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James Corden responds to accusation he plagiarised Ricky Gervais joke

Jake Massey

| Last updated 

James Corden responds to accusation he plagiarised Ricky Gervais joke

James Corden has responded after he was accused of ripping off a Ricky Gervais joke.


On the latest instalment of The Late Late Show, the 44-year-old was discussing Elon Musk's Twitter takeover and the billionaire's frequent references to the social media platform as the 'digital town square'.

"It isn't," Corden said. "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 wanna play the guitar! I wanna play the piano you piece of s**t!

"Well then that sign wasn't for you, it was for somebody else. You don't have to get mad about all of it."

The analogy landed some laughs in the studio - but it wasn't long until people called out Corden's musings on Twitter as being very similar to a Gervais bit about Twitter.

The routine in question was part of his 2018 Netflix special Humanity, in which he talks about humanity's tendency to think the world revolves around them, particularly on Twitter.

"They can be following me without me knowing, choose to read my tweet, and then take that personally," the 61-year-old said.

"That's like going into a town square, seeing a big noticeboard, and there's a notice for guitar lessons, and you go 'But I don't f***ing want guitar lessons!'"

Inevitably, someone took the liberty of splicing the two clips together - and the similarity is quite shocking:

Now Corden has admitted that it was Gervais' joke, claiming he used it without credit by accident.

A tweet from The Late Late Show account read: "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"

When asked on Twitter earlier today (Tuesday 1 November) if Corden had asked permission 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 has responded after he was accused of plagiarism. Credit: Twitter
Corden has responded after he was accused of plagiarism. Credit: Twitter

Gervais has since retweeted the tweet from The Late Late Show without any further comment - so make what you will of that.

It's been a difficult few weeks for Corden, after a New York restaurant owner barred him and labelled him a 'tiny cretin of a man' over his alleged treatment of staff.

The incident took place on 9 October but the story has rumbled on since, with Corden initially denying he'd done anything wrong before issuing an apology, and owner Keith McNally flitting between forgiveness and contempt

Featured Image Credit: Twitter / James Corden / Sydney Alford / Alamy

Topics: Celebrity, Ricky Gervais, James Corden, TV and Film

Jake Massey
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