The British presenter, who hosted the special out of a custom-built set in his garage, said, “I’ve found it tougher than I ever thought I would. I found myself having these incredible spikes of anxiety and sadness when I allow myself to think of family back home in England or my friends, or people I love.
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“You feel so out of control in it all and it feels so beyond our comprehension that I found I get overwhelmed with sadness in it all, really,” he said.
Corden, who was visibly upset during his parting monologue, was broadcasting live, with the special featuring a number of guests including Billie Eilish, BTS, Dua Lipa, John Legend, David Blaine and Will Ferrell.
While Eilish sang “Everything I Wanted,” accompanied on the piano by her producer brother Finneas O’Connell, Dua Lipa performed “Don’t Start Now” from her London apartment, with dancers performing separately from their respective homes. Meanwhile, South Korean pop sensations BTS — who are evidently self-isolating together — performed from a studio.
Corden continued, “What I’ve realized is that it’s okay, it’s alright to feel a bit sad; it’s okay to feel anxious and the best thing we can all do is try and breathe through that and put our minds in a positive place and think, ‘What can I do to help someone else feeling like this?’
“Talking to you now has made me feel a bit lighter, and I found that when I’ve called friends or FaceTimed my parents or sisters, reaching out to someone else you think might be struggling, too, is the best thing we can do right now. Because we will absolutely get through this. That’s why we wanted to make this show, to share in these feelings together.”
The host then cued up a performance of “You Will Be Found” from hit musical “Dear Evan Hansen,” with original cast members including Ben Platt singing from their homes.
Earlier in the week, Corden shared his vision for the remote special with Variety.
“Once it became clear we couldn’t do our (regular) show, we started thinking, ‘Is there a world where we could make a global show that could bring people together by keeping them apart?’” he said. “I thought maybe there’s a way we could make a show that shows we are all in this together.”
“Homefest” set out to raise money for charity organizations including the CDC Foundation and Feeding America.
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