James Corden and Tom Cruise skydive for The Late Late Show in 2018. Photo: Terence Patrick/CBS Photo Archive
Having Given the world of Carpool Karaoke and the art form of being rude to waiters, James Corden's job is done. The Gavin & Stacey star steps down as host of The Late Late Show on US CBS after an eight-year stint.
Corden will return to London, signing on tonight's star-studded final episode featuring Adele and Harry Styles. Since this is an American talk show, viewers can expect lots of laughter and gallons of tears as Corden bows for the last time. But how does he rank as a chat titan?
Here are five highs and lows during his time at the counter of The Late Late Show.
Five best moments of the Late Late Show1. Skydiving with Tom Cruise (2018) It was literally a high when Corden boarded a plane with the fanatical Top Gun actor. Cruz, who is known to perform many of his own stunts, didn't even blink as he jumped over the Californian desert. Corden looks far less at ease and had to be tied down to a diving instructor (apparently he was trying to get out of the skit when the horror took over him).
In the air, Cruz was grinning at the camera and somersaulting as Corden yelled “Oh my God” over and over again. Cruz has never been so like a star. James Corden has never looked so much like the guy from Gavin & Stacey, a contrast that made spectacular television.
2. Open Bus Ride with Prince Harry (2021)
Before Harry's stay in California turned into a performance whine, he did some sightseeing with his buddy Corden. They met Meghan and visited the home where The Fresh Prince of Bel Air was filmed (where they stopped to go to the bathroom).
Harry, in contrast to his usual grouchiness, seemed to be enjoying himself, although there was still time to complain. “I am much more comfortable reading The Crown than reading stories written about my family, my wife or myself,” the prince said. “This is obviously fiction, if you like, but it is being reported as fact because you are allegedly news. I have big problems with this.”
3. Carpool Karaoke with Adele (2016)
Corden's gift to human civilization is Carpool Karaoke, where he and a celebrity “drive” around Los Angeles – the car is actually mounted on a truck – and bawl loudly to the guest's biggest hits. The most famous example was his session with Adele in 2016, when the often stage-shy megastar was completely in his element. When Corden comforted her, she rapped Nicki Minaj's verse and performed some of her biggest hits. Nearly 300 million views later, this viral moment made Corden a force on American TV.
James Corden' Carpool karaoke session with Adele in 2016. Photo: CBS Photo Archive 4. His emotional reaction to the Manchester Arena bombing (2017)
Corden pulled out of comedy during a broadcast the day after the attack at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester that killed 23 people.
“The spirit of the people of Manchester will be even stronger this evening,” he said. “Tonight we all go to bed with our little ones hugged even tighter.” Even when American talk show hosts try to be serious, they often seem smeared with cheese. Corden, to his credit, caught that emotional address.
5. Filming a cheap Harry Styles music video (2021)
Stiles is one of Corden's celebrity buddies (it seems like Corden doesn't have many non-celebrity buddies). Last year, the duo took to the streets of Brooklyn with $300 and a mission to film the video for Styles' Daylight single. Called at a random address, the apartment residents turned out to be big Stiles fans. Fifteen minutes later, the singer was in their bath imitating his song, with Corden wearing a bulging jumpsuit so he could help with the green screen effects. It was an entertaining segment, although it didn't do much good for Daylight, which disappeared without a trace.
James Corden and Harry Styles filming video clip for the pop star song Daylight. Photo: CBS Photo Archive And the top five1. Using a joke by Ricky Gervais (2022)
Not that the joke was particularly funny, but Corden — or one of his writers — obviously took notice when Gervais joked about Twitter in 2018. Four years later, Corden hobbled around before the cameras closed and loaded with supposed poignancy. /p>
“When you see Elon Musk talking about Twitter, he does it where he goes: 'Well, it's a town square.' But that's not true, because if someone puts up a poster in a city square saying “Guitar Lessons Available”, you won't get people in the city to say, “I don't want to play guitar! I want to play the piano, you piece of shit!” Corden said.
“It's like this sign wasn't for you – it was for someone else. You don't have to be angry about all this.”
It's debatable whether this was a joke or an anecdote that needed to be put out of misery. But it was originally done by Gervais in his 2018 Netflix special Humanity, who tweeted just as much.
— v (@ViralMaterialz) November 3, 2022
Corden admitted to the theft, writing on the Late Late Show Twitter page. “Last night on the show, he accidentally told a brilliant joke about Ricky Gervais, apparently not knowing it was coming from himself.” gave it to Corden anyway. This sounds implausible. To plant your star in it this way, you have to dislike them a lot…
2. Rapper Rick Ross hides from Corden (2015)
Some celebrities like Adele love working with Corden. Others are less. Early on in his time on the Late Late Show, Corden came up with a skit that featured rap superstar Ross delivering a “comedy” verse about Netflix drinking. But after seeing Corden rehearsing the sketch, Ross apologized. Claiming that he needed to go to the toilet, he entered his dressing room and refused to come out.
“We just stood there, and he didn’t come back,” Corden recalled. “Then his manager came back and said, 'Yeah, Rick isn't going to do that.'
3. Confessing He Doesn't Know His Crew's Name (2022)” was a recurring segment of The Late Late Show where the host and guests either spoke from the heart or took bites from a stomach-turning dish. But it got all too real when guest Jimmy Kimmel asked Corden if he could name “the two cameramen in this room.”
“Today is a different team,” Corden said. Spill Your Guts was already controversial because the game involved answering embarrassing questions or eating “disgusting” Asian food such as a “thousand-year-old egg” and pig's blood curd. Many Asian Americans felt that their culture was turning into a highlight. Two years ago, a problematic sketch was finally put out of its misery.
“I don't know when we'll get back to this piece again, but when we do, we won't be using these products at all,” Corden said. “Our show is about joy, light and love, we don't want to put on a show to upset anyone.”
4. Accused of advocating lower pay for writers (2019)
Jimmy Kimmel screenwriter Jack Ellison took to Twitter to accuse Corden of trying to undermine the pay and working conditions of the backstage team. "I would like to reiterate for the record that I was at the nighttime writers-only WGA meeting and James Corden showed up without any of his staff to advocate for a lower pay rate for nighttime writers. writers."
Jack, I went to the meeting because I was invited, as were you, as were all the writers on my show. What you wrote here is completely untrue. year on the show and want to be a screenwriter. I stated
— James Corden (@JKCorden) April 18, 2019
Corden responded by stating that the claims are “completely untrue”. He tweeted, “I asked if there could be a new writing program for people who have completed an internship or a year and want to become writers.”
5. Apologies for being rude to restaurant staff (2022)
Corden had to endure an on-air embarrassment when he admitted he was “rude” and “unkind” to the staff at a New York restaurant. The host was not allowed to see Balthazar in Manhattan after owner Keith McNally said the host was “extremely obnoxious” to the staff. Corden's defense was that his wife was given “a food she was allergic to” and that her order “came to the wrong table three times.”
The subsequent on-air apology struck many with indecision. Corden said he felt, “I didn't do anything wrong.” He added, “I didn't yell or yell, I didn't get up from my seat, I didn't call anyone names or use derogatory language.”
Then finally came my guilt. “The truth is, I made a rude, rude comment. And it was wrong. It was an unnecessary comment, it was unkind to the server.”
He tried his best to sound humble, but on both sides of the Atlantic this incident did little to bolster Corden's reputation.