Flop of the Week: James Corden’s Restaurant Manners


Surprise! James Corden, whose comedy once hinged on mocking Asian food, has terrible restaurant manners — and they’ve landed him in a bit of a spat with Balthazar owner Keith McNally.

The restauranteur, who once took to social media to defend Woody Allen and Ghislane Maxwell, seems like the type of person who delights in Corden’s dull jokes. And indeed he is! In an Instagram post that quickly went viral, McNally called him a “Hugely gifted comedian.”

Hugely gifted or not, Corden is also a “tiny cretin of a man.” A role in Cats and a soon-to-end late night TV gig are not enough to override cretinous behavior — McNally’s compliment quickly soured as he went on to ban Corden from Balthazar for allegedly berating servers over an egg yolk omelet that contained the tiniest bit of egg white.

The next day, McNally proceeded to un-ban Corden. “James Corden just called me and apologized profusely. Having fucked up myself more than most people, I strongly believe in second chances,” he captioned a follow-up post, another pixelated close-up of Corden’s face.

“Anyone magnanimous enough to apologize to a deadbeat layabout like me (and my staff) doesn’t deserve to be banned from anywhere.”

Order was restored to the McNally-Corden cinematic universe! Or so it seemed.

In an interview published on Thursday, Corden addressed the debacle. “I haven’t done anything wrong, on any level,” he said. “I feel so Zen about the whole thing. Because I think it’s so silly. I just think it’s beneath all of us.”

McNally hit back with a third Instagram post of Corden’s face, this time captioned: “I wish James Corden would live up to his Almighty initials and come clean. If the supremely talented actor wants to retrieve the respect he had from all his fans (all 4 of them) before this incident, then he should at least admit he did wrong. If he goes one step further and apologizes to the 2 servers he insulted, I’ll let him eat for free at Balthazar for the next 10 years.”

So, is Corden re-banned from Balthazar? Why is McNally so intent on calling him talented? No definitive answers there, but the moral of This Week in Pop Culture is pretty clear: just be nice to hospitality workers.

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