James Corden has been dismissed as just a “tubby kid” from Britain by TV veteran David Letterman in a scathing attack ahead of the actor’s late night talk show debut later this year.
The British sitcom star has been tapped to replace Craig Ferguson as host of The Late Late Show and is due to begin his new job at the end of March.
Ferguson left the show in December and a number of guest hosts have been filling the vacant slot before Corden takes over.
Letterman made an appearance on the show this week and discussed Corden’s absence with guest host Regis Philbin, blasting the British newcomer and questioning his commitment to the job.
The veteran TV star, who has been a late night regular for more than 30 years, told Philbin, “Did they give you this show? I thought it was that chubby guy that got the show, from Great Britain, from England… Why isn’t he ready? Well, let me ask you a question. When they said to you: ‘Regis, come to New York and do a show?’, did you say: ‘Meh, I need four to five months to put my things in order’? No. You were here. You were here Monday, right?… They call you Friday, you’re here Monday. Where’s the tubby kid who’s taking over the show?… How bad does he want to do a show? Where is he? Why are we talking to you?… Where is he?…
“I’m just saying, if I’ve invested my money in a guy to do a show and he says: ‘I’m going to need a couple of months’, I think that’s a flag… This guy… Is he even in this country? Don’t you think that’s a question that should be answered – where is the guy? I do… Let me tell you this, and God forbid, I don’t wish ill on anyone but I think something’s gone wrong or he’d be here.”
Corden, who was announced as the new host in September, is due to make his debut on March 23.