Ed Sheeran is nothing if not diligent. The singer who marked his return to our ears this week with his new single “Bad Habits” is so excited about his residency on The Late Late Show next week that he actually showed up a few days early to work out some lighting and sound kinks.
The only problem was apparently nobody gave host James Corden the memo. In the middle of Corden’s monologue on Thursday night (June 24) Sheeran weighed in on one of the jokes from off-camera, surprising the host.
“Ed Sheeran is that you?” Corden asked his old pal, who was seated in a director’s chair in an orange sweater and black jeans, a notepad at the ready to jot down some thoughts for his upcoming stint.
“Sorry, Ed, what are you doing here?” Corden asked. “Since I’m on the show every night next week I thought I’d come in a bit early, get things prepared, take a few notes,” Sheeran explained, urging Corden to just pretend he wasn’t there and carry on.
Easier said than done, though. Sheeran then walked right in front of the camera, ruining a shot, and continued to prove disruptive by climbing up to noisily adjust the lights to his specifications. What are you doing?” a frustrated Corden asked.
“Sorry, I’m just going over some lighting options, carry on without me. Pretend I’m not here,” the painfully polite plucker urged the agitated host, who pleaded with Sheeran to maybe wait until the upcoming commercial break to do his prep work.
You know where this is going. Ed plugged his trusty acoustic in and started jamming with the band as Corden flat-out lost it. “Ed!” he shouted as Sheeran explained that he was just rehearsing one of the four songs — including the TV debut of “Bad Habits” — that he plans to play next week.
“But please, just carry on, pretend I’m not here,” Ed said. “Stop. How… stop saying… Stop! Stop! Stop! Stop! Stop saying pretend you’re not here! There’s no way I can work with any of this going on, it’s too much. I’m sorry Ed, you’re not supposed to be here until next week. I’m going to have to ask you to leave.”
A chastened Sheeran apologized and explained that he was just excited to sit in all next week and play four songs with the band. “I just have so much respect for you. I just want to make you proud, man,” Sheeran said.
After that tense exchange Corden worried that perhaps he was too harsh, but then quickly carried on, really losing it when Sheeran went into the control booth to chat with the show’s director about the best way to highlight his newly chiseled abs.
“Ed. Ed. Ed. Ed. Ed!,” an increasingly desperate Corden bellowed before leaving his desk to sort the situation out. Big mistake.
Sheeran then snuck on stage and slid into Corden’s seat, launching into some banter with the crew, completing his hijack of the show.