Surely you’re familiar with that old saying: don’t, you know, do your “stuff” where you eat. But if your stuff happens to be a wildly hyped, very expensive CGI-heavy, all-star big screen adaptation of an inexplicably popular Broadway musical that filled up the box office litter box, then maybe that’s just the ticket to spray your disappointment all over the place.
We’re talking, of course, about Cats, the Tom Hooper-directed adaptation of Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber’s smash musical, which crashed out despite a cast that included Dame Judi Dench, Taylor Swift, Idris Elba, Jennifer Hudson, Rebel Wilson and James Corden.
The latter has been having a ball poking fun at the furball coughed up by the film, taking multiple playful potshots at its box office bomb on his Late Late Show and then bringing the shame parade to the stage of the Oscars on Sunday night (Feb. 9) along with co-star Wilson. That might have been as close as the film will get to winning any actual awards, though it did lead all ignoble nominees at the 40th annual Golden Raspberry Awards (aka The Razzies), including nods for worst picture, worst actress (Francesca Hayward), worst supporting actress (Dame Judy Dench), worst supporting actor (Corden), worst screen combo (“any two half-feline/half-human hairballs” and “Jason DeRulo and his CGI-neutered ‘bulge'”) and worst director (Tom Hooper), worst screenplay (Lee Hall and Hooper).
It was just the latest example of Corden employing some self-deprecation to have a bit of fun at the expense of the briefly anticipated stage-to-screen catdaptation — check out a roundup below.
Making fun of Cats at the Oscars
Presenting the award for best visual effects, Corden and Wilson crept out in full Cats regalia as Bustopher Jones and Jennyanydots, with Corden joking about the film’s much-talked-about not-so-special effects after he and Wilson spent a few seconds using their cat school training to maniaclly paw at the microphone.
“As cast members of the motion picture Cats, nobody more than us understands the importance of good visual effects,” they said, emphasizing the last part in unison.
Making fun of Cats amid a “Carpool Karaoke” explanation
On Jan. 29’s Late Late Show he slipped in a dig while jokingly tamping down the outrage over “Carpool Karaoke” ocassionally using a tow vehicle. “Look, I’m just shocked that I’ve done something that upset people more than Cats,” he joked.
Making fun of Cats in a radio interview
Back in December, in an interview with Zoe Ball on her Radio 2 BBC show, he quipped, “I haven’t seen it. I haven’t seen it, no. I heard it’s terrible… I’ll catch it one day, I imagine.”
Making fun of Cats with a Late Late Show skit
The mortifying-on-purpose skit “Cats School” just barely pre-empted all the nails-out reviews that helped the film score a 20% Rotten Tomatoes ranking.
Making fun of Cats with Jeff Goldblum’s help
Months before Cats even hit the screen, Corden aired a “Drop the Mic” battle with Jeff Goldblum that seriously dragged the movie’s bizarre first trailer.
“I saw the Cats trailer and quickly noticed you/ You were the weirdest part of it and that’s hard to do,” Goldblum rapped. “Seeing you as a cat was completely unnerving/ But how you look in person is somehow more disturbing/ Is there any chance we send him back to the Brits/ Why’d we trade Meghan Markle for something like this?”
Making fun of Cats with Bradley Whitford’s help
In January, Corden had actor Bradley Whitford on the couch and when The Handmaid’s Tale star whipped out a pair of bunny ears and said he’d recently gone to a screening of Cats, the host braced himself. “And it was amazing,” said Whitford, with a slightly uncomfortable Corden answering incredulously, “Was it?” Whitford explained, “I find it simultaneously haunting and inspiring that so many brilliant people can make a soufleé that does not rise.”
“No, no rising!” Corden shot back.