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Next CBS 'Late Late Show' Host May Be Familiar - Depending On What You've Been Watching
September 8, 2014  | By David Bianculli  | 2 comments
 

CBS announced Monday that beginning in 2015, Craig Ferguson’s replacement as host of The Late Late Show will be James Corden. If that name is familiar here in the States, it’s because of what imported treats you’ve been watching…

If you’re a fan of Broadway, you may have seen him in his Tony-winning 2012 role as the star of One Man, Two Guvnors, a production brought over from London’s West End.  If you’re a voracious sampler of imported streaming TV fare, you might have caught him in the comedy thriller The Wrong Mans, which airs on the BBC and is available here on Hulu.

But the place where I know James Corden from, and which gives me great faith in his ability to carry on the freewheeling, free-associating comedy entertainment established so brilliantly by Ferguson, is from another talk show entirely – The Graham Norton Show, imported by BBC America.

On one of last season’s shows, from January 2014, Corden was one of the guests, along with Paul McCartney and Katy Perry. They all shared the same guest couch at the same time, which put Corden on the same kind of surreal unequal footing as the time in 1969 when George Gobel, in a famous appearance on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, was brought out to sit alongside powerhouse entertainers Bob Hope and Dean Martin.

“Did you ever get the feeling,” Gobel asked Carson, “that the world was a tuxedo, and you were a pair of brown shoes?”

Corden appeared similarly outshone – especially when his host, Graham Norton, set up a bit in which he elicited odd first names from audience members, and challenged his guests to ad lib lyrics using their names.

Even though McCartney and Perry were on the couch, when the first name was offered, it was Corden who came up with a suitable lyric first. When the second name was offered, same thing.

McCartney took the third and final name, and slam-dunked it with a clever lyric built around the name “Ulla” – but Corden proved, in that one moment, he could not only play with the big boys, but he could think on his feet just as quickly, and with a self-deprecating air that was totally winning. It won over Katy Perry, and Paul McCartney, and me.

Here’s the clip that had James Corden finding clever rhymes for “Shishumiso” and “Summer” – and has me feeling that Ferguson is leaving The Late Late Show in capable, and simpatico, hands:

 
 
 
 
 
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2 Comments
 
 
Dennis Paul
I think CBS has hit a home run with this one. But you didn't mention "Gavin and Stacey" where he plays the best friend of the lead character and won a BAFTA for his performance. He also wrote the show with Ruth Jones, who played the best friend of the other lead character. He also has two fantastic guest appearances on "Doctor Who" with Matt Smith.
Sep 10, 2014   |  Reply
 
 
Kvs2
Excellent review and thanks for sharing video!
Sep 8, 2014   |  Reply
 
 
 
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