James Corden was 86’d from NYC hotspot Balthazar, then the ban was rescinded

Over the years, we’ve actually heard many rumors about James Corden’s rudeness and cold behavior towards celebrities, service industry workers, and even his wife. On camera, of course he presents himself as a joyful and happy guy. When the cameras are off though, he seems like an Ellen DeGeneres-level a–hole. So it wasn’t shocking to hear yesterday that Corden had been banned from Balthazar, one of the hottest restaurants in New York. Balthazar’s owner Keith McNally took to Instagram to slam Corden for multiple instances of rude and abusive behavior towards Balthazar’s waitstaff. From McNally’s IG:

James Corden is a Hugely gifted comedian, but a tiny Cretin of a man. And the most abusive customer to my Balthazar servers since the restaurant opened 25 years ago. I don’t often 86 a customer, to today I 86’d Corden. It did not make me laugh. Here are two examples of the funny man’s treatment of my staff.


‘In June, James Corden was here on table 61. (Although this is diabolical, it happens Very occasionally in all restaurants.) After eating his main course, Corden showed the hair to Balthazar manager G. who was very apologetic. Corden was extremely nasty to G, and said:
“Get us another round of drinks this second. And also take care of all of our drinks so far. This way I write any nasty reviews in yelp or anything like that.” ‘


‘James Corden was at Balthazar with his wife on October 9th for brunch. He asked for a table outside. Brunch Maitre D’ Allie Wolters took the party to table 301. Mr. Corden’s wife ordered an egg yolk omelette with gruyere cheese and salad. A few minutes after they received the food, James called their server, M. K. and told her there was a little bit of egg white mixed with the egg yolk. M. K. informed the floor manager, G. The kitchen remade the dish but unfortunately sent it with home fries instead of salad. That’s when James Corden began yelling like crazy to the server: “You can’t do your job! You can’t do your job! Maybe I should go into the kitchen and cook the omelette myself!” M.K. was very apologetic and brought G. over to the table. He returned the dish, and after that, everything was fine. He gave them promo Champagne glasses to smooth things out. G. said that Corden was pleasant to him but nasty to the server.’ M.K. was very shaken, but professional that she is, continued to finish her shift.’

[From McNally’s IG]

Egg YOLK omelette? I’ll never understand fancy rich people, I guess. I know all about egg white omelettes, but I didn’t know you could just get an egg yolk one. Anyway, while it was the server’s mistake, that’s no excuse to f–king scream at someone who is probably taking care of a dozen tables. Anyway, that IG was published in the late afternoon on Monday. Seven hours later, McNally posted this to IG:

James Corden just called me and apologized profusely. Having fucked up myself more than most people, I strongly believe in second chances. So if James Corden lets me host his Late Late Show for 9 months, I’ll immediately rescind his ban from Balthazar. No, of course not. But….anyone magnanimous enough to apologize to a deadbeat layabout like me (and my staff) doesn’t deserve to be banned from anywhere. Especially Balthazar. So Come Back to the 5 & Dime, Jimmy Corden, Jimmy Corden. All is Forgiven. Xx

[From McNally’s IG]

That… must have been a good apology. Well, we know Corden can turn on the charm when he wants to. I’ve always wondered if there’s a little bit of culture-clash with Corden too – some of his behavior is more “tolerated” in Britain, whereas he’s slammed on social media here. I don’t know, maybe I’m wrong.

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, Instar.

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70 Responses to “James Corden was 86’d from NYC hotspot Balthazar, then the ban was rescinded”

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  1. Steph says:

    Where is his wife from?

  2. The Hench says:

    Personally I was sorry to see the ban rescinded. It seems kind of weird that the manager really went for it on SM about how awful Corden has been and then back pedals after an apology. Newsflash – Corden isn’t apologising because he’s sorry for his behaviour – he’s apologising because he was called out publicly in a way that could hurt his brand.

    Also the back pedalling itself was a bit nauseating IMO. Either call the guy out and ban him or don’t.

    • Jayne says:

      EXACTLY. I don’t buy it. I hope this restaurant owner apologized TO his staff and gave them raises for putting up with this tantrum-throwing B.S.

    • Blue Nails Betty says:

      I believe Corden is a complete douchecanoe.

      I also believe the “ban” was a ploy to get publicity for the restaurant and was never intended to actually last.

      The only people in this story who deserve applause are the servers who are catching crap from both sides.

