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The 5 Best Parts of James Corden's Late Late Show Debut

Watch the highlights

Liz Raftery

British comedian and actor James Corden made his debut as host of The Late Late ShowMonday night, with guests Tom Hanks and Mila Kunis. If you didn't stay up to watch it, here are five highlights.

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1. His earnest monologue

Though he made for a charming, affable host, Corden was clearly nervous for and humbled by his first outing as the emcee of an American late-night program. "However shocked you are that I am doing this job, you will never be as shocked as I am," he told the audience during his monologue. "It really isn't lost on me what a privilege it is to be given a show like this, and I will really do my best not to let any of you down."

2. His musical chops

The Tony winner also sang a (only slightly off-key) ballad, dedicated to the viewers who'll stay up past midnight to watch his show. It included the line "This is everything I've been waiting for."

3. The Golden Ticket

Corden also gave a shout-out to previous host Craig Ferguson, and continued to play off of the head-scratching that ensued after he was named as Ferguson's replacement last year. A pre-taped segment indicated that Corden literally won a Willy Wonka-style Golden Ticket from CBS boss Les Moonves (standing in for the candy mogul) in order to secure the gig, beating out other hopeful candy bar purchasers including Lena Dunham, Chris Rock, Billy Crystal and Chelsea Handler - who unfortunately dropped her winning ticket. Then, he enlisted the help of stars like Jay Leno, Allison Janney and his guardian angel (and Into the Woods co-star) Meryl Streep to give him a crash course in late-night hosting.

4. Breaking the rules

Corden wasn't afraid to make some aspects of the show his own either. Rather than interview his guests separately, Corden interviewed Hanks and Kunis -- whom he got to admit that she had "maybe" married her longtime beau Ashton Kutcher -- simultaneously (a la the BBC's The Graham Norton Show). Corden also sat to the right of his guests, as opposed to the traditional left, in a chair instead of behind a desk.

5. The ultimate Tom Hanks montage Should Jimmy Fallon watch his back? Corden busted out an epic sketch with the actor, in which the duo reenacted scenes from basically every Hanks film ever in eight minutes. We really, really, really, really, really, really like it.

What did you think of Corden's Late Late Show debut?

(Full disclosure: TVGuide.com is owned by CBS.)