Late Late Show highlights: 8 best moments from James Corden CBS show over the past 8 years
James Corden has left The Late Late Show after 8 years as host to return to the UK
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James Corden bade an emotional farewell to The Late Late Show this week, as he returns to the UK after eight years to spend more time with his family. The host, who was previously best known for playing Smithy in 2000s sitcom Gavin and Stacey, joined the show in 2015, and achieved international stardom as a result.
In the final episode with Corden as host, he was joined by superstar friends including Harry Styles, Will Ferrell (who smashed his desk with a sledgehammer) and Tom Cruise. Adele also returned for the final Carpool Karaoke.
In his time on the show, Corden has kicked back with Hollywood actors, international footballers, First Ladies, and Princes. With his time in America now over, we look back at the best moments from the last eight years of The Late Late Show.
David Beckham statue prank
One of the greatest TV pranks came on a 2018 episode of The Late Late show when Corden took advantage of an event to honour his pal, football legend David Beckham, with a statue outside the LA Galaxy stadium. A grand statue of the England star had been made for the occasion, but Corden had it switched out for a terrible figure with a huge chin, deformed shoulders, and odd eyes.
Corden also organised for a half-hearted highlight reel from the star’s career to be played, and had one of the staff call him Dave throughout the ordeal. Beckham grew increasingly frustrated, and was left almost speechless when the statue was unveiled. Thankfully, as Corden jumped out to reveal it had been a prank, Beckham saw the funny side, and even took a selfie with the ugly statue.
Corden has put himself through the ringer on his show over the years, but in one episode he risked permanent branding in the name of entertainment. In a game of his own design, Corden played tattoo roulette with the members of One Direction. In the style of Deal or No Deal, Corden and the musicians took it in turns opening a red box. In four of the boxes were the word ‘safe’, but one box contained the word ‘tattoo’.
If Corden got the tattoo box, he would have to get a One Direction tattoo on his body, but if one of the lads got the unlucky box, they would have to get ‘Late Late’ tattooed on them. In the end it was Harry Styles that drew the short straw, and he later shared a picture of his new ink on Instagram - the words were tatted on his forearm.
Manchester bombing speech
The Late Late Show is a light-hearted entertainment programme, but Corden has used the platform to get serious on a few occasions. One such time came on the first show following the Manchester Arena bombing in May 2017 which took the lives of 22 people. As a British export to America, Corden felt compelled to pay tribute to those who had been affected by the terrible attack in his home country.
Speaking at the start of the show about the UK city, he said: “Many of you will never have been to Manchester, but you will definitely have heard of it. It’s famous all over the world for so many wonderful things, great football teams … incredible music - Oasis and Joy Division, it was the birthplace of the leader of the suffragettes, it’s the home of the inventor of the first computer… When I think of Manchester, the place that I know, I think of the spirit of the people there. And I’m telling you, a more tight-knit group of people you will be hard-pressed to find. Strong, proud, caring people with community at its core.”
Carpool Karaoke with Paul McCartney
Corden has had scores of huge stars on his Carpool Karaoke segment across the years - from Adele, to Stevie Wonder, and even the former First Lady, Michelle Obama. But Paul McCartney’s appearance stands above the rest. During the episode, Corden headed to Liverpool and explored the places that Paul grew up, before singing along to some of Paul's biggest hits.
It’s one of Corden’s most matched Carpool Karaokes, having racked up 68 million views on YouTube. McCartney, the richest musician in the UK, is believed to have turned down requests to appear on the show several times before giving in - but both stars loved the experience, Corden later said that it was one of his favourite Carpool Karaokes, whilst McCartney said that the host had been great fun to hang out with.
Spill Your Guts with Kim Kardashian
Another popular staple of The Late Late Show is Spill Your Guts or Fill Your Guts, where Corden and a famous guest ask each other potentially embarrassing questions. They must then decide whether to answer honestly or eat from the disgusting platter of foods in front of them.
Because Kim seems to lead such a dramatic life, there was no shortage of invasive questions for Corden to ask. Kim ranked her sisters from best to worst dressed, but when Corden asked her about Khloé Kardashian and Kylie Jenner's reported pregnancies, she opted to drink a sardine smoothie rather than answer. When it came to Corden’s turn, Kim asked which of his sisters was his favourite - he refused to pick and instead ate cow’s tongue.
Afternoon tea with Prince Harry
Who would have thought that Smithy from Gavin and Stacey would be dining with a prince. But since Corden’s move to the US he has spent his time with some of the biggest names in entertainment, politics, and public life. In fact, it was on The Late Late Show that Prince Harry made one of his first TV appearances since his move to the US.
The pair leaned into their British side, having English tea on a double decker bus. They then took a tour of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air’s house. The Royal affair was made even better when the Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle made a cameo on the show through a video call to her husband.
Drop the Mic with David Schwimmer
The best rap battle on The Late Late Show saw David Schwimmer lay into Corden with some brutal lines: “A Brit in America’s your one claim to fame. We all know as an actor your roles were all the same. The heavy best friend, the humorous sidekick. With a belly so big you can’t find your own… Dickens, the author we all read as kids. He’s British like you, but people know who he is.”
Schwimmer ended with the lines: “I’m tall and lean, you’re short and stout. They know me in Japan, they know you at In-N-Out. You embarrassed your country, this was easy for me. Bitch, lay down the mic and go make me some tea.”
Final night speech
Corden ended his final Late Late Show with a warning to Americans about the divisions in their country. He said: “We started with Obama then Trump then a global pandemic. I’ve watched America change a lot over these past few years, I’ve watched divisions grow, I felt a sense of negativity.
“I guess all I really want to stay, I implore you to remember what America signifies to the rest of the world. My entire life, it’s always been a place of optimism and joy. Sure, it has flaws. Show me a country that doesn’t … every single one of us is a work of progress. Just because someone disagrees with you, it doesn’t make them bad or evil. There are so many people who are trying to stoke those differences.
“We have to try the best we can to look for the light, look for the joy. It’s out there. That’s all this show has ever been about. Thank you for letting me do this. Thank you for letting me into your home every night.”