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James Corden’s November isn’t looking any better than his October.
Corden’s joke was sparked by Elon Musk taking over Twitter and how the self-proclaimed “Chief Twit” has often described the social media platform as a “town square.”
“When you see Elon Musk talk about Twitter, he does this thing where he goes, ‘It’s the town square,'” Corden said on The Late Late Show. “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.”
In Gervais’ 2018 Netflix special Humanity, the comedian broke down what he hated about irrelevant feedback from angry Twitter users: “… [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 shared a clip from Corden’s show and wrote, “The bit about the town square advert for guitar lessons is brilliant.”
Given late night shows have teams of writers, it’s rather unlikely Corden wrote the joke himself and it’s highly possible that he was unaware of Gervais’ joke.
Gervais then deleted the tweet, explaining he “started to feel sorry for [Corden],” and noted, “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.”
Midday Tuesday, Corden acknowledged it was Gervais’ joke on his Twitter feed, yet stopped short of an apology: “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.”
Gervais has mocked Corden previously. In his 2020 Golden Globes monologue, Gervais said: “The world got to see James Corden as a fat pussy. He was also in the movie Cats.”
Last month, Corden was banned (then unbanned) from New York restaurant Balthazar after its restaurateur’s viral allegation that the host was “the most abusive customer to my Balthazar servers since the restaurant opened 25 years ago.” The comment sparked a pile-on of criticism of the late night veteran.
“It’s been the most surreal moment,” Corden first told the Times U.K. “I mean, it’s so odd. I never screamed at anyone, I didn’t shout, didn’t call anyone a name or swear or use derogatory language. … How is it remotely a thing? And that be OK? And now it’s fact, and that’s that. When that person who posted the story wasn’t even there. Just so odd. People keep telling me, ‘This is the world we live in!’ And I don’t know if that’s right. I think it’s a world we’re actively creating, engaging in and encouraging. It’s scary. Really scary.”
Corden is stepping down from his CBS late night perch after eight years in 2023; he’s said he wants to spend more time with his family.
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