      • susan says:

        Balthazar has been one of the most popular restaurants in NY for more than a decade. it’s next to impossible for ordinary peasants like us to get a rezzy unless we book 3 months in advance. they don’t need publicity

      • Lorelei says:

        @Susan is right, @BlueNailsBetty. They do not need publicity, lol. I’ve been there a few times and either waited for a while or just lucked out and there happened to be a small table open because it was an off time or something. It is ALWAYS packed and there are usually lots of people outside waiting.

        I believe that a lot of these kinds of stories are planted, but it makes no sense with this one.

    • lucy2 says:

      Yeah this whole thing is weird. If the guy is bad enough to ban and ban PUBLICLY…there’s no need to accept him back or write that ridiculous “eh if you say you’re sorry all’s good, come on back to abuse the servers!” explanation.

      Corden has always really irritated me, he has an aggressive earnestness that bothered me long before I learned he was such a jerk. But even if I had adored him, I wouldn’t after hearing how he treats people, especially those like restaurant servers.

    • DouchesOfCambridge says:

      He’s not banned anymore, but he won’t go anymore anyways – WIN/WIN situation!

  3. Lady Baden-Baden says:

    Errr he was NOT well-liked in Britain before he made the move to the Late Show. I’d put it down to tall-poppy syndrome – we’re terrible for that – but maybe there was more to it and he truly is awful…

    • Steph says:

      What is tall poppy syndrome?

      • Concern Fae says:

        The idea is that tall poppies get cut down to keep the garden looking neat.

      • MtlExPat says:

        We’ve got tall poppy syndrome in Canada too. When someone succeeds – ie a poppy that grows above the others – people want to cut them down so all the poppies are the same again – because they can’t bear that someone has done well for themselves.

      • AnnaKist says:

        Same in Australia. Oh, we will love and support you while you’re growing, but get above the others and you’ll soon get cut down to size.
        I went to a nice cafe at the new part of our shopping centre last week. I wanted a toasted sandwich. I like cheese and tomato, ham and cheese, but I don’t like cheese tomato and ham. My daughter ordered cheese and ham because I couldn’t decide, When our order arrived mine turned out to be cheese and tomato. When the waitress became aware of this, she apologised profusely and went to take the order back. I told her not to worry, as I love cheese and tomato as well. She was so embarrassed, but I tried to reassure her. As it turned out, it was absolutely delicious: Swiss cheese and tomato on garlic Turkish bread, all toasty and gooey. I told the waitress this, and even though we are not a tipping country, I gave her a five dollar tip for a happy mistake.
        My sister works for the health complaints Commission. She has to deal with the rudest people. Her boss is great, though. He told her to give them one warning – stop shouting, stop swearing, stop calling her disgusting names. If they persist, terminate the call immediately. Which she does. Luckily all calls are logged, because some of these people have the temerity to call up and complain about her hanging up on them. Her boss always supports her. He tells them to call back and use their best manners since they are trying to get help from her, call else she will terminate their call again, and again.
        There is no excuse for bad manners or tantrum-throwing by adults.

      • Annalise says:

        It’s basically when someone usually from the UK, Australia, or Canada, makes it big in America, and the backlash they get in their own countries as a result.
        “Look at so-and-so, doing it up in America. I guess they think they’re too big for little ol’ [insert home country].”

    • Digital Unicorn says:

      In his case its because he’s a really awful person – he went to the US as work was drying up here in the UK down to just how bad his behaviour is.

      I can remember all the stories about him in the UK press and how badly he not only treated people in the service industry but the crew of any show he worked on. He’s well known for treating non celebs like sh!t.

    • tealily says:

      All the UK folks I know hated him when I’d barely heard of him from Gavin & Stacy, so I think there must be something to it, poppy-height aside.

  4. Emma says:

    There’s no culture clash – this behavior is not tolerated or acceptable here in Britain. I would say he a-holeness is an international problem

    • manda says:

      yeah, I was always under the impression that he was less popular in Britain than in the US, for a variety of reasons. I would say a lot of people/most people in the US only know the carpool karaoke persona

    • A says:

      Yeah, not sure where that idea could come from. A jerk is a jerk pretty much everywhere. And screaming at waitstaff has got to be a nearly universal standard for jerk-dom.

      It’s well documented that people hate him in the UK. And, disrespecting someone providing him a service wouldn’t change that. I’d like to know how much money he threw at this particular problem to get the owner to change his mind.

    • Vera says:

      yes he was pretty much disliked in the UK and for good reason

  5. Jessie Quinton says:

    “I’ve always wondered if there’s a little bit of culture-clash with Corden too – some of his behavior is more “tolerated” in Britain, whereas he’s slammed on social media here”.

