With the singing Brit leaving his show in 2023, a coveted hosting position is open.
After what will be eight and a half grueling years of comedic chicanery, James Corden will be leaving The Late Late Show ahead of summer 2023. He told Deadline, “It’s been it’s a really hard decision to leave because I’m so immensely proud of the show. I’m thrilled to be extending [for a year]. I always thought I’d do it for five years and then leave, and then I stayed on. I’ve really been thinking about it for a long time, thinking whether there might be one more adventure.”
The news comes at a time when Corden has been quickly falling out of popularity, especially with the younger generations who don’t appreciate his brand of queer pantomiming — it does not help that rumors have also circulated about him being unpleasant to work with and rude to fans. Much like the fall of Ellen DeGeneres, the general viewing public doesn’t respond well to someone centering their brand on universal goodness, only to be found out to be a low-key asshole.
Corden took over the hosting role contractually from Craig Ferguson in 2014, with his version of the show premiering in 2015. And now that he’s on his way out, there’s a coveted late-night hosting position open. These are the kinds of roles that cement entertainers in the fabric of pop culture. Late-night hosts like Johnny Carson, David Letterman, Jay Leno, Jimmy Fallon, Jimmy Kimmel, Seth Meyers, and Stephen Colbert, as well as Corden — beloved or bemoaned — have all become institutions. They all have one other thing in common, as well: they’re all men. It’s long overdue for a woman to have a seat at the table of primetime network late-night.
Putting a woman in the driver's seat of the format has been proven successful. Joan Rivers paved the way in the 1980s, but didn’t stay in the nighttime slot for long before trading it for the daytime talk show format that was exploding at the time. Wanda Sykes had her own late-night show on Fox in 2009, but it only lasted a year. Chelsea Handler and Samantha Bee have both had wildly popular, longer-running late-night talk shows; they just weren’t on one of the major networks.
NBC recently attempted to make the transition with A Little Late with Lilly Singh, but canceled the show after two seasons. The problem there though is that NBC attempted to add another late-night show to an already overcrowded field, instead of giving one of the existing late-night hosting spots to a woman — which is where Corden’s open role leaves a perfect place for a woman to finally take over.
Amber Ruffin currently hosts a late-night show on Peacock, and she would be a worthy contender to move over to CBS’s primetime opening. Other comics like Nikki Glaser, Ziwe, Ilana Glazer, Ali Wong, and Whitney Cummings would all be excellent in the role. There are so many adept, funny women who would revolutionize late-night television — and it’s about time a major network gave one of them the chance.