James Corden clearly charmed the room in addressing journalists at the TV Critics Assn. tour Monday, despite offering no details about his plans for CBS’ “The Late Late Show,” which he’ll begin hosting on March 23.
“We literally know nothing. It’s completely pointless our being here,” Corden said, who did note that his preparation for the gig has included “watching quite a bit of [David] Letterman’s 12:30 show, when he first started.”
Corden made clear that he doesn’t feel like he’s sacrificing anything in terms of career opportunities — from stage work to his co-starring role in “Into the Woods” — by throwing himself into the all-consuming task of headlining a nightly TV show.
“There’s nothing more creative … than [trying] to make an hour of television every day,” Corden said. “In terms of creativity, I couldn’t feel less like I’m putting the brakes on.”
The host was apologetic about the lack of specifics he could provide — he said he’s effectively been on the job four days — beyond saying that he plans to embrace “all aspects of variety” within the context of the show.
Corden was also asked about how well his British sensibility would play in the U.S., prompting him to quip that Americans never worry about whether a joke on “Friends” will kill in the U.K.
“Funny’s funny. I think if it’s good it travels,” he said.
Corden will premiere during what amounts to the final phase of Letterman’s stint as host of “The Late Show,” which should bring some additional eyeballs to CBS in latenight. Letterman’s successor, Stephen Colbert, will take over on Sept. 8, the network announced.
Corden did bring down the house — and display some of his off-the-cuff skills — when a journalist got up to leave in the middle of his session. “Where are you going?” he demanded.