The late-night host kicked off a week of London broadcasts with a fierce competition that included stars Benedict Cumberbatch, Melissa McCarthy and more.
It was team U.S.A. versus Team U.K. on The Late Late Show Monday night (June 17) , where host James Corden challenged stars Melissa McCarthy, Allison Janney, Mila Kunis, among others and former First Lady Michelle Obama in a game of dodgeball.
To introduce the sketch, Corden is shown riding in a car with Obama, teasing that they were about to embark on another "Carpool Karaoke." "So what are we listening to this time?" Obama asks Corden, to which he explains that he wasn't in the mood to listen to music anymore. Instead, the two begin bantering about who is better at what, with things really heating up after Corden declares that British people are better at sports than Americans.
"I don't think that's true and, if it is, you have nothing to do with it," Obama argues, as the two later challenge each other to a game of dodgeball to prove once and for all which country is better at the sport.
For the Late Late Dodgeball Championship, the former First Lady leads an all-star and all-female American team that includes McCarthy, Janney, Kunis, Lena Waithe and Kate Hudson as they challenge Corden's all-male team of Brits Harry Styles, Cumberbatch, Game of Thrones star John Bradley and Late Late Show band leader and American ringer Reggie Watts.
"I've made some calls and let's just say this team is going to eat them for breakfast," Obama says of her team. "You would not believe how easy it was to get people to do this. All I had to say was, 'you're going to throw a ball at James Corden.' "
"When Michelle Obama calls and asks you to do anything, you just say yes," Kunis says.
Meanwhile, Styles described a different reaction to the moment he was asked to participate in the game: "When James Corden calls you, you initially ignore the call but then he keeps calling you and then starts texting... then he shows up at your house, your work, your hairdresser, your Pilates class and your shower."
Before playing the game, each team is shown warming up, with McCarthy having to comically advise Janney on the rules of dodgeball after she kept mistaking it for football. Corden and Obama also attempted to motivate their teams with a pep talk. "Strength is not measured by how you throw the ball. It is measured in here," Obama says as she puts her hand over her heart. "When they go low, we also go low because that's how dodgeball works."
During the first round, Styles became the final player from Team U.K. to take on Team USA ("Harry Styles going solo all over again," the narrator quipped). To regroup from their loss, Corden and his teammates are shown having a tea party. "It's a smashing game," Corden said, as they all mingle. For round two, McCarthy and Obama were immediately taken out, later leaving Kunis and Waithe to try to win the round. With all their players still in the game, Kunis and Waithe lose, with Corden's team celebrating.
Despite the competition heating up, Cumberbatch decides to approach Obama during their break to ask him to sign his copy of her book Becoming. "I've never done this before but would you mind signing this?" he asks, leaving Corden to ask whether he would want to sign his own penned book instead.
Unfazed by his request, the rest of Corden's team proceeds to form a line to ask Obama to sign their books as well. "Traitor," the late-night host yells at them. In round three, Cumberbatch was the sole U.K. player left standing against Kunis and Hudson. After the actresses beat Cumberbatch, Team USA was declared the winner.
"How does it feel to lose?" Janney taunts to Corden. Visibly emotional while awarding Team USA the trophy, Corden begins to lie about not feeling anything over their loss. "At the end of the day,we showed kids that exercise. can be fun. I can't even remember who won or lost," he says. "Oh, you lost. We won," Obama brags, leaving Corden to walk away speechless.