James Corden says he not did deliberately steal Ricky Gervais joke

Ricky Gervais drew attention to the similarities between his joke and one delivered by James Corden during his opening monologue. Credit: PA

James Corden has been forced to defend himself again as he was accused of copying a joke originally made by Ricky Gervais on his chat show.

The Late Late Show host said he delivered the gag about Elon Musk's Twitter takeover during his opening monologue to the show on Monday “obviously not knowing it came from [Gervais]”.

Comedian Gervais, 61, drew attention to the similarities with one from his 2018 standup show, Humanity, in a now-deleted Twitter post.

The After Life star said Corden had most likely not repeated the joke deliberately, but that one of his writers had "come up with it".

In the joke, 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. 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***!’”

“Well that sign wasn’t for you, it was for someone else. You don’t have to get mad about all of it!”

Responding to the accusations, Corden, 44, tweeted from The Late Late Show account: “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”.

Gervais defended his fellow comedian earlier in the day after a Twitter user asked if Corden asked permission to use the joke.

He 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.”

He later retweeted Corden's tweet addressing the saga.

James Corden. Credit: Jonathan Brady/PA

Last week, the actor and comedian was forced to apologies after being accused by the owner of Balthazar restaurant in New York for allegedly being rude to staff over an omelette.

He was briefly barred from upscale restaurant in Manhattan after its owner Keith McNally claimed the comedian had been “extremely nasty” to his staff on two separate occasions.

Mr McNally posted about the incident on social media which prompted a strong backlash, with calls for Corden to be “banned” from other venues.

Corden later addressed the incident during an episode of The Late Late Show and said it was “never my intention” to upset staff – but acknowledged he had been “ungracious” during the incident.

In April, Corden said he will be stepping down as host of The Late Late Show.

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