Late-night host and alleged wait-staff tyrant James Corden is under fire once again, and this time it’s coming courtesy of comedy great Ricky Gervais.
Gervais — the exponentially funnier of the two — noted a similarity between a joke Corden told on Monday’s episode of The Late, Late Show and one in his 2018 special, Humanity.
Corden’s joke went as follows:
“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 wanna play the guitar!’ But that sign wasn’t for you, it was for somebody else — you don’t have to get mad about all of it.”
Well, it turns out the comic genius who gave us The Office (the superior British one) and manages to make award shows watchable wrote an almost identical bit several years ago.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, his version of the joke goes like this:
“… [It’s] like going into a town square, and seeing a big notice board that says, ‘Notice: Guitar lessons,’ and going: ‘I don’t fucking want guitar lessons!’ … Fine! It’s not for you, then. Just walk away, don’t worry about it.”
Gervais took to Twitter to call out what looked like cut-and-dry joke thievery, the comedy world’s highest crime. However, he soon deleted his tweet. When asked why, Gervais explained.
Someone May Have Stolen The Joke, But Odds Are It Wasn’t Corden Himself
James Corden is completely unlikeable no matter how many songs he sings from behind the wheel of a Range Rover. He’s not particularly funny, doesn’t sound to be the nicest person out there, and personally, I still harbor intense rage over the time he blocked traffic for a bit.
However, in his defense, there’s no chance Corden is the one who wrote — or stole — that joke.
Late-night hosts are involved in monologue writing to varying degrees, but regardless of whether he submits jokes himself or is even in the room, that joke absolutely came from a writer.
Gervais acknowledges this too.
In fairness to Corden, he did issue an apology the next day and pointed his followers toward Gervais’ Netflix specials.
It sure seems like that situation has been worked out, so I’ll leave you with one of Ricky Gervais’ brilliant Golden Globes jokes. This came from Gervais’ monologue in 2020.
“The world got to see James Corden as a fat p—y. He was also in the movie Cats.”
Now that’s how you write a joke, kids.
Follow on Twitter: @Matt_Reigle