Zap2it: What is it like to inherit, with “The Late Late Show With James Corden,” a time period and a type of broadcast-network show that relatively few people — including your current lead-in, David Letterman — have had?
James Corden: I feel so lucky to be placed in a chair even in the same vicinity of them. I’ve been watching quite a bit of his 12:30 [a.m.] show when he started, and I mean, it’s jaw-dropping how good it is. It’s incredible how great he is. And then, the same with Jay Leno; I just don’t think I’ve seen monologues like that. It’s incredible.
Craig Ferguson’s interviews are some of the most organic and off-the-cuff and brilliantly judged moments I’ve seen. Jimmy Fallon’s enthusiasm, his absolute core enthusiasm … I said to Jimmy when I spent some time with him in New York, “Your show is the very thing that inspires me and terrifies me at the same time because when I watch ‘The Tonight Show,’ I go, ‘Ah, I would love to do something like this,’ and then my fear is we might never ever be able to do something like this.”
I think he is brilliant. And Seth [Meyers,] I think is genuinely one of the loveliest men I’ve ever met. For him just to have me on his show, I think, says so much about him.
Zap2it: You recently were made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire. How is it for you to have that honor?
James Corden: I’m incredibly proud. I mean, your first thoughts when you receive a letter like that is … you know, you’re just painfully aware that there are so many people who deserve it more than I do.
Then, my parents are so incredibly proud, and they made some huge sacrifices for me to be able to do this. My mom cried, and my dad laughed and said, “You know what it stands for. OBE stands for ‘other blokes’ efforts.’ “