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The Independent UK
The Independent UK
Ellie Harrison

James Corden: Noel Fielding fans accused Late Late Show host of stealing joke in 2017


James Corden has been in hot water this week over accusations he “stole” a joke from Ricky Gervais. Now, a 2017 claim that he copied a joke by Noel Fielding has resurfaced.

On Monday (31 October), the host of The Late Late Show had made a quip in his monologue about Twitter not being a town square, as the platform’s new owner Elon Musk had called it, saying: “It isn’t, ’cause 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! I wanna play the piano, you piece of s***!’”

The joke was almost exactly the same as one Gervais had told in his 2018 Netflix stand-up special Humanity.

Corden later wrote on Twitter: “I inadvertently told a brilliant Ricky Gervais joke on the show last night, obviously not knowing it came from him.”

Amid the controversy, a 2017 clip of Corden appearing to lift a joke made by Fielding at the 2010 Just for Laughs comedy festival has also resurfaced.

During his set, Fielding had joked that the best way to stop someone from mugging you was to whisper, “Oi, mate,” which he suggested would make the attacker put down their knife and ask, “What is it?”

In 2017, Corden said during an interview on The Late Late Show that he finds the best way to avoid being mugged is to whisper to the robber, “You’re never going to believe what’s happened.” He said the culprit would put down their weapon and say, “What?”

At the time, Fielding replied to a fan who accused Corden of stealing his joke, writing: “I believe this is my material x.”

The Independent has contacted representatives of Corden and Fielding for comment.

Corden was also criticised last month after he was briefly banned from the Manhattan restaurant Balthazar following accusations he was rude to waiting staff.

Last week, Corden teased his forthcoming return to the UK after his final Late Late Show episode airs in summer 2023.

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