Bonus Meet Market Monday, late night edition: James Corden

james corden 5

I don’t know if you know this about me, but The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson is one of my favorite shows on TV right now, and I’ve been watching Craig’s run for nearly the entire decade he’s been on the air. I watched him on The Drew Carey Show before that as Mr. Wick, I’ve seen several of his movies, I’ve read his books multiple times, I’ve seen him live even more — to say I’m a fan is an understatement. So, when he announced he was stepping down from the Late, Late Show this year, I was bummed. And more than a little curious about who would be filling his horse-sized shoes.

Today, CBS confirmed that British comedian James Corden would be Ferguson’s successor, and I thought this was the perfect time to get to know our new late night bon vivant. Much like his predecessor, he’s a foreign multi-hyphenate who made tracks across the pond before heading over stateside to grace our television screens. It looks like CBS is going to be keeping the quirk in the Late Late Show time slot, and I couldn’t be happier!

Name: James Kimberley Corden
Occupation: Talk show host. Also: actor, writer, host, comedian and singer-songwriter. Remind you of anyone?
Show: The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson James Corden (CBS)

Meet James Corden!

Okay, I must admit it’s a little awkward for me to be doing this, because frankly, I don’t know that much about Corden — I’m basing most of this off Google, so yell at that if I’m wrong. Maybe that just lends to the air of mystery surrounding his crowning to the late night throne!

Courtesy BBC3

Gavin & Stacey / Courtesy BBC3

The more I read up on him, though, the more impressed I am by the choice. While Corden is a big deal in the UK, he’s relatively unknown here, and I think CBS made a bold move in choosing him for the gig. Ferguson was an equally curious choice ten years ago after Craig Kilborn left the show, but even at that, the Scot was known to audiences thanks to his run on Drew Carey. Corden’s a bit more of a wild card factor here, relatively speaking, and I’m honestly really pumped about that.

One of the things I’ve always appreciated the most about Ferguson’s show is that he seems to buck trends; he eschewed the typical monologue in favor of a stream of consciousness type of introduction every night, and when the network bigwigs forced him into monologues, and then into breaking the monologue up with commercials, he still injected his own flavor into the endeavor with his interactions with the audience — and even, occasionally, musical numbers.

History Boys / Courtesy Fox Searchlight Pictures/DNA Films

History Boys / Courtesy Fox Searchlight Pictures/DNA Films

Bringing on someone of Corden’s impressive talent seems to be a step in that same direction. While NBC, for instance, continues to mine the SNL depths for innocuous, easygoing talk show hosts — not that there’s anything wrong with that! — I like that CBS is still going a little offbeat. It gives viewers choices, and that’s always a good thing. I think the fact that Corden is a newcomer to American audiences will work in his favor as well, because his act will be fresh and exciting.

james corden 1Arguably, Corden’s breakthrough for which he will probably be best known in the US was in the role of Timms in History Boys, both in the stage production and the film version. (Run, don’t walk, to watch it if you can.) He was one of the creators and writers of the British hit Gavin & Stacey, unsurprisingly remade into the American show Us & Them on FOX, which never saw the light of day after it was picked up last year. He won a prestigious BAFTA award in 2008 for his performance on the show in front of the camera, no small feat in a sea of talent actors over there. And for the Doctor Who fans among you, he’s guest-starred twice as Owens, the Doctor’s roomie for an episode.

Lest you think that’s all he’s done, he’s also a Tony winner for his lead role in One Man, Two Guvnors on Broadway in 2012, one which he originated in 2011 in the National Theatre production before it moved to London’s West End. (That’s a promising start to a future EGOT, wouldn’t you say?)  In addition to that, he’ll also be starring in the big screen version of Into the Woods later this year, co-starring with, among other stars, Meryl Streep, Johnny Depp, Anna Kendrick,  Chris Pine, Christine Baranski and Tracey Ullman. You know, no big deal.

Courtesy ITV

Courtesy ITV

As if the producing, writing and acting isn’t enough, Corden is also a singer-songwriter, and not just any old kind of band, either. He performed with Dizzee Rascal on “Shout,” the unofficial anthem of the England squad for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, which was a number one hit single in the UK when it was released. I’d say that certainly bodes well for a few musical numbers in the Late Late Show time slot, wouldn’t you? (No word yet if the puppets are staying, or if Ferguson retains custody of them.)

When it comes down to it, James Corden seems like a funny, intelligent, wildly creative man, and I think he’s going to be a welcome addition to the late night universe in 2015. I really hope audiences give him a chance, because I think his talent might really connect with them, and with guests alike.

Plus, he gets the Craigy Ferg seal of approval:

Courtesy @CraigyFerg

Courtesy @CraigyFerg

Will you be tuning in? I sure will be.


The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson continues its run until December 2014. James Corden takes over as the new host in 2015.

Nels
Nels knew how to operate a TV remote control before she knew how to talk. As a result, she has spent an inordinate amount of time pretending she actually lives on a soundstage. When she isn’t watching whichever show is currently capturing her heart, she is writing about how said show is currently capturing her heart. She loves pie.

3 Responses to Bonus Meet Market Monday, late night edition: James Corden

  1. Cassidy says:

    Great introduction!! I knew a few basic things about him, but this was really thorough. 🙂

    • Nels Nels says:

      Ha, apparently not thorough enough! I was rightly called out by his fans. Anyway, as sad as I am to see Craig go, I’m very much looking forward to what James has in store for us.

      • Cassidy says:

        Whoa, really? It was still a good introduction (and hey, you didn’t really know him) to him. And same! I will miss Craig a lot, but I think JC is going to be a fun choice.

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