James Corden's tenure as "The Late Late Show" host has come to an end. On April 27, CBS sent him off with a prime-time special honoring some of his best moments (and debuting two final bits with Adele and Tom Cruise) before the actual final episode aired, with guests Harry Styles and Will Ferrell. For Cruise's segment, Corden got the "Top Gun" actor to join him in the Los Angeles stage production of "The Lion King," and the duo learned puppetry and songs before eventually donning the two-person elephant costume in the show's opening number, "The Circle of Life."
Later in the show, they appeared as Timon and Pumba and performed "Hakuna Matata." Watch their journey to stage glory above. The prime-time special also featured Adele's final Carpool Karaoke with Corden. Adele filmed her original car singalong video with Corden in 2016, and it's since racked up 261 million views on YouTube. In the new video, Adele is driving, and the pair revisit some of the segment's highlights.
The actual final "Late Late Show" did not feature the rumored One Direction reunion, but Styles did talk about some of his favorite memories from his many appearances on the show, including the time he played dodgeball with Michelle Obama. Styles also revealed he still has the show's logo tattooed on his arm from when One Direction played a game of tattoo roulette. Corden's fellow late night hosts also decided to pay tribute to Corden with a fun skit. Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Kimmel, Seth Meyers, Jimmy Fallon, Trevor Noah, and even David Letterman himself appear in a sketch where they haunt Corden before his final show. The hosts joke with Corden that he can't just leave the show. They beg him to keep the "secrets" of hosting, like that they don't watch all the shows and movies celebs are promoting and that they have a fake laugh for bad stories. The other hosts also joked about Corden's love of singing and dancing on his show and told him that after he retires he need to grow a long, Letterman-style beard - and he can't go to the Met Gala again. The end of the bit showed Corden and Noah as contestants on a future episode of "The Masked Singer."
Corden took over "The Late Late Show" from Craig Ferguson in March 2015, and his biggest impact is probably the amount of singing and dancing he did add to the program. While hosting, Corden continued to appear in films, including 2019's "Cats," 2020's "The Prom," and 2021's "Cinderella."
Back in January, Corden explained his reasoning for stepping back from the late-night show. "Look it's not easy in any way to walk away from something that is so, I mean, I'll never work in a better environment than the one I work in now," he said on "The Drew Barrymore Show," per "Entertainment Tonight." "Nothing about leaving the show was to do with not enjoying it. I love it. But the truth is it became a very easy decision, because I always knew it was an adventure and I never, ever considered it to be the final destination."
Corden added that he didn't want his work and busy schedule to come "at the expense of our children, our family."
"The Late Late Show" is seemingly not getting a new host, though. Instead, Deadline reported in February that the show will be replaced with a new version of "@midnight," a panel show that originally ran on Comedy Central. CBS did not comment on the report at the time and has yet to officially announce what show will fill Corden's time slot.