James Corden called ‘most abusive customer in 25 years’ after NY restaurant spat

The owner of the famous Soho establishment Balthazar reported two incidents when the presenter of ‘Carpool Karaoke’ insulted staff and demanded free drinks

James Corden with his wife, producer Julia Carey, at the 2020 post-Oscars Vanity Fair party
James Corden with his wife, producer Julia Carey, at the 2020 post-Oscars Vanity Fair partyDANNY MOLOSHOK (Reuters)

James Corden might not be the best singer in the world, but he is considerably worse as a restaurant customer according to media personality, food critic and owner of the famous New York restaurant Balthazar, Keith McNally. McNally, 77, said on his Instagram account on Monday that the talk show host, who rose to global fame with his hugely popular Carpool Karaoke segment on the The Late Late Show with James Corden, was no longer welcome at his establishment. “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 wrote. “I don’t often 86 a customer [ban someone from an establishment], today I 86′d Corden. It did not make me laugh.”

However, despite the harshness of language used by McNally, Corden’s ban did not endure for long. The following morning, McNally posted another message. “Corden just called me to apologize profusely […] anybody magnanimous enough to apologize to a bum like me (and my staff) doesn’t deserve to be banned from anywhere.”

McNally did not delete his original post though, which had racked up 27,000 likes by the time Corden picked up the phone and narrates the presenter’s behavior in the New York establishment. “In June, James Corden was here on table 61. After eating his main course, Corden showed the hair to Balthazar manager G., who was very apologetic. Corden was extremely nasty to G. and said: “Get us another round of drinks this second. And also take care of all our drinks so far. This way I [won’t] write any nasty reviews in yelp or anything like that.”

The second incident occurred on October 9, when Corden was eating brunch with his wife, the television producer Julia Carey. “Mr. Corden’s wife ordered an egg yolk omelette with gruyere cheese and salad. A few minutes after they received the food, James called their server, M. K., and told her there was a little bit of egg white mixed with the egg yolk.” The kitchen remade the omelette but sent it out with home fries instead of salad, a second mistake that the presenter did not take kindly to. “That was when James Corden started yelling like crazy to the server: “You can’t do your job! You can’t do your job! Maybe I should go into the kitchen and cook the omelette myself!”

Corden, who shot to fame in the UK with the BBC comedy Gavin & Stacey, made his name in the US with The Late Late Show with James Corden and globally thanks to Carpool Karaoke, when he would sing along with pop stars and other famous people while driving a car. Among his guests on the popular segment were Michelle Obama, Bruno Mars, Sia, Mariah Carey, One Direction, Adele, Britney Spears, Madonna, Ed Sheeran, Adam Levine and Billie Eilish.

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