You will recall no doubt that a month ago I wrote a couple of articles about the British actor James Corden, who I think is terrific, and posted a video here of his tour-de-force Tony-winning performance in One Man, Two Guvnors,
Well, if you've been wondering who's going to replace Craig Ferguson on the CBS Late Late Show, wonder no more. Though not official, it appears to be -- James Corden!
I think it’s a fascinating choice – assuming that he’s good at it. Though from what little I know he’s a pretty conversant guy. The biggest question I have is, oddly, from his side. His movie career seems to be growing. Last year he starred in a charming film, One Chance, he just co-starred in Begin Again opposite Mark Ruffalo and Keira Knightley, and will be in Disney's all-star cast production of the Stephen Sondheim musical, Into the Woods. And this show, assuming it happens, would seem to put a big hold on that. If the show is successful, it could put a hold for a long time. Talk show hosts do get time off, but usually a week at moment, not the two or three months a film would require. Perhaps he could do some co-starring roles if timed for his breaks. I assume that he and his team probably figured that a successful TV show is nothing to sneer at, which could lead to a TV series later on. And if the talk show doesn’t work, he could always go back to movies. Still, it's surprising.
The consideration of a TV series later on is no offhanded assumption. Corden is very popular in England thanks to a couple of TV series that he was in and co-wrote, most notably Gavin and Stacey, and the character he created, Smithy.
If you'd like to see more of him, it's worth renting One Chance. It's a very nice, sweet film based on a true story about a shlubby guy who appeared on Britain's Got Talent, Paul Potts, who went on to win and developed a successful recording career singing opera.
Here's a video of him playing his Smithy character in a sketch for British Comic Relief in 2010. You won't recognize all the celebrities at the roundtable, which would help, but it's fun enough, and throughout there are a number of major surprises. Just one example -- the former Prime Minister Gordon Brown. Plus...well, you'll see.
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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