This week’s Movie Monologue Monday is going to look at James Corden performing an excerpt from 1 Man, 2 Guvnors during the 2012 Tony Awards. I know this isn’t a movie so it technically doesn’t fit the title but it’s brilliant nonetheless.
Way back in time, about a million years ago, when I still had hair in my head, the Tony Awards used to show scenes from plays. This performance is a welcome return to that tradition and I hope they do it more in the future.
Corden owns the stage in this performance and it’s well worth a study for anyone working on a farce or a comedy.
The comedy is played absolutely straight. He’s not “being funny.” The laughs come from the heightened emotional conflict, from the high stakes, from his fervent belief in his position of the argument. The joke isn’t that he’s arguing with himself, it’s that he doesn’t know he’s arguing with himself.
Also notable is the incredible physical precision in the performance. Watch it a few times over and see how exacting he is with his movement, how precisely he places his feet, how controlled he is as he rolls across the stage.