James Corden freshens up musicals on Late Late Show: What I’m Watching

The Show: The Late Late Show With James Corden (March 22)

The Moment: The medley

Josh Gad, star of Broadway’s The Book of Mormon and the new film Beauty and the Beast, begs to be James Corden’s co-host. They begin sing-arguing to the tune of the film’s “Little Town,” then swing into “Gaston” (“No one jokes like Josh Gad/delights folks like Josh Gad,” Gad sings. “No one gets up onstage and then chokes like Josh Gad,” Corden rebuts) and, finally, “Be Our Guest.”

“Be my guest, be my guest/it’s a plea you can’t protest,” Corden sings. “Smile your pearly smile/Oh I bet you brush with Crest/Josh Gad knows what to do/Puts the ‘you’ in interview/Talk about your shoes from Gucci or your scenes with Stanley Tucci.”

The camera swivels to the audience. Gad high-kicks down the risers with a host of leggy dancers. “Step by step, bit by bit/Lift my mug and take a sip/Thanks for having me/I feel so Hashtag Blessed.”

“So Josh Gad, have no fear,” Corden sings, “Sit next to Judy Greer -”

“And be his guest!” sing the dancers, twirling and kicking.

“OK!” Gad crescendos, as confetti falls, “I’ll. Be. Your. Guest!”

Corden is on late. The oldsters who grew up with musicals have gone to bed. Which means he’s bringing an entirely fresh generation to the form.

He’s successful at it because he pokes at the impulse behind musicals, mixing irony and comedy into their sincerity, much like Family Guy does in its (often scathing) musical numbers. La La Land feels like old thinking about song and dance. Corden is onto something new.

The Late Late Show airs weeknights at 12:30 a.m. on CTV and CBS, and is available on demand at ctv.ca. Johanna Schneller is a media connoisseur who zeroes in on pop-culture moments. She usually appears Monday through Thursday.


Related Posts You Might Like: