James Corden Stages 'Les Mis' Crosswalk Musical in Paris
The 'Late Late Show' host and his team of performers sang "Do You Hear the People Sing," "I Dreamed a Dream" and "One Day More" for unamused Parisians during the segment.
In a continuation of the lively segment "Crosswalk, the Musical," Late Late Show host James Corden performed songs from Les Miserables against the backdrop of the Arc de Triomphe in Paris on Wednesday night's episode.
The host, who was shown riding a bike with a basket full of baguettes and flowers and sporting a striped shirt and beret while holding a small dog, later approached his traveling team of performers and tried to speak to them in French. As a man playing the accordion performed behind him, Corden struggled to communicate with the dancers before one said that he was British. Relieved, Corden handed the dog to a performer and instructed the accordion player to stop.
"Les Miserables. What can I say? It's got it all. It's got drama, action, amazing songs. And not many people know this: It's actually very progressive. Les Miserables is actually French for 'sad lesbians,'" said Corden, who was quickly informed that the musical title translates to "the miserables." Corden replied, "Statistically some of those miserables would have been lesbians, so we're both right."
Corden kicked off the training for the musical by teaching the performers how to properly wave a flag. He later threw pastries at the actors as they practiced a number.
Dressed as the cast of the musical, Corden's troupe began with "Master of the House." The host sang the opening lyrics as he walked through an outdoor section of a restaurant before he ran into the street to join the other performers. Many pedestrians gave them weird looks as they performed the choreographed number that included them dancing on tables and chairs.
Corden prefaced the next performance of "Do You Hear the People Sing" by stating that weapons tend to be used in traditional performances of the number, though he took inspiration from the Parisians and had the actors use baguettes instead.
For the third performance, Corden played French prostitute Fantine. After he shared that he is a method actor, a clip of Corden preparing for the role followed as he seductively waved to men while dressed in a long dress and brunette wig. When one man shook Corden's hand, the host refused to let go and tried to lead the man down some stairs to a train.
Once Corden felt confident with his portrayal of Fantine, he took to the streets to perform "I Dreamed a Dream." During the performance, Corden cut off hair from his wig and was joined by dancers who twirled ribbons behind him. The host eventually pulled off the wig to reveal a shorter brunette wig underneath.
The performance was interrupted when a fire truck drove by. "Do you mind? We're doing a show," Corden angrily shouted over the siren.
"So much for French manners. Look, I get it. If a building's on fire, you've got to get there. But if a show is on fire, don't put that out," Corden later said during a one-on-one interview.
The segment concluded with an enthusiastic performance of "One Day More." The pedestrians and drivers looked both annoyed and confused as the performers waved large red flags. Corden even climbed onto the hood of a car to wave his flag, which forced the driver to angrily honk his horn.
Following the final performance, Corden teared up as his actors applauded. "It's not about me, guys. It's about me, and then it's about you," he told them. "I need you to remember that."
Corden was the last person to leave the sidewalk after the performers took their final bows. As he slowly left the street, Corden held out his hand to a motorcyclist and kissed the man's hand.
The host previously teased the segment in early June when he was a guest on CBS This Morning. "You have never seen people angrier," he said of the pedestrians' reactions to the segment. While he said that people in American cities have learned to appreciate the segment, the citizens of Paris were not familiar with his late night show.
Watch the full segment below.