By Madeline Farber, ,
Published January 28, 2018
James Corden has made a name for himself in the United States through his driving duets with celebs like Elton John, Adele, Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber and Pink.
The host of the “The Late Late Show,” who will emcee the Grammys on Sunday for the second time, has had a long career in acting and comedy prior to his CBS talk show gig.
Read on for some of Corden’s pre-Carpool Karaoke career highlights.
In the early 2000s, Corden played Jamie Rymer in “Fat Friends.” He was later nominated for the 2000 Royal Television Society Award for Network Newcomer On Screen, but lost to Rob Brydon for his role in the BBC Two show “Marion and Geoff.”
“The History Boys”
In 2004, Corden landed a role in Alan Bennett's play “The History Boys" as Timms. It was a big hit at the National Theatre in London and then on Broadway. Corden also played Timms in the 2006 film version of “The History Boys.”
“Gavin and Stacey”
Corden and Ruth Jones, his “Fat Friends” co-star, created “Gavin and Stacey” in 2007. Corden played Smithy, Gavin’s best friend on the TV show, which aired on BBC Three.
Corden won best comedy performance at the 2008 British Academy Television Awards for his role in the series.
Corden played the character Craig Owens in the BBC series “Doctor Who.” Owens was the Doctor’s roommate in the show.
“One Man, Two Guvnors”
Corden had a couple of flops in 2009 before performing in the hit play “One Man, Two Guvnors.”
The movie “Lesbian Vampire Killers” only received a 26-percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes and was widely attacked by film critics. The Hollywood Reporter, for instance, called it “flawed, offensive and juvenile.” The film also lost out at the box office.
In the same 2011 interview with the Guardian, Corden said he was convinced to play the lead character in the film by thinking, “Oh my God, I'm being offered the lead in a film,” he recalled.
As for another flop, the BBC 3 sketch show “Horne and Corden,” the actor also told the Guardian: “I just think we didn't do it right, is the truth. We didn't take our time with it."
Critics also slammed the sketch show, which only lasted one season. The Guardian gave it one out of five stars in March of 2009, while the Daily Telegraph referred to Corden and his co-star Mathew Horne as "the latest ‘saviours of sitcom’ who, on the strength of their currently under-appreciated efforts, appear to be in urgent need of saving.”
But Corden found success again for his role in the 2011 hit comedy play “One Man, Two Guvnors” which he performed at the National Theatre and the West End in London. The play later moved to Broadway. In this role, Corden played a young man working in England in the early 1960s.
Among many other awards for his role in “One Man, Two Guvnors,” Corden won the 2012 Tony Award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Play, according to his CV.
“Into the Woods”
In 2014, Corden appeared in the musical film “Into the Woods," starring alongside Meryl Streep, Emily Blunt and Anna Kendrick.
“The Late Late Show”
CBS announced in the fall of 2014 that Corden would replace Craig Ferguson, the longtime host of "The Late Late Show." Corden officially took over the show in 2015.
“I can’t describe how thrilled and honoured I am to be taking over from the brilliant Craig Ferguson,” Corden said in a press release at the time.
“It’s madness, really. When I got the job, I’d never even been on an American talk show,” Corden later told Variety. “It’s a bold choice. A really bold choice.”
Corden's idea for a Carpool Karaoke segment came prior to his time on the "Late Late Show." It was reportedly a 2011 sketch with the late singer George Michael, which sparked the idea.