James Corden used part of his farewell speech on Thursday’s final episode of CBS’s “The Late Late Show” to address the deep divide in America over hot-button issues like politics and ideology.
“We started this show with Obama, then Trump and a global pandemic. I have often observed how Americans have changed. I’ve seen the divisions grow and I’ve felt a sense of negativity boil over,” the host said. He challenged his audience to remember what America means to the rest of the world. All my life it has always been a place of optimism. … Yes, it has bugs, but show me a place that doesn’t. Show me a person who doesn’t.
“Just because someone disagrees with you doesn’t make them bad or evil. We are all more the same than we are different. There are so many people trying to fuel these differences and we must try as best we can to search for the light, for the joy. If you do, it’s out there. That’s all this show was ever about,” he said.
Corden announced a year ago that he was ending his late-night show after eight seasons, citing a desire to return to his native UK to be closer to family and loved ones. His parents were in the audience for the final take, and his sisters, he joked, were also in town — but at a bar instead.
Also Thursday, CBS aired a primetime special called “The Last Last Late Late Show Special,” which featured pre-recorded segments with Tom Cruise (where they performed stunts and a duet of “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” from The Lion King). sang) and contained Adele, where they recorded a final carpool karaoke segment.
Corden reminded the singer that she has an Emmy, a Grammy and an Oscar, and wondered if she would ever actively pursue a Tony Award. “You have the EGO,” he said.
“I really don’t think that will ever happen. I would never write a musical or anything like that because I hate (expletive) musicals,” Adele said, laughing. “I also think the EGO suits me better.”
Harry Styles and Will Ferrell were Corden’s final guests. Styles was a frequent visitor to the show and even served as a guest host on two occasions. He has done a number of recordings with Corden, including the time the presenter shot a music video for Styles’ song “Daylight” for just $300 and when the musician performed a UK Vs. US dodgeball game that pitted Corden, Styles, “Games of Thrones” actor James Bradley and Benedict Cumberbatch against the likes of Michelle Obama, Mila Kunis, Kate Hudson, Lena Waithe and Melissa McCarthy.
“I’m so incredibly proud of you as a friend,” Styles told Corden. “Personally, as a friend, you’ve always been a safe place for me.” He added that he was “selfishly very excited that you’re coming home.” Styles, Corden and Ferrell then hugged in a group hug.
There were also farewells from the other late night hosts. Seth Meyers, Jimmy Kimmel, Jimmy Fallon, Stephen Colbert and David Letterman all appeared in a pre-taped segment with Corden. They joked that since Corden was finishing his show, they could each call dibs on one of his segments.
They all opted for Carpool Karaoke, pointing to Corden’s most popular skit, in which he drives around Los Angeles with celebrities and sings songs. Paul McCartney, Justin Bieber, Mariah Carey, Stevie Wonder and Chris Martin are some of its Carpool Karaoke passengers. The segment was so successful that it was spun off into its own series for Apple. Corden only appeared in the debut episode with Will Smith in the car.
Corden ended the night by playing the piano and singing a song with the crew and staff gathered around the stage. “Part of me thinks I should stay here forever, but deep in my heart I just know,” Corden sang. “No more shows, it’s time I left, it’s time. Thanks for watching, this is our show.”