- James Corden opened “The Late Late Show” with an explanation of what happened at Balthazar.
- The host was recently banned, then unbanned, from the Keith McNally-owned eatery for his behavior.
- Corden said he made a rude comment that he “deeply regrets” and hopes to apologize to the staff.
James Corden returned to “The Late Late Show” on Monday after a week-long hiatus. During the break, conversation surfaced around a recent visit he made to Balthazar, a French restaurant in New York City owned by Keith McNally. The CBS host got banned by McNally for his behavior, apologized, got unbanned, and then angered the restaurant owner again when he told The New York Times he did nothing wrong.
Corden opened his show with an explanation of what happened, saying that he “made a rude comment” and hopes to apologize in person someday.
“Last week, there were stories about me being banned from a restaurant,” the host said to his audience, referring to claims made by McNally on October 17 that Corden was “the most abusive customer to my Balthazar servers since the restaurant opened 25 years ago.”
Representatives for Corden, McNally, and Balthazar didn’t immediately respond to Insider’s requests for comment.
Corden said during his monologue that he considered tweeting about it or saying something on Instagram after McNally’s initial post detailing the event and banning him from the celebrity-favorite eatery. However, he said he chose to defer to his usual way of dealing with “these sorts of moments,” which means adopting “a British attitude of keep calm and carry on.”
“Never complain, never explain is very much my motto,” he added.
Corden went on to explain what happened from his point of view, saying his wife told restaurant staff she had a food allergy and then received the food she was allergic to. He said they received the meal “wrong” three times.
“In the heat of the moment, I made a sarcastic, rude comment about cooking it myself,” he said. “And it is a comment I deeply regret.” Corden then said he understands what it’s like to be a server, as he had worked in restaurants for years, and he has respect for those in the field.
“But here’s the truth of it,” he said. “Because I didn’t shout or scream, like I didn’t get up out of my seat, I didn’t call anyone names or use derogatory language, I’ve been walking around thinking that I hadn’t done anything wrong.”
In an interview with The New York Times published Thursday, Corden said, “I haven’t done anything wrong, on any level.”
“I feel so Zen about the whole thing,” Corden told The Times. “Because I think it’s so silly. I just think it’s beneath all of us. It’s beneath you. It’s certainly beneath your publication.”
When McNally — who was previously at the center of controversy himself after seemingly supporting Ghislaine Maxwell on social media — saw The Times interview, he shared a follow-up Instagram post questioning whether Corden was “joking” or “denying being abusive” to his servers.
The restaurant owner said he didn’t witness the event himself, but that much of his staff said they did. “They had nothing to gain by lying,” McNally wrote in his Instagram caption. “Corden did.”
In Monday’s opening monologue, Corden called his own comments rude, unnecessary, and ungracious.
The comedian’s monologue was also sprinkled with jokes about the matter, including mentions of some tweets from the public.
You can watch Corden’s monologue here.