Actually, James Corden has always been a dickhead
Should have stopped at Gavin and Stacey tbh
Do you remember when you first encountered James Corden?
For millions of us, myself included, it was as Smithy, the moronic but fairly affable Essex fat guy who knocked back pints at a dingy club in Cardiff. He was a reflection of the larger-than-life characters you knew from school or uni or just from being out and about in town.
He was one of the true stars of Gavin and Stacey, and from this little perch on BBC3, James Corden built his career. Sketches with everyone from the England football team to George Michael followed and he became a cornerstone of British comedy, the sort of guy wheeled out once a year to play nice on Red Nose Day and par off the Prime Minister.
And now this embarrassing British export, who’s made his fame and fortune in a country where you can coast along regurgitating lowest common denominator humour, is starting to be called out for the moron he is.
But, if you’ve been watching closely at all over the last five years, you’ll have noticed something kind of odd about James Corden. He’s not funny, he’s not clever, he’s not even that nice a guy and most of us Brits have known it for a while.
Have you ever watched an episode of Horne and Corden? Aside from the fact that it belongs to an era where anyone and their mum could get a sketch show on the BBC, the most obvious thing about it is that it’s not funny.
From weird sketches about a gay news reporter (somehow meant to be hilarious?) to teenage level gags about Jesus, it’s just all the shit lad banter gags of Gavin and Stacey, but without the actually-quite-decent ensemble cast to balance it out.
If you still weren’t turned off by him yet, don’t worry. He spent the next few years giving meaning to the phrase “failing upwards”.
Appearing on a handful of shit adverts, playing various animated characters in big budget films and starring in the truly woeful Lesbian Vampire Killers, he was honing his persona as the ‘nice British bloke’ just in time to land himself a talk show in America.
But just like so much of American TV, he’s fake. Playing to an audience too stupid to work out that there’s nothing unique or funny about him, he’s made Carpool Karaoke into a huge Apple Music spinoff series.
The nice guy, cheeky-chappy thing he does is just that, a thing he does. Every now and again, the mask slips and you can really see what a wanker he is.
In this clip, a prank for Ant and Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway, James is messed with by the Geordie Two, getting visibly angry and dangerously close to playing the “do you know who I am?” card. The mask slips just a little.
And his latest little mistake, carelessly making Harvey Weinstein jokes in a room full of people who absolutely would not find them funny, tells us a few things about who he really is.
He’s someone who deep down finds sexual assault jokes pretty funny and thinks they’re great to wheel out at an AIDS fundraiser but not on his show.
He’s someone who offers weak platitudes when he does something stupid like kissing Sean Spicer at the Emmys.
He’s the sort of guy that tries to pass off his bad jokes as an attempt to “shame the abuser”.
This may be news to a lot of people, especially in America, where he’s just a fat man that does Carpool Karaoke; but if you’re British, or have a brain or eyes, this is nothing new.
He has two faces, the loveable public jolly guy who makes Very Serious Points about gun control or immigration and the stuck-in-the-past Jack The Lad who would fit in with your moron mates that didn’t go to uni.
James Corden/Smithy/generic Essex wide-boy is a joke that peaked in 2012, let’s leave it there.