ed sheeran smiling while telling james corden a story on the late late show

Ed Sheeran is known for many things: his musicianship, his multi-genre crooning, his Game of Thrones cameo and Star Wars appearance, his epic pranks involving sexual attire, his...wait a minute! The singer-songwriter may not come across as the most prank-minded entertainer out there, but he's apparently got quite a mischievous stripe. His good friend and Friends vet Courteney Cox can 100% attest to his talents for low-stakes schemes, as she has been a victim of an ongoing string of pranks tied to a leather mask. Or rather a bunch of leather masks.

Appearing on The Late Late Show with James Corden to promote his newest hit single "Bad Habits," as well as to talk about fatherhood and soccer sponsorships, Ed Sheeran revealed the glorious way he's managed to prank Courteney Cox, and I'm pretty sure Joey and Chandler would give it a big, giggle-filled thumbs up. Explaining that he stays over with Cox and her boyfriend whenever he travels to Los Angeles, Sheeran said:

She has this Alexa thing in her house, and she goes, ‘Ed, isn’t this wonderful? This is my Alexa. I can just order whatever on this.’ So she walks out of the room and...do you know what a gimp mask is? You know, an S&M leather gimp mask. So she walks out of the room, and I go, ‘Alexa, order me a gimp mask.' And it goes, 'Okay, Courteney, I'll order you a...' Okay, so unbeknownst to me, Courteney's assistant found it. She opened the post and finds this mask and instantly goes, 'Ooh, I don't think I was meant to see that,' and leaves it on Courteney’s bed. And Courteney comes up and she’s like, ‘Where did this come from?’ Anyway, she found out the story, and now every time I go back there, I order her another gimp mask.

Okay, so this isn't the most high-minded prank in the world. (Or maybe it could be, depending on how high your mind is.) But the relative simplicity behind the gag definitely doesn't take away from either the hilarity behind it, or its ability to cause minor chaos within Courteney Cox's life. Because it's not just about Cox getting a bunch of random boxes and opening them and ha-ha-ha, joke's over. Sheeran revealed how many times he's pulled this Alexa prank, and also shared how it evolved as it went on.

She has maybe like twelve. And I hide them in people's bedrooms. So they'll go in a drawer and they'll find this leather S&M mask. She had two people coming to look at her piano to try and buy it - two absolute strangers going into her house that I found out about - so I left a couple of masks on the piano.

I could get hysterical trying to put myself in the mindset of the people attempting to buy a musical instrument sans sex-related garments. Potentially purchasing a piano from Courteney Cox is already a distinct life experience for someone to have, and then to have that excitement combined with presumed confusion over finding the S&M headgear must have been jarring. I can only hope neither of those strangers read too deeply into the situation and brought out a bunch of whips, ball-gags and handcuffs. I mean, not that there's anything wrong with that in general, just probably not during that particular situation.

Courteney Cox is clearly okay with all the leather shenanigans, or else she probably would have booted Ed Sheeran to the curb immediately after getting that first package. In fact, James Corden even showed a video reaction that Cox had sent to Sheeran for his 30th birthday, making it clear that she's just as amused by the whole thing as the folk-pop star. Okay maybe not AS amused, but at least in the same vicinity.

I guess the moral of the story is "Never let Ed Sheeran hang out in a room alone with your electronic personal assistant, unless you have a bunch of spare mannequin heads that need coverings, and also probably get that whole 'having a bunch of spare mannequin heads' thing checked out by a professional, as there might be something going on there." Not quite "Always follow your dreams," but it's something. You can check out Sheeran sharing the story himself in the clip below.

While leather masks kind of sound miserable in the midst of the 2021 Summer TV season, The Late Late Show with James Corden, which has faced a bit of a backlash in recent weeks over its popular "Spill Your Guts" segment, airs weeknights on CBS at 12:35 a.m. ET.

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