New York restaurateur Keith McNally has banned the television host James Corden from his Balthazar restaurant, saying in an Instagram post:“James Cordenis a Hugely gifted comedian, but a tiny Cretin of a man.”
McNally claims that the comedian displayed unsavoury behaviour and was rude to staff at the French bistro, showing the waiter a hair that appeared in his food and demanding free drinks for him and his party, or he would write “nasty reviews”.
Corden and Balthazar: an history of troubles
This wasn’t the first incident to involve the comedian at the restaurant, McNally wrote. He described how, at a separate incident at Balthazar in October, he began “yelling like crazy” after finding traces of egg white in his wife Julia Carey’s “egg yolk omelette with gruyere cheese”.
In the post, McNally claims that Corden has been “86’d” from Balthazar, a term used by restaurant staff to describe a dish that is no longer available, or a customer who will no longer be served. The term allegedly comes from a speakeasy called Chumley’s — located at 86 Bedford Street in Greenwich Village. During prohibition, when police turned up to close down the illicit watering hole, customers were told to “86”, or immediately vacate the area, and the term stuck.
Another theory for the origin of the term comes from the Korean war, a reference to the F-86 fighter jet. When an F-86 shot down an enemy plane, it was said to be “86'd”. The US Military also has an Article 86, which refers to being Absence Without Leave, (AWOL), so the term may also have come from military slang. Some claim that the term is rhyming slang for “nix”.
After the post went viral and got nationwide attention, McNally followed up with a post saying that Corden had, in fact apologised for his behaviour.
“James Corden just called me and apologized profusely. Having f**ked up myself more than most people, I strongly believe in second chances. So if James Corden lets me host his Late Late Show for 9 months, I’ll immediately rescind his ban from Balthazar. No, of course not. But....anyone magnanimous enough to apologize to a deadbeat layabout like me (and my staff) doesn’t deserve to be banned from anywhere. Especially Balthazar. So Come Back to the 5 & Dime, Jimmy Corden, Jimmy Corden. All is Forgiven. Xx”