James Corden Gets Emotional About Quitting ‘The Late Late Show’ (Video)
James Corden got choked up during his monologue on Thursday as he told the audience he’s preparing to leave “The Late Late Show.”
Earlier in the day, Deadline broke the news of his departure. Corden addressed his exit directly, telling his fans that hosting the show had changed his life.
He started by saying, "Seven and a half years ago, I started hosting this show. And there is no other way to put it, it has changed my life. I love it. I love all the people that work here. I am so proud of what we've achieved. It's been beyond my wildest, wildest dreams. So I'm happy to announce today that I've signed a new contract to carry on hosting ‘The Late Late Show.’"
As the crowd clapped, Corden smiled and said, “Wait, hang on, wait… that’s really only half the story on this one.” He went on to share the “sadder” news, saying, “I’ve decided to sign for one more year on the show, and this will be my last year hosting ‘The Late Late Show.’”
The 43-year-old explained, "When I started this journey, it was always going to be just that. It was going to be a journey, an adventure. I never saw it as my final destination, you know? And I never want this show to overstay its welcome in any way. I always want to love making it. And I really think in a year from now, that will be a good time to move on and see what else might be out there."
James assured fans, "We are all determined to make this the best year we have ever had making this show. We are going to go out with a bang. There is going to be Carpools, and Crosswalks, and sketches, and other surprises."
"And there will be tears. There will be so many tears," he said, getting emotional himself. "'Cause this has been the hardest decision I've ever had to make, it really has. I've never taken this job for granted. Ever. Not once. And… the fact that you watch us at home. Or you watch us online. Wherever you are, all over the world. The fact that we get to try and entertain you and spend time with you is an absolute privilege for me and every single person who makes this show."
"Here's to the next 12 months, and it's going to be a blast — I promise you that.”
In his earlier statement to Deadline, James shared, “It’s been it’s a really hard decision to leave because I’m so immensely proud of the show. I’m thrilled to be extending [for a year].
“I always thought I’d do it for five years and then leave and then I stayed on,” Corden added. “I’ve really been thinking about it for a long time, thinking whether there might be one more adventure.”
As for the possibility of moving back to the U.K., the British comedian told the outlet that he doesn’t have an answer yet. He added, “It’s something we think about and we talk about a lot, but we haven’t really made a decision on that yet. That’s the life side of things which we’ll figure out. I love living here. I love everything it’s given. My family and I have never taken this incredible adventure for granted. Every day I drive down Sunset to work and I just think, ‘I’m from High Wycombe.’”
Aside from hosting the show, Corden has also acted in movies like “Peter Rabbit,” “Cats,” and “The Prom,” so it won’t be a complete surprise if he adds more projects to his plate.
Without sharing too much, he said, “There’s still some other things that I feel I want to do. I’d like to try and write. There’s some [stories] I’d like to tell. I’d like to see if I’m capable of it. The fact that it’s terrifying is the reason to do it.”
Corden announced his exit a year ahead of time because of the cast and crew. He explained, “Out of respect for all of the [staff], I want to tell them that now and say that we can really go into this last year with absolute enthusiasm and passion and love. These shows are not built by one person. I’m very fortunate I get to work with some people whose talents and gifts just blow my mind.”
As for what he’ll miss when he wraps up his time on “The Late Late Show,” James commented, “I’ll miss the adrenaline of thinking, ‘Next week I’m going to jump out of a plane with Tom Cruise or in two weeks’ time, we’re going to drive around the White House in a car with Michelle Obama or sing 'Penny Lane' with Paul McCartney driving down Penny Lane."
He concluded, “All of my greatest ambitions for what [the show] could be, it’s absolutely surpassed all of them. My intention is to try and go out in exactly the same way we came in, which is just going out with a bang.”
Following Corden’s decision, CBS CEO George Cheeks said, “Seven years ago, James Corden came to the U.S. and took television by storm, with huge creative and comedic swings that resonated in a big way with viewers on-air and online. From Crosswalk the Musical to the legendary Carpool Karaoke, and every unique comedy segment he introduced, James has truly reimagined many elements of the late night format.”
Cheeks continued, “He has also been the consummate network showman, entertaining audiences from his nightly perch at Television City as well as the Tony and Grammy stage. In my two years at CBS, I’ve had the privilege to see James’ creative genius up close and experience his valuable partnership with CBS, both as a performer and a producer. We wish he could stay longer, but we are very proud he made CBS his American home and that this partnership will extend one more season on ‘The Late Late Show.’”
Corden began hosting the program in March 2015, and thanks to his segments like Carpool Karaoke, Drop the Mic, Spill Your Guts, and Crosswalk the Musical, “The Late Late Show” was a hit, despite its late time slot of 12:30 a.m.