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?

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