The "Late Late Show" host pays tribute to Crystal's most famous scene to prove the point that talk show hosts sometimes fake excitement over their guests.
Before his appearance on "The Late Late Show," Billy Crystal got into a heated debate with James Corden over whether or not talk show hosts have ever faked enthusiasm over their guests.
You can probably guess where this is going. There are few scenes more iconic in cinema than the restaurant scene in "When Harry Met Sally" where Meg Ryan draws all eyes on her by proving very audibly that women can absolutely fake orgasms.
Well, it turns out that iconic moment was just ripe for reinvention to help James prove his point -- with a surprise assist from former "Tonight Show" host Jay Leno.
Everything was going along smoothly until Billy dared suggest that no talk show host has ever faked enthusiasm or excitement to have him on as a guest. "How do you know?" James asked him.
"Because I know," he said confidently.
"Oh, that's right. I forgot," James said dryly. "You're in iconic movies. Most actors from beloved films are sure it's never happened to them and most talk show hosts at one time or another have done it, so you do the math."
He then set out to prove his point by gushing laughter and praise on Billy right then and there as if they were at his talk show. Within seconds everyone was looking their way as James was tearing up in laughter.
After a few moments of dramatic escalation, including the famous table-pounding moment, Corden pretended to throw it to a commercial break and every bit of that enthusiasm vanished. Point proven?
"I'll have what he's having," Jay said from an nearby table, bringing the homage to its only fitting conclusion. From start to finish it was a near shot-for-shot remake, including the restaurant patrons and almost every line of dialogue, proving how painstakingly James and Billy sought to recreate that magic.
James Corden has established a bit of a niche for himself in creating these types of pre-taped viral moments from "Carpool Karaoke" to "Drop the Mic" to "Crosswalk the Musical" and all of the entertainment parodies he's done. And once again, he managed to perfectly wring the comedy of this pastiche.
At the same time, should he really be broadcasting to the world that talk show hosts fake it with their guest. Sure, faking is better than telling them you hated their latest project, or worse yet couldn't be bothered to even watch it, but now everyone will be wondering if the reaction they're getting is sincere.
Or just be like Billy Crystal and know that it's different with you. Talk show hosts adore you. You're engaging and funny and interesting and everything they want in a guest. Because of course you are.