James Corden enlisted the cast of Disney’s live-action adaptation of Aladdin to bring “a whole new world” to Los Angeles in his latest “Crosswalk the Musical” segment on The Late Late Show on Thursday night.
Joining his theater troupe once again, Corden teased that it wouldn’t be hard for them to guess what their next musical is, as he was wearing Genie attire and had covered his skin with blue paint. After their guesses included Avatar, the “Blue Man Crew” and The Smurfs, Corden immediately yelled at them: “Why would it be the fucking Smurfs? You ruined it! We’re doing Aladdin!”
Corden then happily welcomed the film’s cast, which included Naomi Scott (who plays Princess Jasmine) and Mena Massoud (who plays Aladdin). However, with Corden already dressed as the Genie, the late-night host was not in favor of Smith taking on the role he plays in the movie for their crosswalk musical.
“I’m the genie in the movie man. It’s obvious,” Smith said, to which Corden retorted, “You may be Aladdin on the silver screen but this is live theater.” Smith’s response? “Challenge accepted.” Smith also told Corden that he actually matched the role of the monkey Abu more than the genie. “I’m not in a million years playing a monkey,” Corden told the group, only to later take on the role and wear a costume with monkey ears intact.
For their first number, Smith strutted across the crosswalk as he sang the tune “Friend Like Me.” The theatrical performance included choreographed dance moves and blasting flames from a fire machine. Most drivers were unamused by the performance and appeared annoyed.
After the group praised Smith for his performance, even chanting the actor’s name, the feud between him and Corden grew, with the late-night host shown sulking in the corner. “Everyone did great,” said Corden bitterly. “I’m glad I came up with him.”
The group continued their performance, as Smith led the group back into the street as they sang “Prince Ali.” One driver got particularly into the performance and hung out of his window to dance with Smith. Afterward, the actor was once again celebrated, this time, leaving Corden to angrily walk away.
“You’re comparing yourself to me?” Smith asked Corden. “I’m a multiple Academy Award nominee,” he continued to say, which left Corden to admit that Smith’s attempt at a pep talk wasn’t making him feel any better.
“I’m the stupid naughty monkey,” Corden told Smith. Refusing to let the late-night host have a pity party, Smith then complimented Corden. “No, you’re charming. You’re mischievous. Abu is mischievous. You’re both handsome little devils.” Smith then asked Corden, “Who wants a banana?” while holding a banana. With Corden excitedly chasing Smith as he held a banana, the theater troupe cheered for the late-night host’s return.
The final performance by the group was “A Whole New World” with Scott, Massoud, Corden and Smith riding atop a forklift decorated as the magic carpet. The forklift slowly raised the actors off the ground to make them seem like they were flying.
The performers became emotional following the final number. While they all applauded and congratulated each other on a job well done, Smith broke out into tears. “That was beautiful,” he said.
After their performances, Smith and Corden reminisced on the fun experience. “We rubbed the lamp and what came out is a friendship that I will cherish forever,” Corden told Smith. “You ain’t never had a friend like me,” Smith teased.