I understand that a lot of people have a problem with James Corden, in particular, the failures of his career were so bad that they would put anyone off. Yet, I find myself liking him immensely, not just because of his likeable TV-ready personality but because he’s a genuinely talented individual.
Gavin and Stacey, the show he co-wrote and co-starred in with Ruth Jones, is one of my top ten favourite shows of all time. It mixed silly humour, recognisable situations and truly heartfelt drama, Corden himself providing enough emotion to counter his comedy creation.
His character Smithy was a breakout, getting to do various sketches in the years since for charity telethons and whilst it could’ve been an annoying development, dragging a beloved character into multiple repeat performances, it also helped that he had written the show prior to the move.
His career took a dive, a misjudged team-up with the less talented Matthew Horne gave him a failed sketch show and a panned Horror Comedy putting him firmly in the back of the public’s mind.
However, he recovered and began to make a few good choices, resurrecting the Smithy character for a few star-studded sport relief sketches, before moving into theatre work, winning rave reviews for his role in One Man, Two Guvnors.
Things just got better for him, from turns in Doctor Who to the film adaptation of Into the Woods, starring alongside Meryl Streep, his career has led him to Hollywood and where plenty have failed Corden has succeeded.
When he was revealed to be the replacement for previous Late, Late Show host Craig Ferguson, many doubted whether the former star of Gavin and Stacey could step up to the challenge and become one of America’s top chat shows hosts.
Yet, a few months later it’s clear that the gamble paid off. He’s not just a solid chat show host but his clear talent and prowess for performance, in particular, singing, has helped regular Late, Late Show segment Carpool Karaoke became famous, regularly drawing in millions of viewers on YouTube.
Of course, the sheer star power helps, the likes of One Direction, Stevie Wonder and Adele have all graced his passenger seat. The segment is a hoot, reportedly to became a show of its own, the premise is effortlessly pulled off and captures the joy of singing in the car to new heights.
Michelle Obama will even be in one soon which I can’t wait for.
I watched the newest episode of Carpool Karaoke today and as usual, I found it hugely entertaining but it got me thinking. I’m not the greatest James Corden fan in the world, but there’s something I just like about him and in many ways, I’m glad he’s been successful.
It may be the big stars that draw audiences to CK but it’s a show that needed to have someone to anchor it. Someone whose personality doesn’t overwhelm the show and who can take real humble joy in working with the greats.
I believe that Corden is a great man for the job.