Ricky Gervais Thinks ‘Late Late Show’ Writer Stole His Joke for James Corden

James Corden and Ricky Gervais

Did a writer for The Late Late Show with James Corden steal a joke from Ricky Gervais? That’s what the After Life star claimed after watching Corden‘s opening monologue from Monday’s (October 31) show.

The joke in question revolved around Twitter, specifically Elon Musk‘s recent purchase of the social media platform. On Monday’s episode of the late-night talk show, Corden brought up how Musk often refers to Twitter as “the town square.”

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

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

Those who have seen Gervais’ 2018 stand-up special Humanity might have noticed the joke sounded strikingly familiar. In the show, Gervais talked about how people on Twitter think the world revolves around them and how one tweet can cause a follower to get mad.

“It’s like going into a town square, and there’s a notice for guitar lessons, and you go, ‘But I don’t f***ing want guitar lessons!'” Gervais said in his comedy special.

Gervais commented on Corden’s routine on Tuesday in a since-deleted tweet (according to Rolling Stone), writing, “The bit about the town square advert for guitar lessons is brilliant.”

When a fan asked The Office co-creator if Corden had asked for permission to use the joke, Gervais responded, “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.”

If Corden is to be believed, he had no idea the joke was stolen and clearly hadn’t watched Gervais’ “famous” routine. “Inadvertently told a brilliant Ricky Gervais joke on the show last night, obviously not knowing it came from him,” Corden tweeted from The Late Late Show account. “It’s brilliant, because it’s a Ricky Gervais joke. You can watch all Ricky’s excellent specials on Netflix. J x”

The Late Late Show With James Corden, Monday–Thursday, June 27–30, 12:35am/11:35c, CBS