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James Corden made his debut as a US late-night host ... Here's what the critics made of him

The comedy actor has taken over Craig Ferguson’s old slot.

LAST NIGHT BRITISH actor and presenter James Corden took on the daunting task of filling the chair left vacant by Craig Ferguson on CBS’ The Late Late Show.

When Corden was announced as Ferguson’s successor last September, he was met by a sea of blank faces and a chorus of ‘who?’, and Americans struggled to place him.

On this side of the Atlantic he’s known as one of the co-creators and actors (he played Smithy) behind the brilliant Gavin and Stacey, a member of the original stage production of The History Boys (a role he also played on Broadway), host of A League of Their Own and various other presenting and acting gigs.


Despite his relative unknown status in the US, his debut on The Late Late Show has produced a smattering of warm and positive reviews.

The New York Daily News has described Corden as looking like “the guy who’d restore data on your iPhone” but went on to praise his “easygoing manner” with guests Mila Kunis and Tom Hanks, and his first skit scoring “the most impressive guest list (Billy Crystal, Lena Dunham, Simon Cowell all feature) since We Are The World”.

Source: The Late Late Show with James Corden/YouTube

The Hollywood Reporter said that even though “there’s not that much pressure on Corden” to make the show a hit straight off the bat, “he’s different

The glaring difference is that he comes across without almost any snark.

Describing Corden as “affable and sincere” and “multi-talented“, The Hollywood Reporter seems sold, at least after an hour.  It does point out though that he has ”hundreds of hours and beyond” in which to make a cock up.

Source: The Late Late Show with James Corden/YouTube

The Guardian’s review starts off with an honest “everything about James Corden made me want to slag him off” before quickly admitting the “Corden proved himself to be very deserving of the role, and actually, tremendously charming indeed”.

Variety wasn’t quite so enthusiastic, describing Corden’s debut as “slightly uneven” with moments of “inspired lunacy” while also pointing out that some areas need work.

But even Variety conceded that:

Corden comes across as natural and likable, including the self-effacing little song with which he closed the show.

Source: The Late Late Show with James Corden/YouTube

- Emer McLysaght

Read: 10 wonderful clips that PROVE Craig Ferguson was robbed of the Letterman gig…

Read: That’s all folks: David Letterman to quit late night next year

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