Ricky Gervais says James Corden reached out to apologise after copying his joke

Ricky Gervais James Corden

Ricky Gervais has revealed James Corden reached out and apologised to him after using his joke on The Late Late Show.

Last month, Corden was called out over a monologue about Elon Musk’s takeover of Twitter which pulled directly from a joke in Gervais’ 2018 Netflix special, Humanity.

Following the monologue, Gervais posted a sarcastic response on Twitter, writing: “[James] bit about the town square advert for guitar lessons is brilliant.” He later deleted the tweet because he “started to feel sorry” for him.

Corden later admitted he “inadvertently” copied the joke on Twitter, adding: “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.”

Gervais addressed the incident on BBC podcast Headliners, where he explained that Corden reached out to him privately.

“I said, ‘Don’t worry about it.’ I said, ‘If your writers were in the back of the room when I was warming up and you got it out there before I did it on Netflix…’, but whatever you think of James Corden there is no way he knowingly ripped off my joke and thought he’d get away with it,” Gervais said.

Asked if he regretted reacting to it, Gervais replied: “No, because I’m allowed. I didn’t know how it had happened. And I thought it was funny. I thought it was absurd that it was such an obvious rip-off.

“But again I don’t know how he got to it because the writer must have walked him through and said, ‘Do this and do that.’ Or he saw it five years ago and completely forgot about it and thought he’d made it up. That can happen as well.

“There are some plagiarists but a lot of it is genuinely accidental… So that was clearly my routine but I don’t think he came up with it at all. I think a writer pitched that to him and didn’t tell him it was mine, or the writer forgot. I don’t know, I want to be fair.”

Gervais is currently touring his Armageddon show across the UK, which is set to be released on Netflix at a later date.

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