Ricky Gervais defends James Corden as TV host ‘steals’ comedian’s famous joke ‘word for word’

Viewers called the identical quip ‘scandalous’

Jacob Stolworthy
Wednesday 02 November 2022 06:32 GMT
James Corden’s and Ricky Gervais’ jokes compared after plagiarism claims

Ricky Gervais has defended James Corden after pointing out the TV host “stole” one of his jokes.

The actor, writer and comedian shared a clip from Corden’s Late Late Show that saw him discussing Elon Musk’s recent takeover of Twitter.

During the segment, Corden says: "When you see Elon Musk talk about Twitter, he does this thing where he goes, 'Well, it's the town square.' But it isn't, 'cause 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 wanna play the guitar! I wanna play the piano, you piece of s***!’

Corden continued: “It’s like, ‘That sign wasn’t for you – it was for somebody else. You don’t have to get mad about all of it.’”

On Tuesday (1 November), the Office and After Life star Gervais shared the video in a now-deleted tweet, writing: “The bit about the town square advert for guitar lessons is brilliant.” Showing he didn’t mind, Gervais added a laughing face emoji.

The comedian’s followers immediately knew that Gervais was referencing the fact that he made practically the same joke in his 2018 Netflix stand-up Ricky Gervais Humanity. Many shared the clip of Gervais cracking the joke “word for word”. Corden has since responded to accusations he stole Gervais’ joke.

Shortly after posting his initial tweet about the matter, Gervais swiftly suggested that it was Corden’s team that probably wrote the joke, and expressed the belief that Corden would hav ebeen unaware of the situation.

Gervais replied to a follower: “I doubt he would knowingly just copy such a famous stand-up routine word for word like that.”

Ricky Gervais points out that James Corden ‘stole’ one of his jokes
Ricky Gervais points out that James Corden ‘stole’ one of his jokes (Twitter)

Others called out Corden for the “scandalous” joke steal, with many expressing surprise at how similar the wording was.

The Independent has contacted both Gervais and Corden for comment.

Last week, Corden teased his forthcoming return to the UK after his final Late Late Show episode airs in summer 2023.

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