    THIS. I’m married to a Brit and he comes across as an a-hole a lot of the time to Americans with things he says and how he says them. Things and mannerisms they find acceptable in the UK sometimes don’t translate to America. I have had many seminars at home at things he can or can not say/do when we go visit. 🤦🏻‍♀️

    But I also do think this is only partly the reason—still think Corden is a douche as well.

    • A says:

      I’m gonna go out on a limb and guess your husband doesn’t yell at service people when they make an honest mistake though. There’s sarcasm and the dry humor Brits are known for, which I agree can come across weirdly or badly to many Americans, and then there is what Corden’s done here which is not at all culturally acceptable in the UK or the USA.

    • msmontclair says:

      I’m also married to a Brit and Corden’s behavior is just a no, no matter where you’re from. It’s well-documented that he’s been an a-hole forever, and the Brits can’t stand him. My husband despises him and was happy to see him leave.

    • QuiteContrary says:

      I tell people I’m my husband’s English-to-American translator.
      Especially in the early years of our relationship, I had to soothe a lot of ruffled feathers. He’s a wonderful guy — and would never yell at a server — but some of his Britishisms just didn’t land.
      Corden just seems like a jerk.

  6. wordnerd says:

    The biggest assholes often give the best apologies. But it’s all an act, until they can lash out again, rinse and repeat.

    The airplane story tells you all you need to know about James Corden.

  7. Becks1 says:

    I think the rescinding is weird. Like the behavior had to be REALLY bad and beyond those two incidents, it had to be the type of thing where everyone groaned when they saw him walk in the door.

    Also, its not like the owner went on IG and talked about how nice Corden was and how it was all a misunderstanding. He said he apologized and that was a sign that Corden was “magnanimous.” It must have been some groveling.

    • gah says:

      Keith McNally is a legend but putting Corden on blast was/is messy.

      I suspect Keith’s PR people had a serious talk with him like wtf man and so he had to make nice regardless of Corden’s apology.

      Keith relies on celebs to keep his brands hot. Balthazar is an institution at this point tho don’t ever go on weekends. the best/most interesting people watching is on weekdays in the morning for power brunch.

      • Faround says:

        Totally agree! That was NOT something that he needed to go public with at all. I completely understand that James Cordon sucks at basic human interaction that is not televised, but contact him privately if you are 86-ing. Then have your fuzzy magnanimous apology session. Sharing the details of this has only made both parties look unseemly. 🙄😒

      • Saucy&Sassy says:

        I look at it in a very different way. Cordon said what they had to do or would write a bad Yelp review. The best thing that the business can do is get ahead of that. Here it was done on instagram. He set out the facts BEFORE Cordon could do a bad review. What do you want to bet that if Cordon had written a bad review he would not have included how horribly he treated the staff?

        I think this was to avert a PR problem, and to make sure people had the facts. I think it worked well. Cordon did that twice in 3 months. If you don’t stand up for your staff? You won’t have staff for very long.

        Here’s what I found interesting: ” But….anyone magnanimous enough to apologize to a deadbeat layabout like me (and my staff) doesn’t deserve to be banned from anywhere.” I think McNally made his feelings very well known. I doubt Cordon will be going to that restaurant again.

  8. Southern Fried says:

    Holy hell. I wouldn’t go to Balthazar if I was comped. The owner was drunk, maybe? To make it all public, jeez. Call out rude customers for sure but not publicly. I don’t want to pay for that kind of energy.

    • Concern Fae says:

      The staff shortage is bringing changes in the restaurant industry. Customers were allowed to rage and the staff had to take it. Because so many restaurant workers died of Covid and better job market, servers can and do leave jobs where they are expected to take abuse. He’s trying to keep his servers and let anyone looking for a job that he’ll have their back.

      This is the owner of Balthazar saying publicly that this shit doesn’t fly here anymore. He’s blasting Corden because everyone already knows he’s a shitty human being. But everyone else is now warned that bad behavior may consequences.

  9. Digital Unicorn says:

    This is why the Brits were glad to see the back of Cordon – he is NOT well liked here in the UK. His rep was/is so bad that he stopped getting work. The UK press were always reporting on his behaviour and yeah it was tolerated in the UK ent industry for a long time and then it wasn’t as work started drying up which is when he got the Late Show gig. Never could quite understand how he got that gig in the first place.

    He has ALWAYS been like this – ALWAYS. He’s just a horrible person and his wife enables it.

  10. Charlotte says:

    I am British – the first instance I could totally see a Brit making a sarcastic joke about leaving a bad review – we’d treat that as a joke to soften the complaint (I realise that sounds like a contradiction but that is sarcasm). It is very British NOT to complain (even if there is hair in our food) – it is in our DNA! Complaining makes us feel very uncomfortable, so we will often times turn it into a joke as somehow that makes it better (again, not saying this makes sense!).

