The premiere episode of The Late Late Show with James Corden aired last night and gave America a good showing of what Corden, bandleader Reggie Watts, and this new era of late night is all about as far they’re concerned.
These two segments of how Corden “got” the Late Late Show host gig and how he runs through this thorough retrospective of Tom Hanks’ career kick the show off to a fun, yet clever premiere.
Right off the bat, you’ll note the set doesn’t trying to relive some late night talk show sets of yesteryear, but instead is quite dark in its color palate and delightfully all over the place. See the checkered floor that Reggie and his band Karen play on.
Oh yeah, Reggie’s wonderful band is named, for now, Karen according to this interview with The A.V. Club and Reggie will seemingly get to bring some of the Comedy Bang! Bang! flavor to network television as shown by the one question he asked Hanks.
They definitely employ other things that slightly eschew traditional late night tropes like Corden’s monologue leaning more towards his predecessor Craig Ferguson’s style of being in the moment and coming from the heart. James also doesn’t sit behind the desk for the interview, interviewed both Tom Hanks and Mila Kunis at the same time sort of like The Graham Norton Show, and even had slick black cards instead of the traditional light blue that talk show hosts used to stay on point throughout the show.
Of course, this is just the premiere episode and all of this could end up changing, but it’s clear that, whatever happens, James will be completely genuine about it as you can see with his closing ballad.
You can watch the whole premiere here and see it all in its entirety for yourself.