James Corden Bids Farewell to 'The Late Late Show' with Tears, Harry Styles and a Song

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Corden signed off from The Late Late Show with a special song looking back at his experience hosting the CBS program over the last eight years and sang, "Thanks for watching, that’s our show"

Terence Patrick/CBS/Getty
Terence Patrick/CBS/Getty

James Corden has said, "Thanks for watching, that's our show" for the last time.

But the host's final episode of The Late Late Show had to start somewhere — and, instead of on his main stage, he wound up opening the show in the stairwell of the studio after being unable to open a series of locked doors.

He performed his monologue from the stairwell at CBS Television City, and his signature dressing room check-ins with the evening's guests Harry Styles and Will Ferrell were done through the window on one of the doors. (Ferrell said he couldn't open the door from his side because it was a "well-made door.")

When Corden finally arrived on his stage, he told the audience it was an "emotional time" as they were filming "the final Late Late Show in the history of CBS."

He also gave a special shout-out to his family who were in attendance. His mother broke down in tears.

Related:Adele and James Corden Cry — and Sing! — Together in Emotional Final Carpool Karaoke Episode

Corden then moved into the show's final news segment, teasing the comedy bit as "America's primary news source." With Donald Trump and Joe Biden running for president again in 2024, he joked that fans could "go back watch our 2019 episodes" and not miss a beat.

During the segment, Corden's sidekick and the show's co-head writer, Ian Karmel, told him, "This is like Michael Jordan retiring at the height of his powers."

Corden was then surprised with a special message from Biden, he said, "James, congratulations. 1200 shows in eight years. After the day you spent working for me at The White House, I'm surprised you lasted eight years at any job. To you, Reggie and the entire team, thank you for all the joy you brought to homes across America and special thanks for never asking me to sing in the car…We'll miss you pal. I can't wait to see what you do next."

Karmel joked, "We also have one from Trump. Go ahead and roll it?" Corden responded, "Can you imagine?"

Related:James Corden Shares His Most Memorable — and Funniest! — Moments from The Late Late Show (Exclusive)

After the break, Corden revealed "one positive" of leaving the show is that he "may finally get a good night's sleep." That introduced another sketch, this one showing him being woken up by current late-night hosts Jimmy Fallon, Jimmy Kimmel, Seth Meyers and Stephen Colbert as well as Late Show alum David Letterman.

"I need to talk to you about you leaving," Meyers said. "We're here to tell you that you can't just leave a talk show."

He was then joined by Kimmel, who added, "Having a late-night talk show makes you part of a very exclusive club and if we're gonna let you leave, we need to know you're going to keep our secrets."

Corden then promised "not to reveal" any of their secrets and asked them to leave his bedroom.

"James, have you thought this through?" Colbert asked. "What other job will allow you to break into song every single night?"

"I don't sing and dance every night," Corden said, to which Kimmel replied, "You do."

Corden told the group it was "the hardest decision of his life" but he was ready to leave the show. The other hosts then asked him to "make the terms" of his official exit, and Kimmel told him not to "get big ideas" in retirement, adding: "Stick to corporate gigs, podcasts, maybe The Masked Singer."

Corden said it didn't seem "fair" and he remembered how when he moved to America he heard about the late-night wars, but he has come to realize over the years that they were actually "a family" and not actually at war. He then broke into song, belting, "We're just some funny boys," and Meyers added, "We like to spread some joy."

The league of gentlemen hosts finally agreed it was time to split up the ideas from the Late Late Show, but all they wanted was "Carpool Karaoke." When he refused to hand over the idea, the comedians told him they would be revoking his invitation to this year's Met Gala.

Corden realized it was only "a dream" — but then the sketch time-jumped to six months to show him on The Masked Singer alongside Trevor Noah, who left The Daily Show in December.

Related:James Corden Says Leaving The Late Late Show Is 'Going to Be Beyond Emotional'

JMEnternational/Getty Images; David Livingston/WireImage; Todd Owyoung/NBC via Getty Images Harry Styles, James Corden and Will Ferrell
JMEnternational/Getty Images; David Livingston/WireImage; Todd Owyoung/NBC via Getty Images Harry Styles, James Corden and Will Ferrell

Later in the episode, Corden was joined by Styles and Ferrell, who immediately destroyed the show's desk with a sledgehammer.

During the interview, Styles reminisced and also showed his Late Late Show tattoo, which he received during an appearance with One Direction in 2015. "My favorite thing was probably the music video," he shared. "I really liked dodgeball. I got hit in the nuts by Michelle Obama. And then my least favorite when we did Crosswalk. I was so ill that day."

They also played one last round of "Spill Your Guts or Fill Your Guts." Styles was pressed on if fans would ever see One Direction reunion, and he responded, "I feel it's not a yes or no question…I would never say never to that."

He also told Corden that he was "so incredibly proud" of him for everything he accomplished on the show, adding, "I'm so happy for you and I love you."

Related:James Corden Announces His Departure from The Late Late Show: 'A Really Hard Decision'

During the penultimate segment of the show, Corden thanked the crew of his show and went on to speak directly to his audience.

"I've watched America change a lot. Over these past few years I've watched, I've watched divisions grow," he said in part. "And I've seen and I've felt a sense of negativity bubbling up and at points boil over. And I guess all I really want to say tonight is I implore you to remember what America signifies to the rest of the world."

"All we've ever wanted is just be a little bit of light and levity at the end of your day. Thank you for letting me do this. Thank you for letting me into your home every night," he added.

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Of course, Corden concluded his final episode of The Late Late Show with a song that paid tribute to his eight years on the program. He became emotional as he sang about wrapping up the experience — including filming the last "Carpool Karaoke" and "Fill Your Guts" — on the show and living in Los Angeles.

Completely choked up, he finally sang, "Thanks for watching, that's our show."

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