Thursday evening brought about the end of an era for late night television, with The Late Late Show with James Corden wrapping up. The long-running CBS series came to a close with a primetime affair, which not only included The Last Last Late Late Show with James Corden Carpool Karaoke Special, but a final installment of Carpool Karaoke with Adele, as well as a final episode of the flagship show. The show began with a performance of “Last Show” (to the tune of Donna Summer’s “Last Dance” and a monologue from Corden, before pivoting to the highly-anticipated The Lion King performance with superstar Tom Cruise.
The actual Late Late Show saw Corden say farewell to his staff, and also played a game of “Spill Your Guts or Fill Your Guts” with guests Harry Styles and Will Ferrell. It then segued into a sketch featuring a number of Corden’s fellow late night hosts — Seth Meyers, Jimmy Kimmel, Jimmy Fallon, Trevor Noah, and David Letterman. It also included a pre-taped message from President Joe Biden, before culminating in a message from Corden to the audience.
“You know we started this show with Obama, then Trump then a global pandemic,” Corden’s final speech said in part. “And I’ve watched America change a lot. Over these past few years, I’ve watched divisions grow. And I’ve seen and I felt a sense of negativity bubble and at points boil over. I guess all I really want to say tonight is I implore you to remember what America signifies to the rest of the world. My entire life, it has always been a place of optimism and joy. And yes, it has flaws. So many. But show me a country that doesn’t. Show me a person that doesn’t. Me, you all of us. We are all trying to figure this out. We are every single one of us a work in progress. And just because somebody disagrees with you. It doesn’t make them bad or evil. We are all more the same than we are different. And there are so many people who are trying to stoke those differences. And we have to try as best we can to look for the light. Look for the joy. Because if you do, it’s out there. And that’s all this show has ever been about. All we’ve ever wanted is just be a little bit of light and levity at the end of your day. Thank you for letting me do this. Thank you for allowing me into your home every night.”
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