Film and TV

So, You Don’t Like James Corden? A Guide for Americans

We could have told you this ages ago, honestly.

It’s been a week of big shocks for Hollywood, the latest of which being their apparently delayed realisation 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. More just a bloke repeating sexual assault charges and then saying “hahaha what’s he like?”

Corden, who is reportedly friends with Harvey Weinstein, has since apologised, claiming he was trying to shame “the abuser”, not his victims (some have taken his Americanised 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 after-party – America seems to be waking up to the fact that James Corden is, maybe, bad?

Which is something we could have told you ages ago if you’d asked. Instead, you bought his boy-done-good schtick and gave him chat shows, parts in blockbuster films, or let him host the Grammys. Not that we can totally blame you. He’s good at this. Gets on TV and seduces your mum, grinning bashfullyand detailing in stomach-churning fashion how grateful he is to be here, how much he loves his dad, how wonderful Adele’s music is, how fat he knows he is. Next thing you know, he’s got an OBE.

Yet, despite delivering every joke like a school-boy announcing how much a bake sale made in assembly, it is important to know that this is an act. A cynical performance he’s been peddling since around 2008, when Rob Brydon told him to stop being a cunt in public. Since then, his career has been typified by voice-overs 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 then Americans, 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 4×4, please just give us a ring. We could have saved you a lot of petrol 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 Mat 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 Spiderman… snog! It was cancelled after one series which is weird because it was honestly so funny.

“SHOUT” WITH DIZZEE RASCAL

This is why the recovery of a grime as a serious cultural proposition has been such a miracle: James Corden nearly killed the scene. In fact, I’m pretty sure this song nearly killed football 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 in a number 9 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 likely-lad 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. A wonderful era in the British zeitgeist, when gobby blokes making faux-self-deprecating gags about their weight was seen as the pinnacle of light entertainment. Great returning to a time when “white man does rap” was a staple bit of a banter. Where are you from James? High Wycombe? Hold on… that’s not the hood! That’s a nice safe place for white people!

THE GREAT PATRICK STEWART BEEF OF 2010

I realise, technically, Patrick Stewart is in the wrong here, but it’s a testament to how much of an insufferable bloke 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 fancy the Jonas brothers, cover your belly,” is an inarguably great roast IMO.

VERY BRITISH PROBLEMS

In which James Corden is paid to recount pretending to make phone calls.

‘LESBIAN VAMPIRE KILLERS’

Horne and Corden was followed by Lesbian Vampire Killers, a genuinely joyless film that was described as “badly written” by the Daily Express.

THESE CHEEKY KEIRA KNIGHTLEY GAGS

Here is everyone’s favourite cheeky chappy 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, SO MANY ADVERTS

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. Next stop, Make Wonga Likeable Again!

‘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 bloke 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.

Corden@a_n_g_u_s

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