It Makes a Terrible I.T. Guy in James Corden’s Parody

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Last Night on Late Night

Next time you’re stuck on the phone with the I.T. department, desperately trying to get your computer to bend to your will again, remember that things could be much worse. For instance, the tech guys could send up a murderous clown to help you by mistake.

That’s just what happened in Thursday night’s It parody on The Late Late Show. In the sketch, a beleaguered office worker calls for I.T. help when his server is down. Instead of a helpful person wearing khakis, Pennywise (played by James Corden) shows up. As the office worker panics, Pennywise figures out the problem: “You’ve called the I.T. department, and I’m It. So there’s been a mix-up. It’s not your fault; it happens all the time.”

Pennywise seems determined to help, but despite his best efforts, all he manages to do is repeatedly frighten the office worker-who makes the huge mistake at one point of popping one of Pennywise’s iconic red balloons. “Everyone knows you don’t pop a murderous clown’s balloon,” Pennywise scolds. “That’s on you.” And when the real I.T. guy shows up? Let’s just say we have a feeling this poor man might never sleep again.

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When Stephen King Reviews Stephen King Movies


Cujo

“Of the smaller pictures, the best one is probably Cujo, with Dee Wallace.” he told Deadline.

From Warner Bros./Everett Collection.


Graveyard Shift

“I guess there are a number of pictures that I feel like, a little bit like, yuck. There’s one, Graveyard Shift, that was made in the 80s. Just kind of a quick exploitation picture,” he told Deadline.

From Paramount/Everett Collection.


Firestarter

To put it bluntly, King did not like this film-in fact, he whipped out one of his most evocative insults on record for this one, calling it “flavorless . . . like cafeteria mashed potatoes.” He added, “The movie has great actors, with the exception of the lead, David Keith, who I didn’t feel was very good-my wife said that he has stupid eyes. The actors were allowed to do pretty much what they wanted to do.”

From Universal Pictures/Everett Collection.


Maximum Overdrive

But lest you think King reserves his critiques for the works of others, he did have a few choice insults for himself when it came to Maximum Overdrive, a film he directed-and later called a moron movie. In his defense, he did concede, “The problem with that film is that I was coked out of my mind all through its production, and I really didn’t know what I was doing [as the director of the film].”


The Shawshank Redemption

“I love The Shawshank Redemption and I’ve always enjoyed working with Frank [Darabont, the director]. He’s a sweet guy,” he told Deadline.

From Columbia Pictures/Everett Collection.


Stand by Me

In 2014, he told Rolling Stone it was his favorite King adaptation: “I thought it was true to the book, and because it had the emotional gradient of the story. It was moving. . . . When the movie was over, I hugged him [director Rob Reiner] because I was moved to tears, because it was so autobiographical.”

From Columbia/Everett Collection.


Dreamcatcher

“That’s just a trainwreck,” he told Time in 2007.

From Warner Bros./Everett Collection.


It

Back in March, he tweeted this: ” Andy Muschietti’s remake of IT (actually it’s Part 1-The Losers’ Club) succeeds beyond my expectations. Relax. Wait. And enjoy.”


The Shining

King famously hates Stanley Kubrick’s masterpiece, almost universally recognized as one of the greatest horror movies ever made. As he told the BBC in 2013: “[It’s] cold; I’m not a cold guy. I think one of the things that people relate to in my books is this warmth, there’s a reaching out and saying to the reader, ‘I want you to be a part of this.’ With Kubrick’s The Shining I felt that it was very cold. . . . Jack Torrance [Jack Nicholson], in the movie, seems crazy from the jump. . . . Shelley Duvall as Wendy is really one of the most misogynistic characters ever put on film, she’s basically just there to scream and be stupid and that’s not the woman that I wrote about.”

To Rolling Stone in 2014: “In the book, there’s an actual arc where you see this guy, Jack Torrance, trying to be good, and little by little he moves over to this place where he’s crazy. And as far as I was concerned, when I saw the movie, Jack was crazy from the first scene. . . . And it’s so misogynistic. I mean, Wendy Torrance is just presented as this sort of screaming dishrag.”

To Deadline in 2016: ” The Shining is a beautiful film and it looks terrific and as I’ve said before, it’s like a big, beautiful Cadillac with no engine inside it.”

From Warner Bros./Everett Collection.

Laura Bradley Laura Bradley is a Hollywood writer for VanityFair.com. She was formerly an editorial assistant at Slate and lives in Brooklyn.