As a talk show host, your job is to be personable and be able to make engaging conversation with anybody your producers get to sit next to you in front of a camera. In general, James Corden is pretty good at it, as he routinely gets interesting soundbites and has fun with his The Late Late Show guests. You’re not going to make every shot you take, though, and for four very long minutes on last night’s episode, Corden tried really hard to have a natural and comfortable conversation with The Strokes and The Voidz frontman Julian Casablancas. It was not successful.
Sometimes on the show, Corden will sit at his fake on-set bar with that night’s musical guest and make light banter for a few minutes, and although it’s usually sort of awkward because it’s a weird set-up, he’s managed watchable segments with Brandon Flowers and Julia Michaels in the past. From the moment he started with Casablancas, though, it was clear that the two had no discernible chemistry.
It doesn’t seem to have been Corden’s fault, though. He tried his best to engage Casablancas, but for the most part, his questions got short, soft-spoken, charmless, and/or abstract answers that weren’t conducive to two-way human conversation. When Corden tried to make a quick comment about Casablancas’ many-pocketed vest, for example, he responded with what may or may not have been a joke: “We’re in an invisible war, my friend. Gotta be ready.”
Beyond that, there were a lot of two-word answers and pregnant pauses, so if you’re looking for a giant cringe, watch the segment above.