James Corden endured a little hazing courtesy of Jay Leno during his Late Late Show premiere.
The British star took over as host of the CBS late-night talk show Monday, and he began by introducing himself. “I know what you’re thinking — you’re like, ‘Oh look, Andy Richter‘s got his own show,’ ” he quipped.
In a sincere moment, he got choked up when thanking his parents, who were in the audience. He also acknowledged his predecessor: “I want to say a massive thank you to Craig Ferguson.”
Then, after he and bandleader Reggie Watts threw to the official opening credits sequence, there was a pre-taped segment that explained how Corden supposedly landed the high-profile gig.
CBS head honcho Leslie Moonves appeared in the segment with some Oompa-Loompas, revealing that CBS always chooses its late-night hosts by placing a golden ticket in a chocolate bar, much like in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.
Then numerous other celebrities were shown trying to find the winning candy, including Chris Rock, Eddie Redmayne, Billy Crystal, Lena Dunham, Simon Cowell and Katie Couric. Chelsea Handler finally got the ticket but inadvertently dropped it, at which point Corden stepped in.
Corden then learned the tricks of the trade from Leno, who slapped him around and even waterboarded him. Allison Janney, Shia LaBeouf and Arnold Schwarzenegger all dropped by to provide guidance. “In three months, this show will be mine,” Leno said to himself.
Corden’s guests were Tom Hanks and Mila Kunis, who were both interviewed by Corden at the same time. Talk soon turned to Kunis and Ashton Kutcher‘s relationship, with Kunis confirming that the two had secretly tied the knot.
Hanks also joined Corden in a bit in which the two reenacted a slew of Hanks’ movies in five-second bursts. This included Corden sporting a wig and coconut-shell bra to bring Splash to life.
At the end of the show, Corden concluded his first outing with a piano ballad about his experience.