town square,’” Corden said.
He continued: “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 want to play the piano, you piece of shit!’”
“That sign wasn’t for you, it was for someone else,” Corden said. “You don’t have to get mad!”
Following Corden’s bit, fans noticed that the joke sounded strikingly familiar to a joke Gervais told during his 2018 stand-up show, “Humanity.”
In his show, Gervais pointed out that everyone thinks the world revolves around them, particularly people on Twitter. He said he can tweet something, and one of his followers might get mad about it, even though Gervais has no idea who that particular follower is.
“It’s like going into a town square and there’s a notice for guitar lessons and you go ‘but I don’t fucking want guitar lessons!’” Gervais said in his special.
In a since-deleted tweet originally posted on Tuesday, Gervais referred to Corden’s show: “The bit about the town square advert for guitar lessons is brilliant,” Rolling Stone UK reported.
A fan responded to Gervais, asking if Corden asked to use the joke on his show.
Gervais responded: “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.”
—Ricky Gervais (@rickygervais) November 1, 2022
Hours later, Corden appeared to respond to the controversy on “The Late Late Show” Twitter.
“Inadvertently told a brilliant Ricky Gervais joke on the show last night, obviously not knowing it came from him,” Corden said. “It’s brilliant, because it’s a Ricky Gervais joke. You can watch all Ricky’s excellent specials on Netflix. J x”
—The Late Late Show with James Corden (@latelateshow) November 1, 2022
Representatives for Gervais and “The Late Late Show” did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.
The accusation by Gervais comes just after Corden wrapped up another public feud with New York City restaurant owner Keith McNally who accused the comedian of bad behavior at his restaurant, Balthazar.