James Corden was already accused of stealing from Ricky Gervais this week, and though he admitted his fault there the Late Late Show host isn’t out of the woods on joke controversies just yet. In light of the accusations he took a punchline from a Gervais special, apparently inadvertently at least, another joke from years earlier has been given new light thanks to some fans of comedian Noel Fielding’s work.
As The Independent detailed on Thursday, Corden’s late-night catalog has faced some deeper investigation in the wake of Monday’s episode of The Late Late Show, in which Corden made a joke about Elon Musk buying Twitter that had the same guitar lesson-based plot Gervais had used in the past. Corden was quick to admit the joke was Gervais’s, and the latter speculated that a Late Late Show writer was likely influenced by his work. But it’s not the only time a joke has appeared very similar to another comedian’s material.
Corden, who at one point was banned from a restaurant for being mean to its staff, is now accused of borrowing material of Noel Fielding who, depending on what you watch on TV, is either most notable as a host of the Great British Baking Show or one of the unhinged lunatics behind A Mighty Boosh. The controversy dates back to a joke Fielding made in 2010, which can be found on YouTube.
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.”
Fielding’s joke starts around the 4:30 mark of this video, from the 2010 Just For Laughs comedy festival in Montreal. The setup is much longer than Corden’s quip, as the whisper material becomes central to Fielding’s stand-up routine at Just For Laughs. And while it’s not as word-for-word as Corden’s mishap with Gervais, it’s hard to argue against the jokes being very similar.
Unlike Monday’s controversy over Gervais, which drew a swift apology from Corden via the show’s Twitter account, the Late Late Show host has yet to address Fielding’s material just yet. Which is kind of ironic, as his show actually did a Great British Baking Show parody on Halloween night, the same day Corden’s first joke controversy was sparked.
— The Late Late Show with James Corden (@latelateshow) November 1, 2022
We’ll have to wait and see what Corden says about this one, but it’s yet another weird controversy for the host to deal with in what’s becoming a very long year for him online.
[via The Independent]