James Corden fires back at Bill Maher over fat shaming

James Corden had a lot to say in response to Bill Maher calling for the return of fat shaming.

The days of late night wars are long gone. Today’s hosts are all friendly with one another if not actual friends. But we may be getting close to some old school host feuding thanks to James Corden and Bill Maher.

It is hard to imagine any one of the late night hosts getting in a public spat with another. Can you really picture a Leno-Letterman type beef between Jimmy Fallon and Stephen Colbert? Or Seth Meyers taking shots at Conan O’Brien?

Instead, there seems to a be a mutual respect among the late night hosts. We see them appearing as guests on each other’s shows and podcasts. They have filmed bits for each other and will typically praise one another publicly when asked to comment. Nobody wants to see a return to the so-called late night wars including fans.

But there is still one late night host who is a little different than the rest: Bill Maher. The Real Time host is no stranger to controversy. A sarcastic sense of humor and hatred of all things politically correct also means that Maher can rub people the wrong way.

On last week’s Real Time with Bill Maher the veteran comedian introduced one of his “new rules” aimed at addressing obesity in America. In short, Maher called for a return to “fat shaming” to encourage healthier lifestyles and eating habits.

The way in which obese people and the obesity issue itself are portrayed has become a more widely discussed topic in recent years. A cultural climate designed to be inclusive, supportive, and reaffirming sounds nice but Bill Maher is much more interested in the reality. He points out the health problems associated with being overweight and in no uncertain terms, the effects of overweight people on others.

Taking a blunt, “un-PC” approach to a sensitive subject is nothing new for Bill Maher or Real Time. What was a bit unexpected was the response from another late night host. If you had Bill Maher vs. James Corden in your “Next Late Night War” pool, then congratulations. Speaking from personal experience, Corden addressed Maher on Thursday’s The Late Late Show:

It looks like Corden wants to be careful not to kick off an actual controversy with Maher and get wrapped up in a back-and-forth. However, it is also clear that this is an important topic to him and one he felt compelled to speak about on air.

Corden layers in a good amount of self-deprecating humor to perhaps defuse any conflict with Maher. At the same time, he does deliver some hard-hitting lines and ultimately calls out Maher for being a bully.

Real Time with Bill Maher has a brand new episode scheduled tonight so it will be interesting to see if Maher responds to Corden. Maher isn’t the type to apologize or back down for hurting anyone’s feelings but it’s been a while since he has received a response like this from another late night host.

James Corden is getting some praise online for speaking out on the issue. It is unlikely that either Corden or Bill Maher want this to spiral into a full on feud. But it is also unlikely that Maher will let anyone get the last word. It could be an extra entertaining Real Time tonight so stay tuned.