The decidedly untlethic but exuberantly slobbery host and jolly Brit who drives around Los Angeles with other stars singing in his car, James Corden, through no fault of his own, has become an amusing political football star in the World Cup rivalry between England and team UNITED STATES. It started last weekend when a tired looking England team led by an even more tired looking Harry Kane took to the field to endure a painful goose egg tie with a fit, young, fairly well trained crew of Americans. Both teams have since weathered that to progress into the World Cup version of the Sweet 16 and, we hope, much further. But in the feverish run-up to England/USA, the transatlantic fan hivemind grabbed Corden with all his might on social media and didn’t let go of the man, at least for a while.
It was a cultural moment that Mr. Corden certainly wouldn’t have wished for, but one that somehow took the mean, ruthless spirit of some football fans and turned it on its head with a hilarious banter. Unfortunately, that happiness came at the expense of Mr. Corden. The key to the fire was that everyone knew that Mr Corden had recently announced that in a few months he would be stepping down from his post on the Late Late Show and returning to England. The announcement left him on the American airwaves like a dead duck, with one foot more or less on the plane.
So: This professional circumstance sparked the weapon-ridden and hilarious idea that Corden was the anti-prize, the trophy that you definitely didn’t want, in the run-up to the England/USA game. As far as can be determined, the earliest appearance on the somewhat-challenged Twitter platform was a tweet posted live a few hours before the game, which simply read:
The loser must keep James Corden forever.
Like most zeitgeist products that have an edge, the narrative behind this tweet and some other flotsam generated by the moment goes further back. Corden is not a controversial figure per se. But he’s had a few moments lately that sadly registered at home in England, and there’s nothing the English love – and their tabloids – more than teasing their compatriots, who in other worlds have managed to get in Corden’s case is the big broad target of Hollywood. Every Englishman there – and there are plenty of them in the American entertainment industry – is a highly desirable destination for any and all back home.