The Shady Side Of James Corden

Like it or not, James Corden has been inescapable since he bagged his own late night chat show in 2015. He's hosted the Grammys, Tonys and short-lived reality show The World's Best, lent his voice to Peter Rabbit, Trolls and Superintelligence and landed roles in everything from star-studded caper Ocean's 8 to Tom Hooper's notorious adaptation of Cats.

The Brit's seemingly jovial personality has no doubt helped him become one of Hollywood's most ubiquitous stars. After all, you don't manage to convince the likes of Madonna, Adele and Justin Bieber to belt out their own pop classics in an SUV without a little bit of charm. But there are several times when Corden appears to have let his affable mask slip.

Yes, the Londoner has rubbed Star Trek legends, fellow comedians and even entire English towns up the wrong way over the years with his behavior. Here's a look at some of his eyebrow-raising moments.

James Corden's on-stage clash with Patrick Stewart

James Corden boldly went where few have gone before in 2010 when he got into an on-stage spat with Patrick Stewart. The drama happened when the Star Trek legend stepped up to the podium to help present a category at London's Glamour Awards. And he soon let Corden know he wasn't impressed by his hosting: "When the presenters are up here and when the recipients are receiving their rewards, don't stand at the back of the stage with your hands in your pockets looking around as though you wished you were anywhere but here."

A taken aback Corden initially seemed apologetic for apparently looking so disengaged. But he soon tried to put Stewart in his place, remarking, "But when you come up and present an award, just f***ing get on with it." After the respected thespian added he could see Corden's belly from where he was sitting, the host replied, "You could see my belly? We can all see you dying right now."

Things then got even weirder when Stewart, who appeared to have taken advantage of the free bar, commented, "If you fancy the Jonas Brothers, cover your belly." Of course, as the master of ceremonies, Corden managed to get several other digs in at the sometime-Captain Picard over the rest of the evening. Stewart later admitted he was embarrassed by his conduct on the night and in 2016, The Sun reported he made amends with his one-time foe on stage at Channel 4's Comedy Gala.

James Corden ruffled some feathers with this acceptance speech

The 2008 BAFTA TV Awards should have been an evening of celebration for James Corden. After all, he'd won Best Comedy Performance for his turn as Smithy in Gavin and Stacey, and the same sitcom had been given the Audience Award. But apparently this wasn't enough for the gong-hungry Brit.

As Metro noted, while accepting the latter on stage, Corden wondered aloud why the hit BBC show hadn't even been nominated in the Best Scripted Comedy category. It's fair to say that he didn't receive the answer he may have been expecting. Instead of the audience whooping in agreement, they greeted his ungracious query with a deafening silence.

To his credit, Corden later admitted that he'd acted like a "prat" in front of his peers. In his 2011 memoir, May I Have Your Attention Please?, the comedian wrote, "Rather than using my speech to thank everyone who'd helped on the show, I'd ruined the moment and belittled myself in the process ... As 2008 wore on, it got so bad I was being rude to my agent and I even started being rude to Ruth [co-writer Jones]. If I was in company and the conversation wasn't revolving around me, I would just switch off." Luckily for Corden, the BAFTAs didn't hold a grudge and nominated him several times in the mid-'10s for the BBC comedy The Wrong Mans.

This soap opera might not welcome James Corden back

James Corden shouldn't expect to be invited back to soap opera Hollyoaks if his career ever takes a downturn — although the man himself has said he'd rather die than accept such an offer, anyway. For the funnyman has done nothing but slam the long-running British series ever since he guested as janitor Wayne back in 2000.

In an interview with Esquire magazine (via The Guardian) eight years on, Corden said, "[Hollyoaks] just breeds p***** — all these people walking around with this chicken-in-a-basket fame, talking about going to LA, you know." The chat show host's comments didn't go unnoticed by Hollyoaks cast member Ricky Whittle, who that same year told What's On TV, "Good luck to him, I hope he doesn't bump into us on a night out! It's very childish that he's slating the place where he came from, the place that made him, especially when no one he's talking about is here any more."

Corden, who also criticized Hollyoaks in his 2011 memoir May I Have Your Attention Please?, was later made to look slightly foolish by several graduates of the soap. Nathalie Emmanuel (Game of Thrones), Barry Sloane (Revenge), Guy Burnet (Pitch Perfect 3) and Emma Rigby (Once Upon a Time in Wonderland) have all landed plum Hollywood roles, as has Whittle, the star of Mistresses, The 100 and American Gods.

James Corden offended an entire English town

While being interviewed on James Corden's late night chat show in 2015, actor Lake Bell mentioned — as quoted by Express — that she'd once lived in Sidcup, England as a student. And it seems fair to say that their comments wouldn't have been repeated by the town's tourist board.

