The problem with James Corden: Comedian has been let off in the past thanks to famous friends

The problem with James Corden: Comedian has been let off in the past thanks to famous friends
James Corden has been involved in various incidents over the years and has social media slamming him for his rude and erratic behavior (Photo by Jeff Spicer/Getty Images for BFI)

From mocking BTS at the UN assembly to lashing out at the waiters at Balthazar restaurant in New York, James Corden has always sparked controversy with his behavior. He was recently called out as the 'most abusive customer' by Keith McNally, the restaurant owner of New York’s Balthazar.

The incidents involving Corden, his wife and staff at Balthazar were narrated by McNally in a social media post. “James Corden is a Hugely gifted comedian, but a tiny Cretin of a man," McNally, 71, wrote on Instagram. The owner of the restaurant described one instance in which Corden, after finishing his dinner, discovered a hair in his food and demanded complimentary drinks while threatening to write a negative review of the French bistro. In another incident, McNally claimed that the actor screamed at a waiter because his wife Julia Carey's eggs were not cooked to her preferences when they were having breakfast.

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Host James Corden attends the 60th Annual GRAMMY Awards at Madison Square Garden on January 28, 2018 in New York City.
James Corden has been slammed for his behavior with servers by Becky Habersberger (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for NARAS)

Over the years, the British comedian has been around hosting numerous award shows, featuring in movies and interacting with celebrities. His shows also helped him gain a lot of famous friends as well. He is quite popular with BTS and Justin Bieber. Corden and Styles have been close pals since the “As It Was” singer first appeared on the 'Late Late Show' in 2015 while still a part of One Direction. He also went skydiving with Tom Cruise earlier in July when the sequel to 'Top Gun' made its way onto cinema screens. It was a gimmick but it also showed the close connection the two share.

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Another unlikely name in his friends' list is 'fashion goddess' and Vogue editor Anna Wintour. Vulture reports that in November 2011, while performing the lead in the wildly popular West End play 'One Man, Two Guvnors' she sent him a card: “To James. From your biggest fan and most avid stalker, Anna.” In 2014, it is reported that Wintour spoke with CBS president Les Moonves to convince him through very high praise that Corden should succeed Craig Ferguson as The Late Late Show’s next host. The first time they communicated with each other, she said: “In our very first email exchange — I’d never met him — he said, ‘Will you be my best friend?’ He’s that sort of person.”

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The man has earned an OBE, won 11 Emmys and is literally friends with everyone from David Beckham to Michelle Obama. Corden has also become pals with the Duke of Sussex Prince Harry and his actress wife, Meghan Markle. In one of his TV segments, Harry was seen rapping to the Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air theme tune, and Corden FaceTimed Meghan and swore while being driven around Los Angeles, drinking cups of tea. However, with the current restaurant drama, many old and rather unpleasant stories about the show's host are resurfacing online.  Let's revisit some of Corden’s most atrocious and talked-about incidents from the past that have highlighted his diva-like behavior.

LA Busboy incident

The wife of Try Guys member Keith Habersberger, Becky Habersberger, allegedly once witnessed Corden yell at a Los Angeles busboy, reports Page Six. One day after the talk show presenter received criticism for abusing Balthazar servers, the makeup artist posted a TikTok video outlining the alleged event. In the TikTok video, Becky was heard saying, “I overhear [a] busboy telling James Corden that Little Dom’s is closed right now,” the 32-year-old recalled, noting she was “walking down the street going to a happy hour” when she witnessed the alleged tirade. “They close in the middle of the day between lunch and dinner,” the influencer said of the popular Italian eatery in Los Feliz, Calif. [The busboy] is telling James Corden he can get him a reservation right when they open,” Becky added. “He was trying to be really accommodating.” She claimed that the “Late Late Show With James Corden” host, 44, then “yells at this bus boy, ‘A lot of good that does me, mate, a lot of good that does me.'”

The social media post came soon after Balthazar owner Keith McNally described Corden as the "most abusive" customer he had ever seen and barred him from the renowned New York City restaurant. After supposedly "profusely" apologizing, Corden was unbanned by McNally. However, Becky went on to say in her TikTok video that she doesn't think Corden is truly apologetic. “If he was really sorry, he would have apologized to the server and not the owner of the restaurant,” she said.

The "Try Wives" podcast presenter also stated in the video that "servers never forget" their unpleasant celebrity guests. “I was a waitress at a super bougie Beverly Hills hotel rooftop restaurant,” she explained. “Some [stars] were awesome, some were trash and I remember to this day who the trash bags are. I’m not surprised by all this James Corden information coming out because if you are rude to one server, you are absolutely rude to many servers,” she opined. “That is not a one-off, ‘I was having a bad day’ kind of thing.” 

