(Though little known in the U.S., he's not unknown. Most notably, he won a Tony Award as Best Actor in a Play, for starring in the comedy, One Man, Two Guvnors.
In making the accouncemnt, CBS entertainment chairman Nina Tassler noted that it was an unlikely choice -- which is basically stating the obvious, to say the least... -- but commented,. "He is the ultimate multi-hyphenate – a writer, creator and performer who is loved and respected in every medium he touches, including theater, comedy, music, film and television."
It's also worth noting that, however little-known he might be to U.S. audiences, he was 4.4 million Twitter followers. A fact that couldn't have gone unnoticed by CBS.
In addition to having a very nice role in the recent film Begin Again with Keira Knightley and Mark Ruffalo, Corden will be in the upcoming big movie version of Stephen Sondheim's musical, Into the Woods.
Cordern is indeed a very charming actor, whose work I like very much (he's best known in England for a
couple of TV series that he was in and co-wrote, most notably Gavin and Stacey, and his character Smithy. He comes across warmly and well in his interviews, so, odd as the decision might be for CBS -- and for his acting career -- ultimately, this will give him a far-bigger platform than he's ever had, and I look forward to seeing what he does.
And for those who don't know him, here's a wonderful video of him in a talk show setting, as a guest in England on The Michael McIntyre Chat Show. This requires a bit of a set-up --
Apparently, McIntyre has a bit on his show called "Sent to All," where he gets someone's mobile phone in the audience, writes an odd text and...well, sends it to everyone in the person's address book. And then he reads the responses that come in.
Okay, so here James Cordern makes the suggestion on how it would be better if McIntyre had a bit of his own medicine, and they did "Send to All" on the host's phone. It's clear that this wasn't planned, most especially with the twist that ensues which I won't give away.
(One thing I'll note is something that isn't clear, and I had to replay a few times. The first response that McIntyre gets is from Judy Murray. As gets explained, but under huge laughter, is that she is the mother of major English tennis champion Andy Murray.)
This video lasts 16 minutes, and I'll just say it's really a hoot. And you can see why CBS picked James Corden to host.