Grammys ‘Fire and Fury’ sketch almost didn’t happen

Corden says Clinton basically saved the Grammys.

Would James Corden’s pretaped “Fire and Fury” audition sketch have been as much of a hit without Hillary Clinton?

The late-night host, who was the face of the 2018 Grammys ceremony at Madison Square Garden on Sunday, revealed that he had to lie his way through the taping to get a team of celebrities to jump on board before even knowing if Clinton would participate.

“We’d emailed people and we had not heard anything, but we had to get on and shoot it,” Corden said on Monday night’s “The Late Late Show.” “So, basically, we just lied to everyone. We told Cher, ‘Oh, Hillary’s doing it.’ DJ Khaled, Snoop, Cardi B, they all said yes because they thought that Hillary was doing it and we had no idea whether Hillary would do it or not.”

Corden said the idea for the sketch, which aired toward the end of the nearly four-hour ceremony, came up only 11 days before the Grammys. To pull it off, his team recorded the entire thing before hearing back from Clinton.

“Thankfully, she said yes, because that is not a call I want to make to Cher,” he joked.

The clip featured the four celebrities and the 2016 Democratic candidate reading excerpts from Michael Wolff’s “Fire and Fury” as they pretended to audition for the spoken word version of the book. After Clinton read her line — “One reason why he liked to eat at McDonald’s: Nobody knew he was coming and the food was safely pre-made” — Corden told her the Grammy’s “in the bag.”

The sketch was met with mixed response on social media and ultimately became one of the most-talked-about moments of the evening. But without Clinton, it probably never would have aired.

Meghan Giannotta