Spotlight on ‘The Late Late Show with James Corden’ and ‘Carpool Karaoke’
When James Corden was tapped to take over “The Late Late Show” from Craig Ferguson in 2014, he and executive producers Ben Winston and Rob Crabbe knew they wouldn’t make your typical late-night talk show. For one, the Tony- and BAFTA-winning actor is not a stand-up comedian. Lengthy monologues with barbed zingers on the news of the day was not the tone they were going for, but rather a joyful hangout.
With a more intimate set, in which audience members are closer to the stage, the trio borrowed from “The Graham Norton Show” and features all the guests on stage simultaneously. During our special Spotlight roundtable discussion, Winston shared that the show had trouble booking guests when “The Late Late Show with James Corden” launched in March 2015 because many A-list stars wanted their usual solo segments. That tune quickly changed once everyone got a load of the fun, easygoing rapport Corden builds with the guests, many of whom have never met before. Watch the exclusive video interview above hosted by Gold Derby founder Tom O’Neil and senior editor Joyce Eng.
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Winston earmarks one episode in April 2015 as a turning point and proof that their format was working, when Simon Cowell and Michael Douglas were booked for the same episode. Huge stars in their own right, the two had never met before, and it’s safe to say no one would’ve ever pictured them hanging out, but there they were on “The Late Late Show” hitting it off.
Corden’s feel-good approach obviously extends well outside the studio as he gave us “Carpool Karaoke,” which quickly become a phenomenon and spawned an Emmy-winning special and an Emmy-winning series on Apple TV+. After a two-year hiatus due to COVID-19, the vehicular sing-along made its grand return to the show in April with Nicki Minaj. “The Late Late Show,” which will wrap its eight-season run next spring, followed that up last month with a “Top Gun: Maverick” segment with Tom Cruise, who trains Corden to be his Goose before terrifying him during not one but two jet rides, and a DIY music video with longtime friend of the show Harry Styles. Watch the full panel to see how they pulled off these segments and more.