Even James Corden didn’t have high hopes ahead of his eagerly anticipated US TV presenting debut on ‘The Late Late Show’, but it appears he had nothing to worry about after the first show got the thumbs up from viewers and those notoriously hard-to-please US TV critics.
The 36-year-old ‘Gavin And Stacey’ star, who has replaced Scottish comic Craig Ferguson on the late night chat show, admitted it was a huge gamble for him and even joked that there was a ‘three percent chance of the show working’.
But after the first show, featuring Mila Kunis and Tom Hanks, aired in the US on Monday night, James can afford to relax… a little.
James Corden chatted to Mila Kunis and Tom Hanks on his 'Late Late Show' debut
The New York Daily News said: "His easygoing manner fit well with his low-key banter, built more on everyday conversation than showbiz flash."
The Hollywood Reporter loved the new host's down-to-earth nature, saying: "Corden doesn’t put a layer of cool between him and the viewer (or his guests) – he’s as affable and sincere as Fallon with just a little less goofiness. It’s a welcome trait, one that should put guests at ease.
E! Online said: "While we'll always miss Craig Ferguson, his robot friend Geoff Petersen, and that dancing horse, but we're already kind of in love with James Corden after just one episode.”
Bustle added: “Corden’s likability on his own was undeniable almost immediately.”
The Boston Herald felt the show still needed some work but thought 'Corden is clearly multitalented and exhibited bright flashes.'
Still, having landed that golden ticket is one thing; possessing the imagination to make it last is going to require not just good fortune, but based on first impressions, some ongoing tinkering with the assembly line.
Variety said the host ‘oozed sincerity’, describing the first show as ‘uneven’ but that it had ‘moments of inspired lunacy.’
TV Line said James ‘came off as charming and unexpectedly earnest for a late-night host.’
And, for once, viewers of the show agreed.
Kristin Latourelle, who was in the audience told Sky News: "It was really amazing and really funny. He was adorable and wonderful and just really fun and he just seemed like a kid in a candy store having the greatest time of his life.
"It was really fun to be part of that and, being on the first show, the excitement level was high and he was just so giddy."
Brianne McDowell added: "I have never experienced anything like it. He was gracious and happy to have everyone there and he was so thankful for the opportunity. He was personable, talking about his family and his kids. He was really funny."
Katie Wahrenbrock said: "It was so much fun. He is so funny and talented and the accent was fabulous."
Sarah Pringle said: "He's so charming, so easy, talking about his family, talking to the guests, it was so cute."
Watch James in action in a clip from the first show in the video above and let us know what you think by leaving a comment below.