For the first time, “The Late Show with David Letterman” is welcoming James Corden as a guest tonight, and this is a pretty big moment in the history of CBS as a network.
Why is that? If you’ve been following along, you likely know very well already. Corden is the future host of “The Late Late Show,” and will be taking over from Craig Ferguson next year. Craig has a few more weeks to go before signing off before the holidays, but the network has a tricky mission right now: Make this man come across as likable in however much time that they have.
Based on the sneak-peek video below for Friday night’s show, we’d say that Corden does an admirable job telling some sort of obviously-planned-out story with Dave. Is he nervous? Definitely. You can tell that he knows about the stakes of this gig, even if the story he is telling is about how his father is poo-pooing the idea of him doing a show so late in the evening.
The positive for James is he does come across as likable, and should be a fairly-mainstream entertainer. We don’t know if he can establish the cult following that Craig had, mostly because we cannot imagine this man with a robot sidekick or doing dance interludes with some poor people wearing a horse costume. He obviously will need to perfect his interviewing skills, but there is one big advantage that he has over some hosts right away: He will be based out of Los Angeles. He and Jimmy Kimmel are now the only network late-night hosts with this distinction. Even Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert, and John Oliver are all in New York City.
Do you have a major first impression? Give it to us in the comments.