So, You Don't Like James Corden? A Guide for Americans
We could have told you this ages ago, honestly.
Photo: Mike Egerton/EMPICS Sport
This article originally appeared on VICE UK.
It's been a week of big shocks for Hollywood, the latest of which being the apparent delayed realization that James Corden is—in fact—not such a sweet boy after all. This weekend, at a charity gala in LA, Corden jumped on a moment of genuine trauma in the film industry for some of the worst faux-outrageous banter since Gervais last hosted the Golden Globes.
If you want to check out his jokes, watch the video below. They're not really jokes, though. It's just a guy repeating sexual assault charges and then saying "hahaha what's he like?"
Corden, who is reportedly friends with Harvey Weinstein, has since apologized, claiming he was trying to shame "the abuser," not his victims (some have taken his Americanized spelling of the word "behavior" in the statement as a sign the apology was written by a PR). However, the damage has already been done. With this, and his recent friendly run-in with Sean Spicer—who he was pictured kissing at an Emmy's afterparty—America seems to be waking up to the fact that James Corden is, maybe, bad?
This is something we could have told you years ago if you just asked. Instead, you bought his boy-done-good schtick and gave him a talk show, parts in blockbuster films, and let him host the Grammys. Not that we can totally blame you. He's good at this. He gets on TV and seduces your mom, grinning bashfully and detailing in stomach-churning fashion how grateful he is to be here, how much he loves his dad, how wonderful Adele's music is, and how fat he knows he is. Next thing you know, he's getting medals of honor.
Yet, despite delivering every joke like a school boy announcing how much a bake sale made, it is important to know that this is an act. A cynical performance he's been peddling around since 2008, when Welsh actor Rob Brydon told him to stop being a cunt in public. Since then, his career has been typified by voiceovers in cutesy animations and heartfelt, teary interviews with Gary Barlow. Don't you just love it? Don't you just want to smoosh his face up and cuddle him until he explodes? No. James Corden is not a sweet boy; he's a professional dickhead who makes money pretending to be adorable.
Here, for your viewing pleasure, is the full case against the man. Every time James Corden has been unbearably awful. Next time you want to film someone singing Beyonce songs in a 4x4, please just give us a ring. We could have saved you a lot of gas money.
Horne and Corden
Shortly after Gavin and Stacey—the sitcom that made Corden the blandly unappealing prospect he is today—James and his co-star Mathew Horne were seen as the hottest property in British comedy. Sadly, nobody bothered to write them any actual jokes, leading to a lengthy spell of miserable television appearances that peaked with Horne and Corden, a sketch show so bad the best recurring punchline was the big man raising his T-shirt to reveal, yep, you guessed it, his belly. Or this delicious sketch in which Superman and Spider-Man... kiss! It was canceled after one season, which is weird because it was honestly so funny.
"Shout" with Dizzee Rascal
James Corden killed the scene; in fact, I'm pretty sure this song killed soccer as well. This actually very appropriate soundtrack for a World Cup that saw us bounce out having scored a grand total of three goals managed to make then grime superstar Dizzee Rascal seem less exciting than Peter Crouch [English soccer player] in a number nine shirt. Perhaps the worst thing about this song is its continuation of the mythology that the very middle-class James Corden is some sort of working-class hero. Actually, no: The worst thing about this song is the "come and have a go if you think you're hard enough" line. Sorry, my bad.
Performing "Gold Digger" for Chris Moyles
Corden and Moyles, true titans of comedy, together at last. This clip encapsulates a wonderful era in the British zeitgeist, when two guys making faux-self-deprecating gags about their weight was seen as the pinnacle of light entertainment. It's great to returning to a time when "white man does rap" was a staple bit of a banter. Where are you from James? The suburbs of England? Hold on... that's not the hood! That's a nice safe place for white people!
The Great Patrick Stewart Beef of 2010
I realize, technically, Patrick Stewart is in the wrong here, but it's a testament to how much of an insufferable ass James Corden is that this bizarre clash actually makes me really like Patrick Stewart. The fact is, while Stewart gets in a bit over his head and doesn't quite have the requisite zingers to take anyone on, the glee with which Corden revels in the humiliation says something much darker about his disposition. Also, "If you like the Jonas brothers, cover your belly," is an inarguably great roast.
Very British Problems
In which James Corden is paid to recount pretending to make phone calls.
Lesbian Vampire Killers
Horne and Corden were followed by Lesbian Vampire Killers, a genuinely joyless film that was described as "badly written" by the Daily Express.
These Keira Knightley Gags
Here is everyone's favorite comedian making a series of incrementally graphic claims of "brutal" sex with Keira Knightley, in exchange for some weak laughs from a drunken, fatigued award ceremony audience. So much has changed since then.
So Many Commercials
The great thing about James Corden is how readily available his everyman routine is. He will literally sell it to anyone. A year ago, it was all "We Buy Any Car," but at the moment, it's Confused.com, which has employed his sweet tones for their hilarious and soon-to-be viral #SheepWhisperer campaign.
One Chance—The Paul Potts Biopic
The man was quite simply in a Paul Potts biopic—the story of an unlikely opera singer who won Britain's Got Talent in 2007, perhaps the perfect synthesis of his cynically minded exploitation of the nation's heartstrings. The film is the story of an unlikely lovable guy becoming famous against the odds, which is exactly the myth Corden has sold to America about himself, over and over again. Oh, and it was produced by none other than Harvey Weinstein.
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