Update 3/31/20: James Corden kicked off his Homefest monologue on Monday night with a dose of self-awareness, saying, "Thank you for joining me on what is without question one of the strangest specials I'm ever likely to make." The Late Late Show host immediately set a sobering tone by admitting that he is just as confused and out of his depth in the age of COVID-19 as the majority of his audience. Shooting from his garage, Corden joked, "None of us really know what day it is. I'm pitching for a Sunday in May, but I don't know. This is the first time in two and a half weeks that I've not been wearing sweatpants."
However, he quickly became serious again, acknowledging that plenty of people were likely watching the special alone, and recognizing what a "strange and terrifying time" it is. "I want you to know that we are all in this together," he added. Corden went on to make it clear that the overall message of Homefest — which featured remote performances from John Legend, Billie Eilish, BTS, Dua Lipa, and Andrea Bocelli and cameos by other celebrities — was to bring people together in the most socially responsible way.
"In many ways, in the most unique way, this virus has brought us all together," a visibly emotional Corden said. "It's united us in something. This virus has shown that we are all equal, we are all simply human."
Corden soon welcomed Legend, who performed "Actions" from his home in Los Angeles, as well as Eilish and her brother Finneas O'Connell, who sang "Everything I Wanted" from elsewhere in L.A. In London, Lipa performed "Don't Stop Now," virtually accompanied by her band, back-up singers, and dancers, and in South Korea, the boys of BTS, who are self-isolating together, dropped in with a performance of "Boy with Luv." Corden also checked in with Bocelli, who is quarantining in Italy and performed "Con te partirò." Will Ferrell showed up to give his own performance of the songs he sings while washing his hands, and David Blaine did some quarantine magic.
Before welcoming Ben Platt and the cast of the Broadway show Dear Evan Hansen, Corden used his last moments to express that he, too, has been anxious and out of control. "I've found I just get sort of overwhelmed with sadness in it all, really. And the truth is, what I've realized is it's okay, it's alright to feel a bit sad; it's okay to feel anxious and the best thing we can all do is try and breathe through that and try and put our minds in a positive place and think, 'What can I do to help someone else who might be feeling like this?'"
He went on to drill home the community aspect of it all, saying, "Just me talking to you now has made me feel a bit lighter, and I found that when I've called friends or FaceTimed my parents or my sisters, reaching out to someone else you think might be struggling, too, is pretty much the best thing we can do right now. Because we will absolutely get through this. We will, and that's why we wanted to make this show, to share in these feelings together."
Check out some of the performances below.
Previously 3/25/20: In the spirit of bringing people together while also staying responsibly apart, CBS will air Homefest: James Corden's Late Late Show Special, hosted by James Corden. The show, which Corden is hosting from his garage, will feature musical performances from Billie Eilish and FINNEAS, BTS, John Legend, Dua Lipa, and Andrea Bocelli. He'll also speak to Will Ferrell, David Blaine, and more — all from the safety of their homes.
Corden and the featured celebrities will urge viewers to follow guidelines from the CDC and government officials to help prevent the spread of coronavirus and reduce strain on the medical community. Those tuning in will also be encouraged to donate to the CDC Foundation and Feed the Children.
Earlier this week, Corden gave his first message to fans since production was suspended on the Late Late Show due to the spread of COVID-19, in the form of an emotional tribute on the five-year anniversary of his show. In the video, he said, "This is the strangest, strangest time, and all we've ever wanted to do on our show was bring you some light in the dark in the corner of your room every night, and we're going to do our best at some point to continue trying to do that."
This coming Monday, we're bringing people together to keep them apart.— TONIGHT! HomeFest: A Late Late Show Special @ 10pm (@latelateshow) March 25, 2020
HomeFest: @JKCorden's Late Late Show Special will feature @billieeilish @finneas @AndreaBocelli @davidblaine @bts_bighit @DUALIPA @johnlegend #WillFerrell & more!
Watch #HomeFest Monday at 10pm on @CBS pic.twitter.com/6GZD4pAGpr
Corden's special comes on the heels of the first coronavirus benefit concert, Fox Presents the iHeart Living Room Concert for America, which was hosted by Elton John and aired Sunday night on Fox. CBS will also deliver a primetime concert special with Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood called Garth & Trisha Live!on Wednesday, April 1 at 9 p.m. ET, with a tape delay for west coast audiences.
Homefest: James Corden's Late Late Show Special will air on Monday, March 30 at 10/11c on CBS.