Vinay Menon: Pump the brakes James Corden fans: It’s a good thing he doesn’t always drive on ‘Carpool Karaoke’

Wikipedia’s page for “Carpool Karaoke” was just updated to include a “Controversy.”

It started on Wednesday, when a Twitter user in Los Angeles posted a short video of host James Corden sitting with Justin Bieber in a black Range Rover. You can’t really see their faces. But what you can see is the trailer upon which the SUV sits as it’s towed by a truck. Cue the “controversy” that is now one glorious line on Wikipedia:

“In 2020, it was revealed that James Corden does not always actually drive the car during filming.”

The clip went viral. And the media went into overdrive.

“James Corden’s ‘Carpool Karaoke’ is Fake!” “Fans Shocked James Corden Doesn’t Actually Drive in ‘Carpool Karaoke.’” “James Corden Has Been Lying This Whole Time.” “Fans Freak Out After James Corden Is Busted On Camera Not Driving…”

The reaction forced “The Late Late Show,” home to this singing-on-wheels, to issue a statement.

“James always drives during ‘Carpool Karaoke.’ However, on the rare occasion when there is a stunt component and the producers feel it is unsafe to drive, we will use a rig.”

Stunt component? Please. This whole thing is a dangerous stunt!

Don’t we now have laws for distracted driving? Isn’t that exactly what Corden is doing when he chauffeurs A-list stars, one hand on the wheel, the other wildly gesticulating to the beat like he’s half-soused in a club? His eyes are rarely on the road. And sometimes, like when he’s trying to hit a high note, they are shut for a good three Mississippis. That’s more than enough time to smash into a tree and send poor Elton John catapulting through the windshield right in the middle of “Circle of Life.”

I don’t get it. I’m prohibited from glancing at my phone while driving, but Corden can French-kiss a harmonica as he belts out classics with Stevie Wonder who, let the record show, would make a much safer Uber driver? It’s no big deal if Corden drives Lady Gaga around while garbed in a wig and replica of her infamous meat dress?

That visual is not likely to cause a 12-car pileup on Sunset?

Did you ever see the episode with Michelle Obama up front and Missy Elliott in the back? At one point, all three are going nuts to “Get Ur Freak On.” Corden then flashes a series of hand signals, like he’s trying to guide a fighter jet to land on a naval carrier, and Missy springs forward. I remember thinking: “Hey, she’s not wearing a seatbelt!”

If anyone attempted to operate a chainsaw the way Corden drives a car, he or she would now be limbless.

Every fan who “freaked out” or was “shocked” this week by the “revelation” Corden doesn’t always drive should be forced to ride shotgun with him as he navigates rush hour while pelvic thrusting and bellowing show tunes. These fans are out of their minds. They’re acting like this video proved the moon landing was a hoax. And without realizing it, they have just egged on Corden to do even more singing and driving, which frankly, is as dangerous as drinking and driving.

I don’t want to generalize. But there are some people who you just know are terrible drivers.

James Corden is one of these people. Anyone who can’t sit still is unlikely to ever use a turn signal. Anyone this animated never learns to parallel park. Anyone who has an orgasmic reaction to “Uptown Funk” is someone who runs red lights and violates posted speed limits and never checks blind spots and T-bones UPS trucks.

The craziest part is there is absolutely no good reason for this karaoke to be on four wheels. James, my God, you cheap bastard, rent out an actual karaoke bar. Or set up cameras in an office cubicle or park bench, anywhere that won’t result in a head-on collision. I’m reluctant to offer more suggestions because I just pictured a “Shower Karaoke,” in which Corden and Lizzo hold rubber duckies over their privates while soaping up and letting fly with “Truth Hurts.”

All I’m saying is it’s only a matter of time until we see headlines such as, “CARPOOL FATALITY.”

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Would you get on a commercial flight if you knew Corden would be busting his moves in the cockpit while blaring “Swish Swish” at 30,000 feet? Would you crouch into a submarine if you knew the helmsman was Corden and he planned to start a dance party deep in the abyss? Would you feel comfortable on a two-seater bike if Corden was upfront and steering with one elbow as he startled squirrels with his jazz hands and air kicks?

You would not. This guy is to safe transportation as porn is to religion.

We should not be upset James Corden does not always drive on “Carpool Karaoke.”

We should be terrified he usually does.

Vinay Menon

TORONTO STAR