There apparently is nothing funny about comedian and talk-show host James Corden’s visit to Balthazar, the upscale New York City restaurant.
Corden was banned … and then unbanned…by Balthazar owner Keith McNally after McNally alleged that Corden had been abusive to the restaurant’s staff.
Corden initially denied any mistreatment of Balthazar employees but has now apologized. He discussed the whole situation at the top of The Late Late Show, which he hosts.
“Last week, there were stories about me being banned from a restaurant. And at the time I considered, you know, tweeting about it or Instagramming about it,” Corden, 44, told viewers.
At first, he said, he considered taking a “British” approach and telling everyone to “keep calm and carry on.” But a talk with his father changed all that.
James Corden Apologizes for Restaurant Incident
“As my dad pointed out to me on Saturday — he said, ‘Son, well, you did complain, so you might need to explain.’ Look, when you make a mistake, you’ve gotta take responsibility,” Corden said. “So I thought I would, if it’s OK, share with you what happened.”
Apparently, Corden and wife Julia were dining with friends when the incident happened. Julia has food allergies, which was explained to the staff, and her order repeatedly came back wrong.
“In the heat of the moment, I made a sarcastic rude comment about cooking it myself,” Corden told his audience. “It is a comment I deeply regret. I understand the difficulties of being a server. I worked shifts at restaurants for years.
“I have such respect, and I value anyone that does such a job. And the team at that restaurant are so great. That’s why I love it there.”
The staff brought Corden and his party a bottle of champagne as an apology.
“I’ve been walking around thinking that I hadn’t done anything wrong, right?” Corden said. “But the truth is, I made a rude comment, and it was wrong. It was an unnecessary comment. It was ungracious to the server.”
Corden quickly called McNally to address the situation.
“We had a good talk. He appreciated the call. I was happy that we got to clear the air, and I felt like we dealt with it privately, you know?” Corden said. “But by this point, the story was out there, and people were upset.”
“As I said to the owner that day, that [if] I’ve ever upset anybody, ever, it was never my intention. It just wasn’t. And I love that restaurant. I love the staff there. I hope I’m allowed in again one day. So when I’m back in New York, I can go there and apologize in person, which is something I will absolutely do.”