A day after James Corden admitted he “inadvertently” told a Ricky Gervais joke during his “Late Late Show” monologue, an accusation of joke stealing from five years ago has resurfaced.
On Monday, the host told a joke in his monologue about Twitter not being Elon Musk’s claimed vision of a town square because those people wouldn’t see a flyer about guitar lessons and start bashing guitar lessons as they might on social media.
The joke was almost verbatim one that Gervais told in his 2018 Netflix stand-up special “Humanity” – down to the specificity about guitar lessons.
Gervais noted the similarities in a Tweet and Corden later acknowledged on Twitter: “I Inadvertently told a brilliant Ricky Gervais joke on the show last night, obviously not knowing it came from him.”
By Tuesday, a tweet from 2017 in which “The Mighty Boosh” star Noel Fielding accused Corden of stealing a stand-up bit he did at the 2010 “Just for Laughs” comedy festival had resurfaced.
During his stand-up routine, Fielding had joked that he was once being mugged and decided the best way to stop the mugger was to whisper, “Oi, mate,” which made the criminal put down his knife and ask “What is it?”
In 2017, Corden said during a “Late Late Show” interview that he finds the “best way to avoid being mugged” is to whisper to them, “You’re never going to believe what’s happened” and the mugger will put down their weapon and go, “What?”
At the time, Fielding tweeted “I believe that is my material” after a Twitter user wrote that Corden “totally stole the whisper thing” from Fielding.
Gervais later deleted his tweet shading Corden over the guitar lessons joke, telling a fan who asked if Corden asked for permission for the joke, he speculated “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 added that he deleted his original tweet because he “started to feel sorry for” Corden.
All of this comes against the backdrop of Corden’s friendly persona being challenged by a New York restaurant owner who accused him of being abusive to his waitstaff last month.
Corden later admitted on his show he made a “rude” comment to the restaurant workers after they kept sending out food his wife is allergic to, but the restaurateur claimed his apology was “contrived and phony,” accusing him of telling a “massive lie AGAIN.”
Corden has previously announced he plans to leave the “Late Late Show” next spring.