The 70th Annual Tony Award nominations have been announced, and the ceremony will air on CBS on June 12. It’s always an entertaining show to watch, even if you haven’t been to New York to see many of the Broadway shows in the past year. Most of that fun is thanks in part to the evenings host, a job that has been the responsibility of talents like Neil Patrick Harris, Alan Cumming, Kristin Chenoweth, Hugh Jackman, Whoopi Goldberg, Sean Hayes and many more fantastic celebrities. This year, that job lands on the shoulders of James Corden, who is no stranger to the Great White Way.
Corden is currently best known as the host of The Late Late Show with James Corden, succeeding Craig Ferguson when he stepped down in 2014. However, his resume in entertainment goes back much further. Corden first rose to prominence in the early 2000s, when he starred on a popular British series called “Fat Friends,” for which he won multiple awards overseas. He then stepped onto the stage on the West End and premiered the role of Timms in the first London production of “The History Boys,” which also brought Corden to the United States for his Broadway debut.
Photos: 2106 Tony Award Nominees
As Corden’s popularity rose, he went on to work on “Gavin & Stacey,” a series he created, co-wrote and starred in. The series was very popular and well received by the British television critics, and Corden won the Best Male Comedy Performer award, as well as Best New British Television Comedy at the 2007 British Comedy Awards. The series also was honored with several other awards, including Most Popular Comedy at the national Television Awards.
While Corden’s work in London was always well-received, he also jumped in and out of many different projects over the next few years, including a short appearance on an episode of “Doctor Who” as well as in his own comedy/sports panel show called “A League of Their Own.” It was in 2011, Corden won the lead role in the hit new comedy called “One Man, Two Guvnors,” which received massively popular reviews and went on to win universal acclaim.
“One Man, Two Guvnors” debuted on Broadway in 2012, receiving seven Tony nominations, including the Best Actor nomination for Corden. Corden took home the statue that year, which is particularly impressive since he was up against such talents as John Lithgow, Frank Langella, Philip Seymour Hoffman and James Earl Jones. Just two years after winning this prestigious award, it was announced that Corden would be the next to host “The Late Late Show,” which was about to begin its fourth iteration, surprising many who weren’t familiar with the funny, warm and charismatic comedian.
People quickly fell in love with Corden on the show, thanks to his great rapport with his guests as well as his popular segments like Carpool Karaoke, in which he and a popular music guest simply film themselves singing their songs in the car. Guests have included such mega talents as Gwen Stefani, Jennifer Lopez, Adele and many more.
Now, all eyes will be on Corden once again as he steps into some very big shoes. The Tony Awards ceremony is all about celebration of live performance, so he should be an excellent choice to host the 70th annual ceremony. Corden already proved he can carry a show with his stunning achievements on “One Man, Two Guvnors,” but it’s his genuine warmth on camera that will continue to propel this star as millions of homes tune in to catch him in action hosting the awards show on June 12.
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Deborah Flomberg is a theater professional, freelance writer and Denver native. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.