    The second instance is different, there is no excuse EVER for yelling at waiting staff – it isn’t even their fault, it is the kitchen’s! That said; I wonder if he really yelled at the top of his voice or if he just said it in an exasperated way?

    Anyway; there are tonnes of stories of him being an awful person over here too, I know someone who has worked as an extra on loads of TV shows and she said he is the worst person she has ever worked with, so it sounds like he just is a d**k.

    As for the Balthazar guy, I would not be putting my restaurant’s mistakes all over the internet – who wants to eat at a place that serves up hair? And him falling over himself in gratitude for the apology received just seems pathetic. Besides it is the staff who deserve the apology, not him.

    • Lizzie Bathory says:

      Yes–the kitchen messed up twice, which seems really weird to advertise. No excuse for treating waitstaff poorly, but this is such an odd story. It seems like stirring up drama to get the restaurant publicity (how good that publicity is might be another matter), then smoothing things over publicly with a “magnanimous” Corden.

    • Saucy&Sassy says:

      Charlotte & Lizzie Bathory, I posted a longer comment above. But I will say that I think you’re looking at it the wrong way. In the last paragraph it states, ” But….anyone magnanimous enough to apologize to a deadbeat layabout like me (and my staff) doesn’t deserve to be banned from anywhere.” That doesn’t sound like someone who is grateful for the apology. I just think he wanted to get ahead of a bad review by Cordon. The wait staff are more important than some entitled jerk who wants everyone know how important he is by abusing people.

  11. Mslove says:

    I would not have let that raging, power tripping butthole back in my restaurant. Ever. James Cordon isn’t gonna change, he’ll keep yelling about egg yokes & French fries until someone wises up & bans him from society.

  12. Mei says:

    Brit or not, his behaviour wouldn’t be given a pass here in the UK at all (I hope). I’d love to see him try that sh$t at one of Gordon Ramsey’s restaurants, can you imagine. He elicits a general eye-roll now from most people I know because his brand is so OTT, try-hard and cheesy, especially the being in things just because he can sing a bit. So even that isn’t tolerated here, let alone any douche-y behaviour.

  13. Jessica says:

    I’d be on board with the culture clash theory IF the Brits didn’t hate him just as much as Americans. His Reddit AMA is legendary, and there’s no love lost for him across both sides of the pond. Don’t like the backpedaling by the owner- stick to your guns dude! A good apology does not excuse repeated bad behavior and he’s certainly not learned his lesson.

  14. girl_ninja says:

    I have never liked this person or understood his popularity. Knowing that he is an awful person in real life honestly makes all the sense in the world. I remember reading a story about how he basically fell asleep on a plane ride and ignored his wife and crying baby the entire flight. She had to admonish him to even help her with the carriage or whatever when they’d landed. Terrible person and I wish the ban was still in affect.

  15. Plums says:

    His actual personality is well known enough to be joked about to his own audience. I remember seeing this Fear Factor type interview sketch he did on his show with Jimmy Kimmel, where they had to answer questions or eat some horrifying, disgusting thing. And Jimmy asked him, with this hilariously shit-eating grin, if he could name any of his camera guys, and the audience all “OOOOHHHHHHHhed” at it. And he couldn’t.

  16. Lola09 says:

    Am I the only one who thinks the restaurant owner’s reply was epic shade?! Sounds very tongue in cheek/sarky to me. And echoing what another poster said about Brits generally being allergic to complaining, everyone I know smiles and compliments food even if it’s borderline inedible because why be a dick to minimum wage staff? Just not okay behaviour – you don’t like it? Be nice and go somewhere else next time!

    • madameX says:

      I’m with you @Lola09– this line makes me think that the followup was done under duress:

      “But….anyone magnanimous enough to apologize to a deadbeat layabout like me (and my staff)”

      I read it like Cordon has used the phrase ‘deadbeat layabout’ to abuse servers, and by quoting it the reply is telling us (and Cordon) that the owner is VERY not happy to be revoking the ban.

  17. Valentina says:

    It’s not a culture clash, if he yelled at a server here in the UK everyone else there would think he was an absolute a-hole.

    He was liked in the UK for a time when he was making the TV series Gavid and Stacey but he grated on everyone really quickly and then he darted off to the US. He’s absolutely not held in any kind of high regard now.

