Tom Hanks, an undisputed A-lister, and Mila Kunis are the opening-night guests, followed by Kerry Washington and Chris Pine on Tuesday and Kevin Hart and Will Ferrell on Wednesday.Modest Mouse and Leon Bridges are the announced musical performers.The intended result is spontaneity, Corden said, “seeing people interact in a way that is a bit more interesting.”The show’s location is a reflection of the talk-show traffic jam in New York — including the transplanted “Tonight Show” — which has made guest bookings more competitive.In Los Angeles, “Late Late Show” has Kimmel and Conan O’Brien as its chief rivals in the talent hunt.“We could be like third banana here, while in New York we’d be like ninth banana,” Crabbe said.The show is starting out with an abbreviated launch, making way on Thursday and Friday for CBS Sports’ coverage of NCAA basketball.
He raids a mini-fridge for drinks, suggesting bottled coffee (“Only three calories! He’s pretty magic.”Performing was his childhood dream and a family tradition, Corden said.
Corden sang, danced and tumbled his way to a 2012 Tony Award for the exuberant farce “One Man, Two Guvnors”; co-starred in the movie adaptation of “Into the Woods”; and scored TV hits in his native England including “Gavin & Stacey” and “The Wrong Mans.”But a U. talk show is an unlikely next step for a shortish, chubby-cheeked Brit who has the look of an amiable game-show host rather than a polished late-night TV ringmaster in the mold of the two Jimmys (NBC’s Fallon, ABC’s Kimmel) or Stephen Colbert, David Letterman’s replacement this fall on CBS’ “Late Show.”Despite Corden’s estimable reputation on Broadway and in Britain, he’s largely unknown to viewers on this side of the pond.“No matter how shocked you or anyone else might be that I’m doing the show, I’m as shocked if not more,” he said.
For “Late Show,” he brought in a trusted friend and colleague from back home, producer-director Ben Winston, to serve as executive producer along with Rob Crabbe, who worked with Fallon on his late-night shows.
The inventive Reggie Watts, known for his music and comedy, was handpicked by Corden as bandleader.
The show they’re building aims to feature Corden’s talents and provide a comfortable spotlight for his guests, the producers said — a message they’ve delivered to celebrity publicists who may be wary that Corden shares countryman Ricky Gervais’ mercilessly sharp tongue.“His comedy is never nasty and cynical. As for specifics, Corden and his producers said the show is and will be a work in progress, even as it airs.They are eager to import an element that’s part of some British talk shows: bringing all the guests out together, rather than one by one as is common here.