The Late Late Show host was delivering a monologue about Elon Musk and his takeover of Twitter on Monday night’s episode (October 31). During the bit, he made a joke about Twitter being like a town square, which seemed to be a near word-for-word copy of a joke Gervais made on his 2018 Netflix special, Humanity.
Posting on the show’s official Twitter account, in a tweet quickly retweeted by Gervais himself, Corden wrote: “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”
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
— The Late Late Show with James Corden (@latelateshow) November 1, 2022
Corden started the joke in question by detailing Musk’s idea to charge Twitter users a monthly fee for blue ticks. He then said: “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 shit!’” The Gavin And Stacey star finished the joke by quipping: “But that sign wasn’t for you, it was for somebody else, you don’t have to get mad at all of it.”
Some viewers were quick to call out Corden for seemingly copy and pasting the joke from Gervais’ stand-up show. One user even posted a mash-up of the two comedians reciting the joke to show how similar Corden’s delivery was to that of Gervais.
— Paul Anthony (@PaulFI9) November 1, 2022
According to JOE, Gervais – in a now-deleted tweet – shared the clip from Corden’s show, and tweeted: “The bit about the town square advert for guitar lessons is brilliant.”
However, it seems the After Life actor changed his mind and became more sympathetic towards Corden. Responding to a tweet from one fan about the matter, he wrote: “I reckon one of the writers ‘came up with it’ for him. I doubt he would knowingly copy such a famous stand up routine word for word like that.”
Didn't deliver it like you though. I assume he asked to use that joke?
— Drew Pearson (@Drew_1981) November 1, 2022
It follows Corden taking flack for allegedly abusing waiting staff at the New York eatery, Balthazar. The talk show host was supposedly “abusive” in his behaviour towards employees at the restaurant on multiple occasions.
In the most recent development on the matter, Balthazar owner, Keith McNally, has offered James Corden free food at his establishment for a decade if the TV host apologises to the staff he allegedly offended.