James Corden is a force of comedy nature in the U.K., and now he's set his sights on conquering America.
Corden will make his Late, Late Show hosting debut on Monday, March 23 at 12:30/11:30c on CBS. He steps in for Craig Ferguson, who left in December. In the interim, the show will be manned by a revolving door of guest hosts.
At the Television Critics Association winter previews on Monday, Corden proceeded to charm reporters with a combination of wit, self-deprecation and daring honesty.
See nine reasons why TVGuide.com now understands why he's the perfect successor to Ferguson
:1. He's cheeky. "Our first musical guest is going to be Barack Obama," he announced.
2. He's British. Let's face it. Everything sounds funnier and more charming with a British accent to us Yanks. Also, Ferguson has now trained Late, Late Show fans to understand and demand British humor and references. "Funny's funny, and if it's good, it travels," he said.
3. He's humble. "It's daunting," Corden said. "Don't get me wrong... seeing that sign with my name is enough to make me throw up on my own self... If I told my 12-year-old self that that would happen, his head would explode."
4. He raps. "Rap is my life," he joked. "I'm very much from the ghetto." Want a taste of his mad rhymes? Check out this epic rap battle below:
5. He respects talk show hosts. Although Corden says he's been influenced by British talk show hosts, he is in awe of what the American late-night hosts can do. He thinks David Letterman is "jaw-droppingly" good, admires Ferguson's "organic, off-the-cuff" style, envies Jimmy Fallon's enthusiasm and gave a nod to Seth Meyers' jokes that he wrote for Tina Fey and Amy Poehler's recent Golden Globes hosting gig.
6. He's multi-talented. CBS chief Nina Tassler had described Corden as a "combination of Jack Black and Fred Astaire," and we already know he can rap. He's a writer, producer and actor that you may already have seen without knowing it, such as Into the Woods, Doctor Who and his Netflix series The Wrong Mans. Although there's no set format in place for the new Late, Late Show yet, Corden said that they will "embrace all aspects of variety."
7. He's surprising. Corden just might turn the late-night format on its head. Since he's not a traditional stand-up comic, executive producer Rob Crabbe said the show may "consider other paths then the traditional monologue." Executive producer Ben Winston added, "I hope it's a show that people can turn on at night and not know what it's going to be."
8. He not afraid of a challenge. "There's nothing more creative than to try to make an hour of television every day," he said.
9. He's endearing. Corden says he'll miss his family and friends. "I have a 3-year-old son and 9-week-old daughter. If I think how far I'm taking them from their grandparents, it's enough to make me cry."
The Late, Late Show airs weeknights at 12:30/11:30c on CBS.
(Full disclosure: TVGuide.com is owned by CBS.)
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