James Corden Interview: ‘The Late Late Show with James Corden’
“You could almost argue we had a foolish amount of ambition,” admits James Corden on what he hopes “The Late Late Show” will be remembered for years from now. In our recent webchat (watch the exclusive video above), he says they have “an amount of ambition which I don’t know I could even recommend to anyone else. Because it’s quite tiring doing so much all the time. I would want people to say it’s a show that found its feet quickly. That’s what I’m most proud of. We had a host that no one had heard of in a slot that didn’t feel particularly relevant. But it felt like in no time we knew what our show was and hit the ground running.”
“The Late Late Show with James Corden” debuted on CBS just over three years ago in March, 2015. The show won the Emmy for Best Interactive Program in 2016 and has been nominated the past two years for Best Variety Talk Series. Corden has also won two Emmys in the Variety Special category for “Carpool Karaoke” plus a fourth for hosting the Tony Awards. His success has seen the launch of “Carpool Karaoke: The Series,” “Drop the Mic” and “James Corden’s Next James Corden,” which are all eligible for Emmys this year.
Today “The Late Late Show” shows no signs of stopping, but early on Corden was skeptical. He reveals, “My feeling was the show would be cancelled pretty quick. To the point that my wife and I rented furniture. Because if we buy a couch, then we’ll have a couch and need to get rid of it somehow. That’s how certain I was that the show wouldn’t work. I said to myself the night before that first show ‘you just have to enjoy it, because that’s all you can really do. It will only be a waste of time if you don’t enjoy it.’ And I still find myself regularly saying it to myself.”
On addressing the state of politics in a crowded late night environment, Corden says, “Everyone that makes a show like this is influenced by the news. You just have to find your show’s voice. What is our show’s version of this that isn’t just talking? Because there are a lot of people talking about it. When Donald Trump had what I considered to be his abhorrent ban of transgenders in the military, we decided to do a retelling of Nat King Cole’s ‘L O V E’ as ‘L G B T.’ We always try to think about what is the most visual and interesting way we can react to these things.”
Corden adds, “I’m a performer at my core. It’s not about playing to my strengths; it’s about trying to hide my weaknesses.” When asked to name a weakness he jokes, “Bread.”
The show also has a propensity for creating viral segments. Corden does say that “the content still has to be good. I could run down Sunset Blvd naked. I’m sure lots of people would watch it; but it wouldn’t be for the right reason. There’s also a lots of niche comedy that I really love on our show. There’s a segment called ‘Celebrity Noses’ that we have never got to perform due to technical difficulties. And I think that’s a run that’s really quite fun.” Luckily for James we tried playing with some celebrity noses. Watch the full interview above to see if it goes ahead without a sneeze.