Eddie Redmayne, Meryl Streep, Tom Hanks and Arnold Schwarzenegger were among the stars who helped James Corden celebrate his hosting debut on The Late Late Show on Monday night.
The British actor/comedian has taken over from Craig Ferguson as presenter of the U.S. programme, and he opened his first show with a star-studded pre-recorded sketch showing how he got the job.
In a parody of Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, a golden ticket is placed in one of many chocolate bars which are handed out to potential celebrity hosts, including Simon Cowell, Eddie Redmayne, Chris Rock and Billy Crystal, who are seen unwrapping the bars without success.
Corden finds the winning bar by accident and stars including Meryl Streep, Shia LaBeouf and Allison Janney give him tips to prepare for the show, while Arnold Schwarzenegger puts him through a workout and former talk show host Jay Leno repeatedly slaps him and says, “In three months, this job will be mine.”
Corden’s first guests were Mila Kunis and Tom Hanks, who were interviewed at the same time. Kunis played coy when asked if she has married her partner Ashton Kutcher in secret and would not give confirmation, although she was wearing a wedding ring.
Hanks took part in a second sketch with Corden in which they paid homage to Hanks’ films including Forrest Gump, Big, Cast Away and Sleepless in Seattle. They dressed up in costumes and recited famous lines, with Corden playing Meg Ryan a number of times.
During the show, Corden said, “I really couldn’t be more honored to be stood here talking to you now and believe me, however shocked you are that I am doing this job, you will never be more shocked than I am… It really isn’t lost on me what a privilege it is to be given a show like this and I will really do my best not to let any of you down.”
He ended his debut by crooning an original ballad about the show from behind a piano.
You can watch some clips from James’ debut last night below: