(WASHINGTON POST) - Not long before running for and becoming president, Donald Trump was a New York figure who had plenty of run-ins with entertainers and celebrities.
On Tuesday (March 7), Late Late Show host James Corden recalled one particularly bizarre Trump run-in from 2012. Corden was in a play at the time, and there was a moment during the show in which he'd bring an audience member to the stage.
"I brought him up to move some set," Corden said of Trump. "He was great. I was spanking his a**, he bent over, and I was spanking him. He looked at me, I fired him and sent him off."
Corden said "what was amazing" was what took place next, according to the stage manager. "He walked into the wings, and it was like he thought he was president of the United States. He was walking up to people going, 'How are you? I'm Donald Trump,'" as he shook their hands.
That play was One Man, Two Guvnors, which earned Corden a Tony Award. "Yes, the fourth wall is violated in improvisation with theatergoers, the most delicious I've ever seen on Broadway," New York Times theatre critic Ben Brantley wrote of the play in 2012. "So be warned, people in the first rows."
"One Man is, like Mr. Corden's grin, both satanic and seraphic, dirty-minded and utterly innocent," Brantley wrote. "Letting loose and neutralising all sorts of demons, it's ideal escapism for anxious times."
A Facebook post by the Broadway play's official page noted in 2012 that "Guvnor Donald J. Trump was chosen to come up on stage for a bit of audience participation at a recent performance", and linked to a Page Six item about how Trump "stole the spotlight" when Corden asked him to perform a skit involving "strenuous manual labour" - lifting a trunk with Corden on top of it.
"An audience member tells us, 'Trump was told he failed to follow orders, and his managerial skills were questioned,'" per Page Six, which went on to say that he "took it in stride" and received "a standing ovation".
Corden told the story to Alec Baldwin and Kerry Washington, both guests on Tuesday's Late Late Show, and Baldwin shared his own previous Trump encounter at a charity event, years before his SNL impersonation.
"You know, he was a different person. He was very gregarious and kind of backslapping and social," Baldwin told Corden. "I didn't know him well, but I would run into him. He's not at all like he is now, where he won the election, he's President of the United States, and he still looks incredibly constipated."
Baldwin added: "He used to be very playful and funny, but I don't know what's with him now."