James Corden's 2018 Grammys Jokes Fell Flat & Twitter Wasn't Having It
For the second year in a row, James Corden is hosting the 2018 Grammys. But this time around, things are a bit different. In the midst of the #MeToo and Time's Up movements, it was unclear what tone James Corden's Grammy jokes would hit. Since he's not known as a political jokester, would Corden take a page from Golden Globes host Seth Meyers' joke book and tackle sexual harassment, politics, and his own straight white male-ness? Or, would Corden, best known for Carpool Karaoke, use his charm to keep things light on music's biggest night?
Instead, though, Corden decided to ditch the monologue and just tell one joke to open the show. With it, Corden made it clear, at the very least, he wasn't afraid to poke fun at himself. Specifically, at how choosing him to host again might have been a missed opportunity.
"This year, We don't just have the most diverse group of nominees in Grammys history," Corden said. "We also have, for the second year in a row, the least diverse host in Grammys history."
But, some on Twitter weren't sure if that really hit the right tone after Kendrick Lamar's opening number. "Following a Kendrick Lamar performance with James Corden joking about diversity should not be legal," Vanity Fair's Richard Lawson tweeted.
When he hosted last year, Corden immediately took the pressure off himself with an opening musical number that featured him falling down a set of stairs. The technical malfunction was a fakeout, the spill all in the name of comedy, but it was a sign that he had a few tricks up his sleeve, so fans better be on their toes.
With his second hosting gig, Corden seemed to take a step back, filling in jokes here and there. His second joke of the night had him doing a bit of crowd work, joking with Jay-Z, who was sitting in the front row, that he could show him around New York City.
"I've been in New York for a week now, if you need me to show you around," he told the born-and-raised Brooklyn rapper. Corden then started quoting some lines that should be familiar to Jay, being that they're from his song "Empire State Of Mind." Corden went as far to say he likes to call New York the "concrete jungle where dreams are made of," sound familiar HOV? Even Corden joked that he may have gone too far with that one.
Twitter seemed to agree. One fan wrote, "James Corden talking to Jay Z makes me cringe," while Complex tweeted, "Can James Corden pass the mic back to Chappelle," who had made a cameo in Lamar's opening number.
Pointing out that Chappelle would have been a good host for this year's ceremony was a popular one on Twitter. "They really chose James Corden over Dave Chapelle," one person tweeted, adding a gif of Viola Davis rolling her eyes.
Gifs were popular in responding to Corden's few jokes. His one-liner about Luis Fonsi's performance with Daddy Yankee of his mega-hit "Despacito" — "I have never heard it. If they can just get that on the radio, they may have a hit on their hands." — also didn't get much love. However, it did get the Miranda Priestly treatment.
One user tweeted, "James Corden following a performance of Despacito with a joke about not hearing Despacito before," with Streep's The Devil Wears Prada character saying "Groundbreaking." Oh, the shade is real.
Since Corden didn't tell many jokes throughout the broadcast, many on Twitter started telling their own. "The crickets James Corden’s jokes are getting tonight really deserve the Grammy for Best Ambient Album," one person tweeted.
Whether you liked Corden's jokes or not, he did get a lot of laughs for his skits. One had him teaming up for Sting and Shaggy for a Carpool Karaoke update. This time he was on the subway and New Yorkers weren't having it, but the crowd seemed to like it. What they liked even more was seeing Hillary Clinton show up in a sketch reading the audio book of Fire and Fury. Perhaps, if Corden returns for a third time, he should go back to his karaoke ways.