James Corden’s Celebration of Bieber and Boy Groups Works Because It’s Authentic and Important


When Justin Bieber appeared on The Late Late Show with James Corden for his last Carpool Karaoke segment earlier this week, something became very clear that many of us have known for a long time. It wasn’t the fact that Bieber’s mustache would be polarizing, nor that his previous statements about the Tom Cruise fight deserved some clarification. The revelation came in the final moments of the segment when host James Corden asked Biebs to play “One Less Lonely Girl” to his wife Hailey during their wedding last year. After the two guys sang the song, the perfectly unmoved Bieber then presented a long-stemmed red rose to Corden who accepted it and replied, “Oh my god, I have real chills.” At that point, I realized: EVEN. Sitting at my desk, watching it all unfold, I couldn’t help but feel goosebumps rising on my arms right now, which would clearly mean a lot to a devoted Belieber. This is exactly what Corden turned out to be.

James Corden has established himself as the rightful patron saint of the hottest idols in music. And beyond that, he’s a real fan. As a boy band fan myself, I’m comfortable saying it takes one to know one, and in this case Corden is a real one. It’s not that this is a new development – he was part of boy groups himself during his school years and went on to careers of this interest, from 1999 Channel 4 Boyz unlimited comedy series to work with The X factor‘s JLS then One Direction, remaining good friends with the band members. He went on to parody loving boy groups on The late show, including the most recent, a clip from a group (which included actors Zach Braff, Josh Peck, Christopher Mintz-Plasse and Charlie Puth) called Boyz II Menorah.

But he also used his late night show to shamelessly show his love for the art form of boy bands and musical idols (obviously Bieber has always been a solo artist, but I’m placing him here in the category of boy groups because of the deadly combination of beauty, good tunes, and the hordes of screaming girls these elements attract). Corden understands. He even appreciates and revere the art of boy banding. He is able to celebrate the phenomenon in a way that other hosts can’t, and probably don’t care. From carpool karaoke to interview segments to legendary tattoo roulette, Corden offers fans, like myself and millions of others, a way to live vicariously through him for moments many of which between us could only dream when it comes to his interactions with these. handsome gentlemen. Speaking on behalf of the fans, I’ll be the first to admit that we may have jealous and territorial leanings, but Corden, well, he’s one of us. His segments aren’t drenched in awkward flirtation or ulterior motives; they’re designed to please and entertain specific fan bases in a way that isn’t flattering or inauthentic or in a cheesy way that hopes to capture the all Internet attention. He is able to sing alongside them in a car or ask them about lyrics referring to morning wood and even if we are not there physically, we feel satisfied.

I’m aware it sounds dramatic, but for a lot of people who don’t join in on the celebration of these types of performers, much of what these typically passionate young women are doing seems dramatic. What makes Corden special is that he doesn’t despise this demographic like many others do. And while others are not dismissive, they are not always genuine. You can find out which hosts are featuring these guys on their show for YouTube views and titles and because, well, they’re told to do that. With Corden, the mood is that he’s asking for them himself, and he’s genuinely giddy about it too. This guy is having a blast! He loves music and not on the pretext that it is a guilty pleasure.

And the feeling seems to be mutual. As he returns with the guys from 1D, he has continued to embrace new acts along the way, including the K-pop star sensation BTS, who named him their favorite TV host in America. These types of performers, especially as part of a boy group, weren’t always greeted with the respect or credit they deserve for their musical talents (not to mention the popularity they’ve gained. via endless streams and sold-out tours) in TV appearances, but they seem to find Corden refreshing enough to not only relax and feel comfortable around him, but they’re up for some fun, y understood to make fun of themselves. Would Bieber have entertained this whole Tom Cruise conversation with a lot of other people? Would Harry Styles sport a lifetime tattoo with the name of another late night show? Unlikely!

Styles said Rolling stone in 2017, “Teenage Fans – They Don’t Lie. If they like you, they are the. They don’t act “too cool”. They love you and they tell you so. Which one is sick.”Without ever having been a real teenager, Corden still seems to understand what it means to be a (and in my case, still feel like a, two decades later). As a full compliment here, Corden, especially with these guests, never seemed to even think about being cool in the moments he spends with them, a key to the success of the segments.

Another big part of that is his friend and show executive producer Ben Winston, which also goes way back with 1D. In fact, he was also an executive producer of the 2018 show. Happy together, loosely based on when Styles was guest of Winston and his wife. It’s these friendships that help the host and his producer see Styles and others as people and performers, and not just posters.

Corden used The late show to essentially provide fans with images and experiences with their favorite artists that we never thought we would see. From Justin Bieber preparing a grilled cheese to Niall Horan being eliminated by a Dodgeball O-Town pinball game hitting national television in 2019: what a world! Even the recent Tweet Dreams segment with the Jonas Brothers may seem simple or slightly inspired by (although more positive) average Jimmy Kimmel Tweets, it’s also a way of thanking fans in a way that says I see you and your posts on them. social networks and that they are not as frivolous as others might think. Much like a glance from your favorite guy at a gig, these moments are important to fans who are too often written off to be hysterical or lack insightful taste. Corden used his show to say, on the contrary. If we, as fans, can’t be the ones living out our fantasies (a lot we didn’t even know we had: watching you, Titanic play a role) with these numbers Corden turns out to be not only a worthy lead but the one we deserve.

Where to stream The Late Late Show with James Corden


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