James Corden Named the New Host of CBS’ 'Late Late Show'

James Corden on "Doctor Who" (Photo: BBC)
James Corden on "Doctor Who" (Photo: BBC)
Depending on which source you read, it is “reportedly”, “likely” and “confirmed by sources” that Tony-winning English actor, writer and presenter James Corden “has been named” Craig Ferguson’s successor as host of CBS’ Late Late Show. Did you get all that?

This apparently surprising development has prompted media outlets around the US to throw together introductory bios quite quickly; however, around this time last year I wrote a British Actors You Should Know profile on Corden so I won’t bother rehashing that post.

An all-around entertainer, James has a variety of skills and past work experience that would transfer well to his new position. Therefore, what I’d like to focus on are the strengths that I believe make Mr. Corden a good choice for this particular gig. As you might expect, I have compiled video proof to back it up.

For example, Jimmy Fallon may have brought lip-synch battles to late night TV, but Cordon is more than up to that challenge… 

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As presenter of the sport-themed comedy panel show, A League of their Own, Cordon moderates a competition between two teams made up of a combination of athletes and comedians. While the contestants are tested on their sports knowledge, the show sometimes leaves the confines of the studio for challenges of physical prowess. Judging from this video, Corden is not shy about joining in…

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As Cordon enters the ranks of American chat show hosts, he will be joining quite a group of pranksters, particularly Jimmy Kimmel and Ellen DeGeneres. In 2010’s James Corden’s World Cup Live, our boyish James (he will be, by all accounts, the youngest host on the American talk show circuit) was definitely up for a game- changing prank call. 

For the past four years Corden has served as the sole presenter of The Brit Awards, the equivalent to America’s Grammy Awards.  It’s quite a big deal being a nationally televised ceremony and all. Yet Corden has adopted a more relaxed approach and taken to interviewing the nominees and performers in the audience. Perhaps he’ll choose to bring this technique with him to the Late Late Show set – chatting at a table stocked with a full range of alcoholic beverages, surrounded by the general public. 

While Corden may need to develop his interview skills a bit more, a skill at which I feel his predecessor Ferguson has always excelled, his openness to new experiences and his unabashed lack of concern about looking foolish ought to stand him in in good stead. He’s even written a memoir about his life of as an attention seeker, very aptly entitled May I Have Your Attention, Please? 

Craig Ferguson has said he will be leaving the Late Late Show in December of 2014. I like that the show is being handed off from one Brit to another and feel it’s an encouraging sign that major networks are starting to appreciate the appeal of UK performers to American audiences. And when Corden does take the reins, I’ll be watching and rooting for him to succeed in a big way.

What do you think of the news? Is it wise move for CBS to choose a relative unknown to anchor the Late Late Show?  Will you tune in? Share your thoughts in our comments section.

Carmen Croghan

Carmen Croghan often looks at the state of her British addiction and wonders how it got so out of hand.  Was it the re-runs of Monty Python on PBS, that second British Invasion in the 80’s or the royal pomp and pageantry of Charles and Diana’s wedding? Whatever the culprit, it led her to a college semester abroad in London and over 25 years of wishing she could get back to the UK again.  Until she is able, she fills the void with British telly, some of her favorites being comedies such as The Office, The IT Crowd, Gavin and Stacey, Alan Partridge, Miranda and Green Wing. Her all-time favorite series, however, is Life On Mars. A part-time reference library staffer, she spends an inordinate amount of time watching just about any British series she can track down which she then writes about for her own blog Everything I Know about the UK, I Learned from the BBC.  She is excited to be contributing to Telly Visions and endeavors to share her Anglo-zeal with its readers.

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