Corden vs Mcnally, a Saga

Max Lipe '23

Mildly amusing British talk show host, James Corden, has recently come under fire and become tangled in a saga that is as ridiculous as they come. The social media slap fight began when Corden was criticized in an Instagram post by restaurateur, Keith McNally, for his rude treatment of the wait staff at McNally’s New York City restaurant Balthazar. The first shot was fired across the bow on Oct. 17 when McNally informed his over 100,000 followers that Corden had allegedly engaged in two episodes of unseemly behavior; one involving showing a hair to the manager after finishing his meal, then requesting all drinks be paid for – and a second involving an egg yolk omelet that evidently was served with a trace of egg white, causing Corden to raise a ruckus and threaten to go into the kitchen and cook the omelet himself. 

When first addressing this issue McNally stated “James Corden is a hugely gifted comedian, but a tiny Cretin of a man. And the most abusive customer to my Balthazar servers since the restaurant opened 25 years ago.” McNally enacted a lifetime ban that outlawed Corden from returning to his restaurant again. Startled by the accusations Corden called McNally and apologized profusely. McNally forgave Corden as he said, “Jimmy Corden, All is forgiven.”

This forgiveness didn’t last long however. About a week later in an interview with The New York Times, when asked about the incident Corden said that he “hadn’t done anything wrong, on any level.” McNally fervently responded to Corden’s comments by throwing a plethora of insults and degrading Corden’s character. He challenged Corden by stating, “If he goes one step further and apologizes to the two servers he insulted, I’ll let him eat for free at my restaurant for the next 10 years.” Corden addressed the situation and once again apologized on his television show which resulted in McNally lifting his second ban. 

There’s more to the story, go figure. Corden flipped sides once more when speaking to The London Times. He maintained the idea that he did not scream nor bark orders at anyone, asking the press “how is this remotely a thing?”. Upon Hearing Corden’s comments, this was the last straw for McNally. On Oct. 31, he made a post, slamming Corden for flip flopping while also deeming his TV apology as “contrived and phony”. He concluded his message by stating that he has “given up on Corden for good”. 

This cat and mouse game between these two high profile men is one the most ludicrous fiascos seen in quite some time. When visiting Liverpool three years ago I had the opportunity to go inside the Philharmonic Pub, a pub where James Corden and Beatles Icon, Paul McCartney, stopped by during a segment of Corden’s Carpool Karaoke. When asking one of the employees about the experience, the lady described Paul performing graciously for the locals, while Corden was rude and demanding. Based upon this woman’s word, I tend to favor the side that portrays the hefty English fella in a poor light.