Ahead of James Corden’s Late Late Show debut on March 23rd, Variety sat down with the British actor for an interview about his hopes for the show and what format it will take later this month. Corden is, understandably, super nervous about the gig: “I don’t know if I’m making a huge mistake,” he told Variety. “But I’d rather regret doing something than not doing something. I think we have a real shot at enjoying ourselves for a bit, which is ultimately all you ever really want, isn’t it?”
As for the format of the show, Corden and Late Late Show executive producer Rob Crabbe revealed that the show is taking an experimental approach between the hiring of band leader Reggie Watts (“He was on a list of one,” Corden said) and the decision to skip an opening monologue and get to the guests faster, and all at once:
Yes, Corden will greet the audience and say something funny — but producers aren’t planning a lineup of 20 jokes in classic latenight fashion.“James is not going to be able to go out and do six minutes on Isis,” Crabbe says. “I just don’t think that’s going to be his style.”There’s a debate with CBS over how long the first act will be. If the producers get their way, the guests will be coming out in the initial part of the program — all at once. They’re modeling the show on Graham Norton’s U.K. series, in which all the stars come out at the same time and chat together on the couch.
While Corden and Crabbe admitted that booking guests has been a challenge, they have a pretty impressive lineup for premiere week: Tom Hanks, Kerry Washington, Will Ferrell, and Kevin Hart. In any case, Corden is trying not to let his nerves get to him: “I just know that this is a moment in my life. Good or bad, it is a moment. ‘Do you remember that time we moved to Los Angeles and I tried to host a latenight talkshow?’ ‘Oh yeah, that was ropy, but it was a fun ride.’”