James Corden addressed the elephant in the room — or is that the SUV in the room? — on Wednesday’s episode of “The Late Late Show.”
The funnyman spoke out about claims that he doesn’t actually do the driving on his popular “Carpool Karaoke” segments after a video showing him in a car with Justin Bieber being pulled by a truck went viral earlier this month.
“I’ve recently been the victim of a scandal in the media, and there’s been some very, very serious allegations made against me, and I want to get ahead of everything and address those rumors and assure you, my audience, that these accusations are not true,” he began.
“I am, of course, talking about the people saying that I don’t drive the car during ‘Carpool Karaoke,’” he continued, while pretending to get emotional as the audience roared with laughter.
He called the whole matter “fake news” and then shared the video of him in the car with Bieber that incited the hullabaloo.
“I know this looks bad,” he said as the self-deprecating bit went on. “But I just want to say right now that I always drive the car unless we’re doing something where we think it might not be safe, like a dance routine or a costume change or I’m drunk,” he quipped.
He claimed they elected to tow the car with Bieber because of a “safety issue.”
“Frankly, I just kept getting lost in his eyes,” he joked.
Corden also marveled at the “media frenzy” the story has caused, sharing some strongly-worded headlines by various outlets, including one from Britain’s Guardian newspaper that dubbed the matter “The worst lie since Santa.”
“I’m just shocked I’ve done something that upset people more than ‘Cats,’” Corden said, poking fun at his critically-panned film.
He also shared the enraged reactions of people on Twitter and pulled the curtain back about what actually happens during the segment.
“I swear to you, 95% of the time, I really am endangering the lives of the world’s biggest pop stars. But this is a TV show. Not everything is real,” he said. “Our show doesn’t tape after midnight. We tape at 5 p.m. and pretend that it’s late,” he said while also joking his show's bandleader, Reggie Watts, is actually CGI instead of a real person.
“But when it comes to carpooling, with very rare exceptions for safety, I’m driving the car, and I want credit for it because I was raised driving on a completely different side of the road,” he joked about being a native of Britain.
He then shared a list of the celebrities where he used a tow, along with a much longer one for the times he drove.
“I am nothing if not a man of integrity,” he said before airing a plug for the “Carpool Karaoke” series on Apple TV.
So, maybe now people can pump the brakes on this whole controversy.