There’s a new reason to watch late night TV and his name is James Corden. Ever since he started hosting “The Late Late Show” on CBS in March 2015, Corden has been winning over fans, viewers and TV critics at record rates. But what exactly has made Corden so popular? Here are just five of the reasons why James Corden is the best late night talk show host.
Reason #1: He created “Carpool Karaoke”
This reason alone would be enough to catapult Corden to the top of all late night talk show hosts. This segment of the show has easily become one of the most popular on late night TV – in it, Corden drives around Los Angeles with famous singers and other celebrities, who perform while being stuck in everyday traffic.
It’s a concept that Corden first dreamed up when he was back in London – back then, he was driving around West London with George Michael and the idea came to him that fans wanted to see famous performing artists singing in their cars, just like they might do on the morning or evening commute.
That eventually led to a whole slew of viral YouTube hits from “Carpool Karaoke,” including the huge viral YouTube video with Adele, one of the biggest hits of 2016. That video racked up 42 million views in just 5 days, and now has over 142 million views. And just check out some of the other singers that Corden has driven around with: Adele, Madonna, Bruno Mars, Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber, Iggy Azalea, Sia, Mariah Carey, Jennifer Lopez and Selena Gomez. And, oh yes, First Lady Michelle Obama also drove around with James Corden.
Reason #2: He’s comic royalty
If you Google “James Corden,” you might notice three little letters next to his name – OBE. Those letters stand for “Officer of the Order of the British Empire.” That’s right – he’s basically comic royalty with a distinguished and popular history as a British comedian, TV actor and stage actor. He received the OBE for his “services to drama” from Princess Anne at Buckingham Palace in June 2015.
That award comes after a number of notable comic performances before his “Late Late Show” hosting job. He starred for nearly three years as Smithy in the BBC sitcom “Gavin and Stacey” (2007-2010), and picked up a BAFTA TV award for it in the category of “Best Comedy Performance.”
Reason #3: He’s a comic genius
In addition to “Carpool Karaoke,” the “Late Late Show” is filled with hilarious recurring segments, including “Drop the Mic” (in which Corden trades insults with guests in a rap battle), “Take a Break” (where Corden takes a random job for a day), “Crosswalk the Musical,” “Celebrity Noses” (an ongoing gag in which Corden promises a segment on noses), and “Spill Your Guts Or Fill Your Guts.”
On YouTube, his videos are the most popular among all late night comics. In fact, more than 165 segments from Corden have racked up more than 1 million views. That’s hard to do on YouTube just once, try doing it 165 times!
Corden has said in the past that he’s not a traditional standup comic, but that he’s got plenty of comic material. That’s what all those recurring segments are about – a way of tapping into his remarkable comic genius. Take that Adele viral video from “Carpool Karaoke” – Corden gets Adele to start rapping Nicki Minaj’s “Monster” while driving around London. It’s just too good and completely unexpected. And it’s the reason why Rolling Stone recently called Corden “late night TV’s king of celebrity sing-alongs.”
Reason #4: He’s the most versatile performer on late night TV
Corden is an actor, writer, producer, comedian, TV host and singer. He has won a Tony Award (for his role in “One Man, Two Guvnors”). He has co-written a blockbuster British sitcom, starred in indie films, and shown remarkable range in everything that he does. In short, he’s the ultimate performer and host, and that helps him connect on a very personal level with some of the biggest stars in the entertainment industry.
Did you know that Corden also hosted the 70th Tony Awards at the Beacon Theater in New York back in June 2016? For that hosting performance, he attracted rave reviews, and now all signs are pointing to future hosting gigs in the future. He actually has a stage background from his days in London, and it’s clear that he has a real feel for how to work a live audience based on his stage acting experience.
In terms of Hollywood films, he hasn’t yet had his breakout moment, but that’s OK. Has Jimmy Fallon or Stephen Colbert ever been in a hugely successful Hollywood film? But Corden has shown a unique talent for funny voices. In the 2010 film “Animals United,” he voiced the role of Billy the Meerkat. In the 2016 film “Trolls,” he voiced the role of Biggie. And in the upcoming 2018 film “Peter Rabbit,” he will voice the role of Peter Rabbit.
And, to top it all off, he’s also a great singer – he actually sang in the UK #1 single “Shout,” which became the theme song of the British team for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. And his love for music shows up in the way he interacts with his house band (“Karen”), led by Reggie Watts.
Reason #5: He’s British without being too British
Generally speaking, British comic superstars have a lot harder time crossing over to American superstardom than the other way around. But Corden is someone who is delightfully British. When people think of British comedy, they typically think of Old School classics like Benny Hill or Monty Python. In terms of newer British comedic talent, they might think of Rowan Atkinson (“Mr. Bean”), but how many other British comics can you name? And how many actually appear on American TV?
But Corden is funny without being stuffy or pretentious. And he definitely brings something fresh and unique to the late night comedy scene. Some of his recent “Late Late night” comic riffs have included “So, Sweden is the Best Place Ever” and “No More Sex in Ubers.”
There are so many gifted comics on late night TV, but clearly the best of them is James Corden. He has created some of the funniest segments on late night TV, and he’s done it in a way that continues to win over fans at record clips on YouTube.
You may know him best for “Carpool Karaoke,” but in 2017, expect him to really break out and become an even bigger household name. There’s a reason why “The Late Late Show” picked up 4 Emmy nominations in its first full year – it’s just the best late night show on TV, and it has the best late show host in James Corden.