Skip to main content

Home TV TV News

James Corden called out for “copying” Ricky Gervais gag on Late Late Show

Corden's routine appeared to directly lift a joke about Twitter which had been originally made by Gervais.

By Nick Reilly

James Corden and Ricky Gervais (Picture: YouTube)

James Corden has faced fresh backlash after he appeared to directly copy a gag originally made by Ricky Gervais.

The Late Late Show host was delivering a monologue that addressed Elon Musk’s controversial Twitter takeover on Monday night when he appeared to lift the joke.

After taking aim at Musk’s controversial plans to charge verified users $20 a month to keep their blue ticks, Corden made a comedic analogy involving guitar lessons.

“When you see Elon Musk talk about Twitter he does this thing where he goes ‘Well, it’s the town square'”, explained Corden.

“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 s**t!'”

He concluded: “That sign wasn’t for you, it was for someone else. You don’t have to get mad!”

While the interesting point scored laughs from the audience, it soon emerged that the gag was remarkably similar to one from Gervais’ 2018 stand-up show Humanity.

In the show, Gervais states: “It’s like going into a town square and there’s a notice for guitar lessons and you go ‘but I don’t fucking wan’t guitar lessons!'”

Referencing the rather apparent similarities between the two gags, Gervais tweeted of Corden’s monologue: “The bit about the town square advert for guitar lessons is brilliant.”

When one fan asked if Corden had requested to use the joke, Gervais 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.”

Corden is yet to respond to the backlash, but there is nothing to so far suggest he was aware of the joke’s similarities to Gervais’ material.

Responding to a video of Corden’s monologue from The Late Late Show’s Twitter account, one user wrote: “I think one of your writers stitched you right up. Good work!”

Another said: “You could’ve at least credited @rickygervais when using his jokes.”

Gervais has previously taken shots at Corden in his material on several occasions. One moment of his Netflix show After Life sees grieving widower Tony (Gervais) berate another character after she says that Corden would be among her five dream dinner party guests. “F*** me”, he replies to the suggestion.

He also took aim at Corden during his 2020 Golden Globes Monologue, saying: “The world got to see James Corden as a fat pussy. He was also in the movie Cats.

“But no one saw that. And the reviews — shocking. I saw one that said this is the worst thing to happen to cats since dogs.”

The last controversy to hit Corden comes just weeks after he was forced to apologise for his behaviour at New York restaurant Balthazar, which resulted in restaurateur Keith McNally briefly banning him.

McNally said he had thrown Corden out after refusing to tolerate his “treatment of my staff,” alleging he had demanded a free round of drinks after finding a hair in his main course.

The comedian initially stood firm, before apologising during an episode of the Late Late Show last week.