James Corden Pays Homage To ‘Pee-wee’s Playhouse’ With ‘Secret Word’ Gag

James Corden is channelling some big “Pee-wee’s Playhouse” energy on “The Late Late Show”.

After telling viewers he’s been watching “Pee-wee’s Playhouse”, the zany Saturday morning children’s TV show hosted by Paul Reubens’ alter ego, which ran from 1986 to 1991, Corden announced he was going to “straight-up steal” one of the series’ best gags.

“I was watching it and I thought, We should just straight-up steal — we should steal — some of their ideas. It was 30 years ago, it was on CBS — who’s gonna stop us? We’re not gonna get a cease & desist from ‘Pee-wee’s Playhouse’, and if we do, we’ll just cease,” he says.

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Paying homage to the series, Corden revived the beloved “secret word” gag in which screaming, confetti cannons, and dancing people in animal costumes would appear whenever the word was spoken. Unfortunately for Corden, bandleader Reggie Watts is terrible at the game.

“Wow! That was quick!” Corden explains, as the “secret word” is mentioned multiple times in 90 seconds.

As it turns out, Watts chose “the” as the secret word.

“That cannot be it, Reg. That’s a word that I need to say all th–” he tells Watts, stopping himself from saying “the” and, instead, adding in “a lot.”

Though he originally envisioned the gag running for weeks Corden joked that the show wouldn’t be able to “sustain the budget” at this rate.

“Secret word needs to be less common. You need to change word, to word I say less, during show we make,” he concluded.




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