James Corden trolling Dave Grohl on US TV verged on almost quite amusing

Corden / Grohl
(Image credit: The Late Late Show with James Corden)

We're not going to say that British comedian/actor turned successful US chat show host James Corden is the least funny man in the world, but we could probably place him in the top three, maybe top five, at a push. So imagine our surprise last week when America's favourite Londoner pulled off a sketch which verged on being almost quite amusing. What a time to be alive!

The segment in question occurred during the February 23 edition of The Late Late Show with James Corden, when the host invited his studio guests, Foo Fighters mainman Dave Grohl and singer/actress Hilary Duff, to participate in a game of James That Tune, a play on the classic British television game show Name That Tune, which was based on a NBC radio quiz. The idea was that Corden would play a snippet of a popular song on a keyboard, and Grohl and Duff would try to identify the tune in question. The catch, for all concerned, lay in the fact that Corden cannot play the keyboard at all, and made no secret of the fact that he wasn't at all arsed about this about this gap on his CV.

Tooling around for an uncomfortably long time while 'soundchecking' his keyboard - a tease which leads an exasperated Grohl to shout "Just play the fucking song, man!" - Corden then proceeds to randomly stab at some keys and look to Duff and Grohl expectantly for an answer. Going route one, Grohl guesses that Corden might be attempting Foo Fighters' best known song, Everlong, and looks suitably nonplussed when Corden suggests that the track in question is in fact Learn To Fly

Having by now used up three minutes of screen time on this nonsense, Corden proceeds to take the absolute piss by making Grohl and Duff try to guess two further songs, both of which - naturally - he suggests are also Foo Fighters tracks. The expressions on Grohl's face as Corden drags out this one note 'skit' for eight whole minutes are a joy to behold.

Watch the clip below:

Whether Grohl is acually in on this excruciating routine is hard to tell, but the musician and Corden have history. In 2017, Grohl told an interviewer than he found the Foo Fighters' participation in Corden's popular Carpool Karaoke segment "uncomfortable", only to Corden call him on it afterwards.

Interviewed in The Sun in 2018, Grohl said, “I got a fucking text from him that morning. He was like, ‘What the fuck, dude?’ I was like, Oh my god, oh my god, oh my god!"

“I had to text him back and was like, No dude, that’s not what we meant. What we were trying to say was it was uncomfortable to sit in a car and try to sing our own songs. If we were singing Queen songs or Led Zeppelin songs or Beatles songs, it would have been fine. But to sit there and sing your own songs... we felt weird about it."

“I don’t drive around Los Angeles singing to my own songs," Grohl added. "So when we said it was an uncomfortable experience... I felt so bad when it came out in the press — ‘Foo Fighters had a terrible time, they hated the whole fucking thing’. We didn’t. He’s such a sweet guy.”

All just friendly 'bants', we're sure.

Paul Brannigan
Contributing Editor, Louder

A music writer since 1993, formerly Editor of Kerrang! and Planet Rock magazine (RIP), Paul Brannigan is a Contributing Editor to Louder. Having previously written books on Lemmy, Dave Grohl (the Sunday Times best-seller This Is A Call) and Metallica (Birth School Metallica Death, co-authored with Ian Winwood), his Eddie Van Halen biography (Eruption in the UK, Unchained in the US) emerged in 2021. He has written for Rolling Stone, Mojo and Q, hung out with Fugazi at Dischord House, flown on Ozzy Osbourne's private jet, played Angus Young's Gibson SG, and interviewed everyone from Aerosmith and Beastie Boys to Young Gods and ZZ Top. Born in the North of Ireland, Brannigan lives in North London and supports The Arsenal.