After responding, "That is not pleasant," to the news of his guest's unlikely former hometown, Corden added, "Sidcup sounds like somewhere you go for afternoon tea ... you leave by the afternoon, because you don't want to be there when it is dark." Bell agreed with this summation, too, adding, "It was like, I am going to England to study and it was in the countryside, quite lovely but when I got to Sidcup there was a car commercial on at the time that used Sidcup as a punch line to depict that it was the armpit of England."

Corden finished this location assassination by claiming, "It is not the armpit but it is close. It is on the way." Unsurprisingly, the Sidcup masses weren't too happy about being slated on American TV, and soon took to Twitter to voice their displeasure. A disgruntled longtime resident, councillor June Slaughter, told the Daily Mail, "I cannot imagine why Sidcup would be described in such a way and wonder whether he has ever been here. I think people would be extremely upset if they were told of his comments because we take a lot of pride in our town."

The battle of Ricky Gervais and James Corden

James Corden and Matthew Horne had provided comedy gold as two of the stars of sitcom Gavin and Stacey. Less so when the pair teamed up again for a BBC sketch show dismissed by many critics as one of the worst TV series of the '00s. And one of the many, many humorless skits poked fun at a fellow British funnyman that would eventually become Corden's nemesis.

Yes, in 2008's imaginatively-titled Horne and Corden, the latter repeatedly mocked Ricky Gervais while emulating his most popular character, The Office's David Brent. Gervais told Radio Andy (via The Sun) in 2017 that he'd taken no offense at this form of "friendly teasing." But he may well have felt differently about the next jibe at his expense.

After being appointed as host of the 2011 BRIT Awards, Corden told Mirror that he wasn't interested in following in the footsteps of the man who'd presented the Golden Globes just a month earlier: "I'm not going to go down the Ricky Gervais road because you can't in that room, anyway — there's a big difference between the 02 and the dining room in the Beverly Hilton. I want to host the Brits with as much warmth and sensitivity as possible." Gervais has since taken several potshots at Corden in retaliation.

James Corden tried to laugh off the Sean Spicer furore

In September 2017, James Corden went viral for all the wrong reasons when he was pictured planting a kiss on Donald Trump's former press secretary Sean Spicer backstage at the Emmy Awards. Many critics believed that this cheeky display of affection was helping to normalize a figure who, as the New Yorker put it, "will be remembered for his lies."

After suffering a similar backlash to the one Jimmy Fallon received for mussing up Trump's hair, Corden addressed the issue on his eponymous show. But he didn't exactly take things seriously, telling the audience, "Now, I know you think that's a picture of me kissing Sean Spicer, but in the spirit of Sean Spicer, no it isn't." The Brit then jokingly revealed the horror he felt the morning after, adding, "To be fair, everyone was kissing a** last night at the Emmys; I just happened to kiss the biggest one there."

Corden's punchline-heavy approach then continued: "I've been reading a lot of harsh comments on Twitter today and I hear you loud and clear; truly I do. So much so that I'm starting to regret that "Carpool Karaoke" that we've taped with Steve Bannon. Feels like a mistake today." The funnyman's light-hearted response did little to placate the detractors, although they no doubt agreed with his closing one-liner, "Basically what I'm saying is, I need to learn how to shake hands."

The time James Corden called out Pierce Brosnan

It seems unlikely that Pierce Brosnan will ever be invited onto The Late Late Show with James Corden. While interviewing Khloé Kardashian during the "Spill Your Guts" segment on his CBS vehicle in 2017, the comedian happened to mention he apparently had a less-than-pleasant run-in with a famous face during a U2 gig. When pressed further about their identity by the reality TV star, Corden revealed that it was the former James Bond.

The Brit explained, "I don't think he's a rude man, he just happened to be rude [to me]." And then, he went on to recall the time he stood next to Brosnan at a U2 concert. Corden said the Mamma Mia! star "left halfway through the gig" with his friends, leaving their spot in the audience empty for a while. "And then they had been gone quite a long time and Bono was right here on this sort of big runway in the middle of the show," Corden continued. "So me and my wife moved into this area, and literally, I've never felt anything like it, this arm went on here and just pushed me out the way."

Kardashian tried to come to the Tomorrow Never Dies star's defense, suggesting that he may not have been in the most sober state of mind at the time. But the host wasn't having any of it, responding, "Maybe he's just a bit f***ing rude."