Backlash for a joke on BTS

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The British comedian made light of BTS' participation at the UN General Assembly on September 20, 2021, at the broadcast of ‘The Late Late Show With James Corden.’ While describing the group's fan base as "15-year-old girls," Corden branded them as "pretty unusual visitors" to the UN. Now, the BTS ARMY is known to be extremely protective of the seven boys - RM, SUGA, Kim Taehyung, Jimin, Jin, Jungkook and J-Hope.

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“The United Nations General Assembly kicked off this morning in New York City, and it started with some pretty unusual visitors – BTS were there. BTS visited the UN. Although lots of people are saying why are BTS there, the world leaders have no choice but to take BTS seriously. BTS has one of the largest ARMY on the planet earth,” Corden said. “Historic moment. It actually marks the first time that 15-year-old girls everywhere found themselves wishing that they were Secretary General António Guterres," he had added.

His comments did not fare well on social media as he faced backlash his gender and age stereotypes. The show's Twitter page also removed the clip in which Corden was mocking the South Korean boy band after BTS fans swarmed the feed with constant replies.  "To call bts an "unusual guests" is so disrespectful. it was was their THIRD time speaking at the UN?!? & calling out armys a bunch of "15 yr old girls" the stereotype, smh. so disappointed. i expected way better from james corden. u don't deserve bts & army. no more papa mochi!!" one social media user had commented. 

Rob Brydon confronted Corden for his rude behavior

After Corden initially rose to fame, actor Rob Brydon once had to sit him down and talk to him about his rude behavior. ‘Gavin & Stacey’, which he co-created and starred in with Ruth Jones in 2007, helped Corden establish himself as a household superstar. He later took over as the host of the US chat show ‘The Late Late Show’ and appeared in movies like ‘Cats’ (2019), ‘The Prom’ (2020) and ‘Cinderella’ (2021). But just as he was about to achieve success, his 'Gavin & Stacey' co-star Brydon had to have a serious conversation with him. 

After the heart-to-heart, the comedian reflected that Corden had started acting "ratty and irritable," and he felt the need to help him before it was too late. "I’d known him for a while – we met on a big comedy-drama called Cruise of the Gods in about 2002", Brydon told The Independent in 2019. "I was very impressed by him, although he was very young, very green – very provincial is how I would describe him, not unlike myself at that age. He is such a talent, James, good God he really is. So he was on a rollercoaster." Brydon emphasized that, while Corden was “enjoying the fruits of his success,” he “lost his way for a bit.” "He was burning the candle at both ends, and becoming ratty and irritable. He was in a washing machine being battered around. I felt for him. And the press over here were hoping and praying he’d fall flat on his face, because that would be a fantastic story.”

Brydon made the decision to take his co-star out for lunch and correct him out of concern that he would wind up damaging his reputation. "I was sitting there thinking, ‘When am I going to bring this up?’ And I just said, ‘I don’t like hearing people saying this, because that’s not the person I know. So you need to be careful.’ And he took it in the spirit that it was intended." In addition, Corden has acknowledged that Brydon was the one that jolted him out of his funk all those years ago. Corden admitted to having been acting "spoilt and brattish" and in a 2012 episode of 'Desert Island Discs', he told host Kirsty Young about the meeting with Brydon. “Rob took me to lunch and said, ‘What are you doing going out all the time being photographed with all these people? This isn’t the you I know. But it is the you I am having to defend to people’," Corden said.

Spill Your Guts segment controversy

On 'The Late Late Show with James Corden', the spill your guts segment came into the limelight with the participation of mega stars like Kendall Jenner, Kim Kardashian, Justin Bieber among others. However, it was criticized for "encouraging anti-Asian bigotry," and Corden was in the midst of this storm as well.

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James Corden speaks onstage during the Simon Wiesenthal Center National Tribute Dinner at The Beverly Hilton on April 27, 2022 in Beverly Hills, California.
James Corden was forced to remove Asian delicacies from his Spill Your Guts segment (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

The celebrity participants in the program are given the option of answering a question or choosing from a platter of traditional Asian foods that are sometimes referred to as "gross" or "disgusting" or eating them. Kim Saira, a 24-year-old TikTok user, created the following Change.org petition: Remove the Spill Your Guts Segment On The Late Late Show With James Corden. There is a difference between "cancel" and "accountability culture," Kim said on TikTok after the petition gathered steam, insisting that she wanted Corden to be held accountable rather than "canceled." let's hold him responsible.

Many of the featured items are traditional Asian delicacies, but the show portrayed them as being “disgusting” and Corden has been known to criticize them, reports DailyMail. The petition read: "The foods that are presented are meant to be "gross," as they are supposed to encourage the guest to answer his questions instead. However, many of the foods that he presents to his guests are actually from different Asian cultures."

After facing backlash for portraying Asian delicacies as “gross” and “disgusting” Corden was forced to remove all the culturally sensitive dishes from the segment of his show.

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Earlier this year, Corden also confirmed he was stepping down from hosting 'The Late, Late Show' in America. However, he will be finishing his extended contract in the summer of 2023.

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