James Corden Opens Tony Awards With Inspiring, Show-Stopping Number

James Corden on Sunday reminded America that he’s so more than just that guy who sings in his car with famous people.

The Late Late Show host kicked off Sunday’s Hamilton Tony Awards ceremony — which handed him a statue just four years prior — with a show-stopping number that truly set the tone for the rest of the evening. Of course, Corden had a little help from a few friends.

The host was introduced (via rap) by several Hamilton cast members, including Tony nominee Leslie Odom Jr., who addressed Corden as “that chubby dude from Into the Woods who played the baker.”

Following a few spot-on jokes about the Tonys’ diverse pool of nominees — including “It’s so diverse that Donald Trump has threatened to build a wall around this theater” — Corden took the audience on a musical journey through his musical-loving childhood, inserting himself into shows like Les MiserablesThe Lion King and The Phantom of the Opera.

At one point, Corden was practically juggling props from various classics as he effortlessly weaved his way through selections from EvitaThe Music ManFiddler on the Roof and… honestly, the list of shows he didn’t evoke would probably be shorter.

Then came the waterworks — both on the stage and in the audience — as Corden sang directly to the kids watching from home, encouraging them, “This could be where you belong.” (Getting an assist from literally every leading musical nominee certainly didn’t hurt the harmony.)

Watch the Tonys’ opening number above, then drop a comment with more of your thoughts: How’s Corden doing as host?


Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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18 Comments
  1. Lauren says:

    When those kids turned into the nominees, I actually got chills. Great performance!

  2. Daya says:

    That musical number was so amazing, I’m surprised I’m not cleaning brain matter off the walls from my brain exploding with nerdiness!

  3. Imagecrafters says:

    Awesome! It could have been me….

  4. Sally McLinn says:

    Great opening. James is very versatile.

  5. Maddy says:

    Still blubbering. It was so wonderful.

  6. Sue says:

    James Corden for all the awards!

  7. wgsecretary says:

    It was awesome! Love James Corden! He’ll always be Craig from Doctor Who to me. But, he sure is versatile!

  8. big cheddar says:

    Im on the West Coast, but he posted this to his Leate Show channel over an hour ago. Definitely shed some tears over this.

  9. Shaun says:

    Was a really fast number,his costume transitions were epic!

  10. Jennifer says:

    Strongest, best opening for a Tony show in a long time.

    And Hamilton may have the record for most nominations, but it doesn’t have the record for most wins. That’s still The Producers (12)

  11. Becca says:

    Fabulous opening, but I’m pretty sure the chubby guy line was Anthony Ramos, not Leslie Odom. #TheaterGeek

  12. RachelC says:

    He was fantastic. So fantastic.

  13. Mallory says:

    Leslie Odom Jr. didn’t say that line about James being the chubby dude from Into the Woods. Anthony Ramos did.

  14. BillyBobJohnson says:

    I thought he did a fantastic job, not only with the opening number, but with the entire show. I hope they bring him back some time in the future.

  15. liame says:

    What an amazing talent! He should host every year.