While most of the world hunkers down amid the coronavirus, James Corden is remotely bringing together artists from around the globe — BTS in South Korea, Andrea Bocelli in Italy, Dua Lipa in London, and Billie Eilish with Finneas and John Legend in Los Angeles, to name a few — for a virtual concert hosted from his garage.
Corden’s upcoming primetime event, “Homefest: James Corden’s Late Late Show Special,” is the latest effort from late-night talk show hosts to produce original content while practicing social distancing measures. It will air Monday at 10 p.m. on CBS.
“We built a tiny sort of set in my garage and my wife powdered my nose,” Corden told Variety. “We have a locked-off camera and my laptop. I’m completely on my own in there.”
For the special, Will Ferrell provided pre-taped comedy sketches, while David Blaine will perform a “trick on basically all of us,” Corden teased. The show will end, Corden says, with an entire Broadway company performing in their separate homes.
“Once it became clear we couldn’t do our [regular] show, we started thinking, ‘Is there a world where we could make a global show that could bring people together by keeping them apart?’” Corden said. “I thought maybe there’s a way we could make a show that shows we are all in this together.”
“Homefest” will raise money for charity organizations including the CDC Foundation and Feeding America. But Corden is encouraging viewers to contribute funds to any organization if they’re able.
“We say this on the show that we’re aware of the squeeze that so many people are feeling and times are tough right now,” Corden said. “So we’re not really calling it a fundraiser. We’re sort of saying, ‘If you can — if you find yourself in a fortunate position — here are two groups that we found that are very valuable at this time.’ The truth is if anybody has a charity that they want to give to, they should give to that one.”
Corden said the show doesn’t address the politics of the moment.
“That’s not really a conscious decision,” he said. “The show is just so packed, but we’re aware our show will be back and there will be time to talk about those things. Now it’s about wanting to make a show for all families and all generations and not really excluding anybody.”
When he’s not working, Corden is spending time at home watching Netflix’s “Tiger King,” just like the rest of America.
“I’m two episodes in, but my god,” he said. “It’s just extraordinary.”
He joked that he’s “useless” in helping homeschool his three children with wife, Julia Carey.
“I do find myself passing out to sleep at 8:15 because the children are here all day long,” he added with a laugh.
In addition to “Homefest,” Corden can also be seen later this week on April 2 when London’s National Theatre launches its weekly screening series on YouTube with “One Man, Two Guvnors.” Corden starred in the comedy and earned a Tony Award for his performance when it transferred to Broadway.