Late-night host James Corden loves this joke hotline by Calgary students

Published 2020-05-25 12:27

‘Amazing’ feeling to be recognized by celebrity, teen says

A group of Calgary teens running a hotline for seniors in self-isolation got a shout-out from a major late-night talk show host last week.

The Late Late Show With James Corden uploaded a segment to YouTube on May 20 all about the Joy4All project.

The free phone line offers pre-recorded jokes, stories, poems and motivational messages to seniors.

The 1-877-JOY-4ALL service is “a beautiful idea,” Corden said.

The point of the hotline, which was launched on April 10 by leadership students with the Calgary Board of Education’s Ever Active Schools program, is to spread joy at a time when many seniors are having no contact with others in order to avoid catching COVID-19.

The Joy4All hotline, run by Geri-Lynn Wozny and a group of Calgary leadership students, received around 17,000 calls in less than six weeks. (Submitted by Geri-Lynn Wozny)

‘Screaming with excitement’

Student Geri-Lynn Wozny learned that the hotline had been featured on the CBS show from her best friend, who had seen the segment on TV.

“She was screaming with excitement,” Geri-Lynn said, remembering the FaceTime call with her friend. “For the first little bit I couldn’t understand what she was saying.”

James Corden has been recording The Late Late Show from home ever since coronavirus restrictions shut down his Los Angeles studio. (Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images)

Once the news had sunk in, it was an “amazing” feeling, said the 18-year-old, who has been recording content for the Joy4All site and helping with graphic design.

“I never thought our project would reach anyone in the United States, let alone someone famous.”

Lots of laughs

Corden, who’s known for making celebrities laugh — and sing — during his Carpool Karaoke segments, focused mostly on the hotline’s jokes.

One of his favourites was this one that Geri-Lynn recorded: Why are koalas not actually bears? Because they lack the koala-fications.

Why did the teddy bear say no to the dessert? Because he was stuffed.

Here’s another one of the jokes that was featured on The Late Late Show segment on YouTube. (Billy Crystal Tells Jokes for Senior Citizen COVID Hotline/The Late Late Show with James Corden)

Geri-Lynn pointed to her dad as a good source for new jokes, saying he seems to pick them up at work.

“Sometimes me and my mom laugh, other times we just look at him and groan,” she said.

‘Legendary’ lonesome senior

During the segment, Corden invited “legendary” comedian Billy Crystal to record some jokes for the hotline.

Comedian Billy Crystal has hosted the Oscars multiple times, including in 1998. (Timothy A. Clary/AFP via Getty Images)

Don’t know who he is? “Google me,” Crystal said about his past as a regular host for the Oscars and Saturday Night Live.

“Being a senior, myself, and lonesome, I think this is a great thing.”

Was this story worth reading?