Tonight, British import James Corden is taking over hosting duties at The Late Late Show – aptly titled – With James Corden. As he joins the ranks of fellow late night hosts Letterman, Fallon, Kimmel, and Meyers, he doesn’t exactly have the same popularity as said comedians. He’s a Brit who you “probably know from that thing” (Into the Woods, Begin Again), more on the ranks of Freddie Highmore and less like Daniel Radcliffe.
I personally was excited to hear of the news James was taking over because I had been a casual fan of his for years, so I’m glad he’s finally going to make a name for himself in America. Before he makes his debut tonight, here are six things to know about him that will hopefully make you love him as much as I, and a bunch of Brits do.
He is a Tony Award Winner Who Loves His Wife
In 2011, James starred in One Man, Two Guvnors, a one-man show about a guy who becomes employed by two men (see the amazingness here). The success in London led him to transfer the show to Broadway, and in 2012, the production received critical acclaim and allll the awards. This includes James’ first Tony, for Best Actor in a Play. He was up against household names like Phillip Seymour Hoffman, James Earl Jones, Frank Langella and John Lithgow for the prize, but even with that feat, the best moment is his speech in which he thanks his then-girlfriend for being by his side through everything. I’M NOT CRYING, YOU’RE CRYING.
He Cut Off Adele During Her Acceptance Speech
In 2011, James hosted the BRIT Awards, which is the British equivalent to the Grammys. Of course, this was during the time when Adele wasn’t in hiding and was winning all the awards, and she went up to the podium to accept her British Album of the Year prize. It being the last award of the night, producers were yelling in James’ ear piece to cut her off so they could have one last performance and end the show on time. But of course, that would mean interrupting ADELE. He hated that he had to do it, and when he did, she was not pleased and the crowed booed, she gave the middle finger and fans were outraged. James later said that although there was a bunch of shouting, in the end, it’s just an awards show and Adele was super understanding.
He had a Number One Song in the UK
Not only is he a Tony winner, but he’s also a best-selling recording artist. Okay, well he recorded a song that made it to number one. You know how countries participating in the World Cup make songs to pump up the nation and its players? James Corden and British rapper Dizzee Rascal collaborated for Shout, a song that samples Tears for Fears’ Shout and Blackstreet’s No Diggity. It debuted at the top spot in 2010, but it didn’t exactly help England win the top prize.
He Was Given A Fancy Title By The Queen
Just this past year, James was awarded the Officer of the Order of the British Empire (or OBE, for short) for his services to drama and his charity work. I’m still not really sure what this means, but according to Wikipedia, he is “the most junior and most populous order of chivalry in the British and other Commonwealth honours systems.” Okay. Whatever it is, I think he met the Queen.
He’s Friends With One Direction
This may seem like an odd friendship, but when you think about it, it’s really not. I mean, they’re both British (Irish) and all Brit celebs are friends with each other, right? No you stupid American. However, in this case it’s true. James’ longtime BFF Ben Winston (who is now the executive producer on The Late Late Show) has done multiple projects with One Direction, including The X Factor and directing a bunch of their videos. The boys have already helped him promote the new show, and one time, James even gave Niall a tattoo of his face on his bum.
He Used To Be in a “Boy Band”
Boy band is a super loose term in this case, as James and his mates were more like 2Gether than 1D. As he explains in the clip above, he starred in a British show called Boyz Unlimited in 1999, the height of the boy band era. It was a comedy about a boy band and their attempts at fame, but it was art imitating life as he really thought he could make it big as a teen idol. He was in a band called Full Frontal as well as one called Insatiable, that had a “song” titled “Girl Are You Ready”. James’ boy band dreams came true when he sang and performed with Take That (Back for Good? Robbie Williams?) star Gary Barlow during one of his solo shows. Gary sang Take That hit Pray, and James came out and not only sang the shizz out of it, he danced his bum off too.