James Corden's misjudged jokes about Harvey Weinstein

You could say that James Corden entirely misread the room when he hosted the annual amfAR Gala New York in 2017. The comedian took to the stage just days after The New York Times broke the story which fully exposed industry mogul Harvey Weinstein as a sexual predator. And as quoted by The Hollywood Reporter, one of his opening gags was, "Right here in L.A., it's so beautiful Harvey Weinstein has already asked tonight up to his hotel to give him a massage."

Despite a mixed reception from the star-studded crowd, Corden continued to make light of the situation: "It has been weird this week watching Harvey Weinstein in hot water. Ask any of the women who watched him take a bath, it's weird watching Harvey Weinstein in hot water." Understandably, two of the women who'd come forward with allegations, Asia Argento and Rose McGowan, didn't appreciate the Brit's jokes. As Deadline reported, both compared him to a pig on Twitter.

Following the backlash, Corden also took to Twitter to express remorse for his inappropriate on-stage patter: "To be clear, sexual assault is no laughing matter. I was not trying to make light of Harvey's inexcusable behavior, but to shame him, the abuser, not his victims. I am truly sorry for anyone offended, that was never my intention."

If you or someone you know has been the victim of sexual assault, you can call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673) or visit for additional resources.

James Corden joins the Cats pile-on

The sheer, unadulterated awfulness of the big screen Cats appeared to be one of the most unifying things in late 2019. And even the actors given the creepy feline CGI treatment couldn't resist from taking a jibe at one of the biggest Hollywood flops in recent memory.

James Corden, who portrayed Bustopher Jones in Tom Hooper's bizarre take on the hit musical, first stuck the knife in while appearing on Zoe Ball's BBC Radio 2 breakfast show. According to The Independent, when Ball asked about the Andrew Lloyd Webber adaptation, the funnyman replied, "I haven't seen it, I've heard it's terrible." A few months later, he poked fun at the movie again when he joined co-star Rebel Wilson in full cat costume to present an award at the Oscars: "As cast members of the motion picture Cats, nobody more than us understands the importance of good visual effects," Corden joked.

Understandably, the team behind those visual effects weren't too happy at being mocked on such a grand stage. Following Corden and Wilson's routine, Moving Pictures Company's Yves McCrae tweeted, "Hey guys I haven't watched all of the Oscars but I assume these two were really classy and thanked me for working 80 hour weeks right up until I was laid off and the studio closed, right?"

Bill Maher's fat-shaming remarks prompted verbal jabs

Here's one example of when James Corden's snark appeared entirely justified. In September 2019, Bill Maher controversially claimed on his Real Time show that fat-shaming needed to stage a comeback. Being a plus-size man, the Cats star understandably didn't appreciate his fellow talk show host's call to arms.

On his own late night hit, Corden fought back against Maher, a man who he'd previously enjoyed a cordial relationship with: "Fat-shaming never went anywhere. I mean, ask literally any fat person. We are reminded of it all the time ... There's a common and insulting misconception that fat people are stupid and lazy and we're not. We get it, we know. We know that being overweight isn't good for us and I've struggled my entire life trying to manage my weight and I suck at it."

As well as opening up about his own personal struggles, Corden also managed to get a few digs in against the fat-shaming movement's apparent new spokesman: "We're not all as lucky as Bill Maher, you know? We don't all have a sense of superiority that burns 35,000 calories a day." After suggesting that Maher's intentions were well-meaning, he concluded the surprisingly heartfelt segment, "Please hear me when I say this: When you're encouraging people to think about what goes into their mouths, just think a little harder about what comes out of yours."

James Corden's 'gross and offensive' turn in The Prom

James Corden was accused of essentially disrespecting an entire community with his portrayal of gay Broadway actor Barry Glickman in Ryan Murphy's star-studded The Prom. Eyebrows had already been raised with the casting of Corden — who has been married to Julia Carey since 2012 — with critics arguing that the role should have gone to someone within the LGBTQ spectrum.

And Corden didn't help matters with a performance which was described as stereotypical at best and homophobic at worst. In fact, the comedian suffered possibly the biggest backlash of his career due to the Netflix original which sees a bunch of musical theater has-beens attempt to boost their profile by jumping on a charitable bandwagon (i.e., gatecrash a conservative Indiana town to support a young lesbian denied the chance to take her girlfriend to the school prom).

Vanity Fair's Richard Lawson argued that straight-identifying men should no longer be allowed to play gay "until the sins of The Prom are properly atoned for." Erik Anderson of AwardsWatch was even more scathing, tweeting, "The main, and huge, drawback is James Corden. His performance is gross and offensive, the worst gayface in a long, long time. It's horrifically bad." IndieWire's Zach Sharf, meanwhile, also took to Twitter to declare, "The Prom shouts about tolerance but has James Corden leaning into effeminate gay stereotypes every chance he gets. Someone make it make sense?"