I always found Corden likable, even if he still tries too hard. Like Jimmy Fallon, Corden seems to believe that doing everything at maximum excitement level and volume makes for better entertainment. It doesn’t, and he’s too talented to have to push so hard to be loved — and show how much he admires his guests by over-praising them. It’s entirely possible that he’s burned himself out by cranking his energy level up so high every night.
It would be nice for CBS to break the late-night mold and hire a female host for “The Late Late Show,” although I have no suggestions or inkling of who that might be. There are plenty of funny women in the standup comedy world, but that’s not the most important skill for a TV host. Whoever is chosen will need a magical mix of comedian, broadcaster, and crowd-pleaser, plus the ability to listen to guests while pretending to be fascinated by their latest projects and anecdotes.
There’s also the question of how relevant that time slot remains in our on-demand world. I haven’t set my DVR to record Corden or any of the other late-night hosts for several years, because I know that I can catch up with them later via clips on YouTube. That’s an option I use only if I’m particularly interested in a guest. I can’t remember the last time I watched any of their monologues, wacky desk spots, goofy games, or please-let-this-go-viral remote bits.
What will be next for Corden after his LLS finale next year?
One thing I’d consider unlikely is Corden signing to do a weekly show with some streaming service. That’s not what consumers expect from the likes of Netflix, Prime Video, and Apple TV+, which is why such attempts by Jon Stewart, Michelle Wolf, Hasan Minhaj, Chelsea Handler, and Joel McHale have failed. Unlike on linear TV, streaming content has to be more evergreen because it remains available forever.
Is someone watching one of these shows 18 months from now going to chuckle at a topical joke based on year-and-a-half-old headlines? Will they have any interest in eight-minute interviews with Molly Shannon and Andrew Garfield when the stuff they’re promoting is three or four years old?
I doubt it, a lot. But I think Corden is smart enough to know that. Instead, I won’t be surprised if he moves back to the UK for awhile, then pops up in some musical in London’s West End, possibly followed by Broadway and a movie or two.
Hopefully without having to put on a cat costume.