We all have that annoying friend who does a terrible Samuel L. Jackson impersonation, and who has memorized all of the actor’s most iconic lines. But talk show host James Corden took such shtick to hilarious new levels by having the legendary star of such films as “Pulp Fiction” and “Kong: Skull Island” reenact some of his most iconic (and most forgettable) roles for you, instead.
As part of the “Role Call” segment on Wednesday’s episode of CBS’s “The Late Late Show,” Corden helped the star re-create a selection of his most celebrated cinematic sequences in front of a green screen.
With tongue planted firmly in cheek — and with the aid of silly wigs, cheesy costumes, and props that could have come from a dollar store — Corden and Jackson waltzed through the highs and lows of the actor’s career, re-enacting movie moments that have become part of the pop culture lexicon.
The segment began with Jackson, as hitman Jules Winnfield, reciting the infamous Ezekiel 25:17 Bible quote in “Pulp Fiction” — “And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger …” — before segueing into that film’s classic Royale with Cheese routine: “But you know what they put on French fries in Holland instead of Ketchup?”
The pair then ran through a fraction of Jackson’s 170-plus films over the course of 11 minutes, stopping partway through to hawk “Kong: Skull Island,” which opens Friday. (Keeping with the low-budget vibe of the segment, Corden’s ape outfit was anything but convincing.)
Naturally, Jackson re-enacted his foul-mouthed pronouncement from “Snakes on a Plane.” But he was especially funny as Nick Fury. His every performance in the Marvel Cinematic Universe was reduced to a single line. After barking the classic command, “Avengers Assemble!” the actor growled, “My work here is done.”
Of course, no re-enactment of Jackson’s career would be complete without a reference to his turn as Jedi master Mace Windu in the “Star Wars” prequels. The low-budget riff on the mega-budget Lucasfilm productions had Corden playing Yoda while holding a cardboard mask of diminutive Dagobah dweller in front of his face.
The segment ended with Jackson and Corden singing the title song from the Malcolm D. Lee’s “Soul Men,” the 2008 musical flop co-starring Bernie Mac. It was a fitting reminder that the star’s decade spanning career has seen its share of highs and lows.
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