James Corden reached out to Ricky Gervais to apologize after the late night host "ripped off" a joke that the standup comedian did years earlier in a Netflix special.
In late October, James told a joke on the "Late Late Show" about Twitter not exactly being a "town square" like Elon Musk claims it is. The bit, using guitar lessons as a punch line, sounded oddly familiar to many viewers, and that's because it was almost a carbon copy of the joke Ricky did in 2018's "Humanity," a hugely popular comedy special.
Ricky and his fans immediately called out James for the theft. However, all seems to be forgiven, as Ricky said James reached out to him to apologize.
"I said, 'Don't worry about it,'" Ricky told the "Headliners" podcast, believing that James' writers were actually at fault. "Whatever you think of James Corden there is no way he knowingly ripped off my joke and thought he'd get away with it."
The "After Life" star didn't seem as understanding two month ago, tweeting James' monologue and sarcastically noting the "guitar lessons" joke was "brilliant," knowing full well that he did it first. Even though it's water under the bridge now, Ricky doesn't regret calling out James, as others have done recently.
"No, because I'm allowed. I didn't how it had happened. And I thought it was funny. I thought it was absurd that it was such an obvious rip-off," he said. "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," Ricky continued. "So that is 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."
Obviously giving the embattled late night host the benefit of the doubt, Ricky said, "What I don't believe is James Corden watched that and thought, 'I can just rip that off'. There's just no way. There is no way James Corden watched that and thought, 'I can get away with this.' It was the biggest special of the year. There is no way he thought, 'I can rip him off'. He was horrified. No chance."