  18. Cava 24 says:

    Keith McNally is a Brit himself. He has been detailing bad behavior by customers since his restaurants reopened post Covid because there has been an uptick in bad behavior and no shows since Covid. It’s like everyone decided they were doing restaurants a favor by going there. Or something. He called out the former editor of Vanity Fair for a no show for a large group at lunch a few months back. He sometimes mentions celebrities if they are in the reports from his managers but it’s often just “gave Steve Martin a table where he could not be seen as easily” or some such. And he talks about how they cope with mishaps. His IG is sort of an interesting read but he does have some weird takes .

    • Carty says:

      Hasn’t McNally had some controversy regarding his support for Epstein’s cohort Maxwell and Woody Allen?

  19. Kokiri says:

    Anyone who watched Very British Things knows he as ass.
    Pompous, arrogant, & not remotely funny.
    I too wish he was banned. Entitled ass he is.

  20. Mabs A'Mabbin says:

    Perhaps he angling to be cancelled.

  21. Polly says:

    No his behaviour is definitely not “tolerated” in Britain, hence why he moved to the States because no one here wanted to work with him anymore. Also I guess being a big deal in America was good for his ego.

  22. JK35 says:

    DM actually lead with that story! Yes, he is an ass. Did it need to be the lead story? What happened to Nuclear War and Ukraine? I used to wait tables, I learned, never, ever date someone who treats the staff like crap.

  23. Antanina says:

    Culture clash? Please…this behaviour would never be tolerated in UK. Also English people would never make a scene with waiting staff. It is just not in their nature. Americans on other hand are known for being loud demanding and rude.

    • ME says:

      James is English though lol.

    • Jaded says:

      @Antanina — I’ve spent a lot of time in England and seen some pretty boorish behaviour towards waitstaff in restaurants. I’ve also seen it in the US, in Canada, in Mexico, in the Caribbean, in Germany. It’s not about the behaviour not being tolerated, it’s that it happens everywhere. Lets not bash an entire country or culture OK?

  24. JK35 says:

    And all black people like watermelon…. Stop generalizing. It shows your prejudice.

  25. AnneL says:

    There is no excuse for being that rude to someone who is just trying to do their job. I HATE that kind of thing.

    Being a server at a restaurant is not easy. Neither is working behind the check-in counter at the airport, driving a cab, delivering food or packages. These people are almost always doing the best they can. Be gracious, patient and thankful. And tip as well as you can. It’s not that hard.

    I wish they had kept him banned from that place. What a jerk.

  26. candy says:

    How rude. How he even succeeded is beyond me, he’s not handsome or funny. Must know somebody!

  27. JK35 says:

    Replying to Antanina who things all Brits are Perfect and All Americans are rude. Can’t generalize people.

  28. Concern Fae says:

    Was thinking about this and when you separate eggs, you can get whites with no yolk, because the yolk has a membrane holding it together. But how could you ever get yolks with no whites? There is always a bit of white hanging onto the yolk, you can’t wash it off, because that would undoubtedly puncture the yolk and ruin it.

    It’s really an unhinged complaint. Like complaining that your raisins have skin.

  29. Maddy says:

    Brits can’t stand him either. Trust me.

  30. Jennifer says:

    I feel sorry for his employees.

  31. jferber says:

    I’m finally convinced he is a shitty person. His persona is so different, and he fooled me. Just don’t do that shit, James, I mean, really. I hope people blast him for all the spoiled, nasty, crappy stuff he does. He can stop if he wants to.

  32. Talos IV says:

    To “Antanina” I wouldn’t generalize. Boorish behavior is universal; the UK has its share of appalling behavior as well exemplified by other entries on this site. People in glass palaces shouldn’t throw stones. “Anyone” can misbehave under given circumstances – do get off your high horse. And this instance is nothing new of a celebrity adopting a warm, squishy and friendly facade yet be a complete idiot when out if the spotlight….

  33. Bread and Circuses says:

    My sister is allergic to egg whites but not egg yolks. She would be interested in something like this.

    She’d also be the person to speak to the waitstaff if the dish was made wrong. Her husband wouldn’t be screaming at people on her behalf. Corden is a pointlessly-ragey jerk.

  34. serena says:

    I’m guilty of thinking he was funny but I soon learned he played into stereotypes and made jokes that appealed to the mass even if they resulted offensive to others. He also almost never apologize so for him to have done that means he must have severely fucked up.

    I believe he’s a tiny petty man with a huge ego and I can’t find him funny anymore, just extremely cringey.

  35. manta says:

    I guess the time everyone was so glad that Harry picked his show for a skit is over.
    Maybe now is the moment to gloss again over the Sussexes again, Corden.
    You’ll be back on the good side and praised again.

  36. Habs says:

    No his behaviour isn’t more tolerated in Britain. In fact I’d say it’s less so as we have less of a ‘customer is always right” service culture.