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Dear France: We Are So Sorry For the ‘Les Mis’ Crosswalk Musical

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In America, we like to rag on the French a lot (just ask our resident Frenchman, Kurt). That doesn’t mean that we don’t apologize when we really mess up. In that spirit of contrition, we would just like to ask the city of Paris for its forgiveness.

We are so sorry for James Corden and The Late Late Show’s rendition of Les Misérables in your crosswalks.


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The “Crosswalk: The Musical” segment is hardly new. Just last month, Corden performed hit songs from Aladdin with his company and stars of the live-action remake. Usually, these segments are filmed in a crosswalk in front of the CBS Studios in Los Angeles, a city used to TV film crews pulling weird stunts. When Corden, a British comedian, decided to take his show to London this summer, he decided to bring his musical concept as well.

Instead of heading out on the zebra crossings of London, he decided to launch a production of Les Misérables on a crosswalk very close to the iconic Arc de Triomphe in Paris. With the monument in the background, Corden strolled out singing “Master of the House” while weaving between café tables on his way to the crosswalk. Since it’s a tourist-heavy part of the City of Light, it seemed like a lot of the café patrons didn’t mind the upgrade to their people watching. From there, Corden and his troupe (no extra celebrity guest stars this time) continued to sing hits from the musical about France and one of its lesser revolutions.

The episode starts to get awkward when cars started to show their displeasure at the performance blocking traffic. Whereas many Angelinos seem to be at least mildly amused by celebrities dancing and singing while they wait at a red light, some Parisian drivers kept honking, yelling, and inching forward. One scooter actually started to accelerate in front of Corden, blocking him from the sidewalk.


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As if that wasn’t enough for us to apologize for, Corden then started playing Fantine. The character is a woman who hits hard times and becomes a prostitute in the show. Corden decided to stand at the top of the stairs leading to a metro station, acting like a lady of the night enticing passengers. To be fair, his rendition of “I Dreamed a Dream” wasn’t bad, but it made the whole scene especially cringe-worthy.

From the reactions of the drivers to shots of confused onlookers and the one man just trying to cross the street that caught up in the madness, it’s clear that Paris wasn’t totally entertained by The Late Late Show’s latest musical production.

Check it out below and draw your own conclusions.