James Corden’s Astute Aggregation of Graham Norton

It works on The Graham Norton Show. And so far, it's also working beautifully on The Late Late Show.

Have you been watching, DVR-ing the new version of The Late Late Show? We have and so far, it’s much better than anyone could have expected.

James Corden has got boatloads of charisma. But it’s his co-opting of the format of The Graham Norton Show that has really separated this talker from the fray. American networks re-invent British sitcoms all the time, and essentially, that’s what Corden has done at the talk show end, borrowing one of the very best bits of business from a comedy idol. And sure, if you want to get technical, Merv Griffin did the gaggle-of-guests thing before Norton. But in Corden’s case, it’s really fun now a few months into the CBS run to revisit some of his Norton appearances.

Corden has appeared multiple times on Norton’s BBC “chat show.” Whether it’s recalling his early boy band Insatiable and calculated single “Girl Are You Ready” (while on the couch next to Jessical Biel and Sarah Millican), or making up rhyming lyrics on the spot (next to Paul McCartney and Katy Perry), these are the dry runs that helped Corden so successfully launch out of the Yankee gate.

Another benefit of the all-guests-at-once approach is that it can help put celebs at ease. For example, earlier this week on The Late Late Show, actress Kristen Stewart was wonderfully relaxed, appearing couch-left next to Ben McKenzie and Mark Ronson.