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Introducing James Corden’s Finest Performance

Is James Corden’s TV persona just an act?

By Jodie Mackay


Photo via Wikimedia Commons


Once again, James Corden has breached the newspaper headlines. This time, for being ‘abusive’ towards staff members at the Balthazar restaurant in New York City. In a recent instagram post, Balthazar’s owner, Keith McNally, describes Corden as a ‘cretin’ and permanently bans him from the restaurant for behaviours that include ‘yelling like crazy’ at the members of staff. In another post, McNally criticises Corden for denying doing ‘anything wrong, on any level’. Corden has since gone on to formally apologise but I presume this was done to save his reputation rather than out of a genuine feeling of remorse.

He has been chastised for his ‘fake’ carpool karaoke and his rude and dismissive behaviour towards his fans

This is not the first time Corden has exhibited such unacceptable behaviour. In 2019, he attended the Writer’s Guild America meeting and advocated for them to reduce the writers’ wage for those working on The Late Late Show. This not only suggests that Corden is anti-union but also demonstrates a lack of appreciation for those that made his show, and his $7 million dollar a year salary, possible. He has also been chastised for his ‘fake’ carpool karaoke and his rude and dismissive behaviour towards his fans. Furthermore, in 2019, James invited reddit users to ‘Ask me anything!’ The thread was closed off after James answered only three questions due to the majority of inquiries regarding his past public misdemeanours and people demanding, ‘Why are you so unlikeable?’

It certainly seems that James’ true personality is kept well hidden from the cameras

This is a far cry from the light-hearted, chatty host that graces our screens and I have to wonder… is James Corden acting all the time? It feels like after he won his first BAFTA for Best Male Comedy Performance for Gavin and Stacey he just ran with it. It is as if a lightbulb went off in his head and he thought; ‘Yes, I shall play this loveable, inoffensive clown for the rest of my life and the whole world will like me.’ It certainly seems that James’ true personality is kept well hidden from the cameras, and the bubbly, warm persona that he presents dies as soon as the cameras are switched off.


In his recent Sunday Times interview with Caitlin Moran, Moran probes James’ lack of audience engagement, a flaw in his hosting skills that is frequently remarked upon by fans. James replies, ‘I want to talk to the audience’, but admits, ‘I used to get so tangled up in whether people liked the character or me.’ It would seem that James is anxious or even shameful about showing his true self to the audience and will go to lengths to avoid any interaction at all rather than just be himself. Could it be that he has been in character for so long that he has forgotten how to be his true self? Or maybe his true personality is just, well, ugly?

Could it be that he has been in character for so long that he has forgotten how to be his true self?

I’m not saying that James Corden is an entirely awful person but his seemingly split personality is certainly placing a barrier between him and his viewers; it is difficult to enjoy watching a host who is notoriously disingenuous. Corden’s move to ditch his show next year is probably a good one and hopefully he’ll take some time to work on himself. Maybe he will even reach a stage where he feels comfortable being his true self on camera… and learns how to talk to waiting staff.


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