‘Cats’ isn’t James Corden’s most cringey: ‘The Late Late Show’ fails
Interview shows have been getting berated as of late, which is funny, since most of these shows aren’t even doing interviews as much as they once did, since the ones still airing new episodes are recording from home. But, perhaps that’s why people have chosen now to question the need for these shows. People are starting to realize how unnecessary these shows perpetuating celebrity culture are.
Ellen DeGeneres has seen shocking amounts of backlash recently, Jimmy Kimmel has been under fire, Jimmy Fallon has had his schtick questioned since almost day one, and now we’re eyeing up The Late Late Show.
Late night shows have, for the past few years, relied on outlandish and awkward segments in order to get their audiences to laugh. Rather than having a nice conversation with whoever is on the show to promote their next movie or record, shows require guests to either embarrass themselves, or to play the straight man while the host intentionally bungles about & steals the spotlight to make the audience cringe.
It’s a farcical affair which reads more like older generations trying to appeal to internet humor, but missing the mark nine times out of ten. Corden on his show The Late Late Show, is one of these. Though, it’s fair to note Corden has recently taken a more serious tone while he’s been working from home, so this is a look back on what he used to do, and what we fear he’ll return to once he gets back to his studio.
Crosswalk the Musical
Crosswalk the Musical is a recurring segment on The Late Late Show where Corden takes his more musically gifted guests out onto the Los Angeles streets to perform a musical on a crosswalk. Everyone gets into costumes and performs musical numbers while the crosswalk light is green.
There are moments which are gems from this series, but 50% of every “musical” is Corden playing a character who is dismissive of his very talented guests and “jokingly” claiming he’s much more talented, while sometimes literally pushing the guest out of the limelight.
James Corden’s Frozen musical with Idina Menzel, Josh Gad, and Jonathan Goff is one of the more cringey segments we’ve had to watch in the Crosswalk the Musical series.
La La Land audition
A few years back, in 2017, shortly after the Best Picture debacle at the Oscars, James Corden did a weird sketch which imitates one of the scenes in La La Land. Corden dresses up like Emma Stone’s character and does the audition scene, but the song is This is for the Ones that Lose where Corden laments about how La La Land was briefly Best Picture.
The scene is melodramatic, stiff, and awkward. A number of the jokes are hard to pinpoint as actual jokes until you hear the forced audience laughter. We think this scene might have been slightly funnier if Corden had managed to get Emma Stone to do this sketch, but honestly who knows?
The David Beckham statue prank
Perhaps this one only makes us hide our face behind our hands because of second-hand embarrassment, but this one really makes us uncomfortable. David Beckham was going to be honored with a statue outside of a stadium, but hadn’t seen the statue.
Corden set up an entire private unveiling for Beckham before the public one. Only the statue at the private unveiling was a fake which Corden ensured was very unflattering. Beckham reacts to the statue awkwardly and seems frustrated with it. It also doesn’t seem like he’s aware of what’s happening and faking his reaction, though honestly it’s television, he could be.
After complaining somewhat to who he thinks is the statue maker he actually asks for cameras to be turned off, at which point Corden goes running in to reveal it’s a prank before Beckham leaves. It’s obvious Beckham is extremely relieved when he sees the host of The Late Late Show jogging into the unveiling.
The sister interview
Back in 2016 James Corden’s sister was sitting in the audience of the show to see her brother’s work in person. What was supposed to be a fun segment where Corden has his sister participate in the audience game Emoji News quickly devolves into a discussion of how she reacts to her husband’s d*ck pics.
At first Corden seems horrified and says he doesn’t want to talk about the subject when the husband pipes up making a joke about his wife using the eye roll emoji. However, Corden double backs when his sister says that’s never happened.
Next thing everyone knows he’s asking about how many nude pictures his sister gets & makes a joke about mini candy bars being in the pictures. Luckily the sister seems to be highly amused & can barely contain her laughter, but the segment is weird AF for anyone watching.
Take a Break segment
The Take a Break series is a recurring segment framed as going into “normal” workplaces to give hardworking customer service workers a break. However, what it really serves to do is make James Corden look like a rich guy who is completely estranged from normal life, and also somewhat inept. (Though ineptness is his go-to sense of humor.)
These segments often feature confused and uncomfortable customers being served by a bumbling James Corden. Whether it be in the fancy department store Harrods or a LensCrafters store.
One incredibly awkward moment shows Corden breaking a glass object behind the chocolate counter at Harrods, forcing the store to shut the area down for health and safety purposes.