James Corden kicked off his inaugural stint as Grammy emcee by showing off his impressive physical comedy skills.
The Late Late Show host orchestrated a deliberately botched opening number in which he got stuck on a rising platform, fell through a trap door and then tumbled down a nearly a dozen stairs directly onto the stage. “That was a disaster,” he mock-exclaimed to the audience.
He then launched into an extended rap in which he name-checked pretty much every one of the night’s major nominees. He even squeezed in a little politics, noting during his little ditty that “we don’t know what’s next” under President Donald Trump.
Corden took over the Grammy gig from NCIS: LA star LL Cool J, who presided over music’s biggest night the past five years. Prior to that, the Grammys had no host.
In a recent interview with the New York Times, Corden acknowledged that he would be scarcely seen during the three-plus hour ceremony. “I’m in the show for like 16 or 17 minutes,” he said. “There really isn’t much time. I think what we’re going to try to do as best we can is just try to inject as much fun into the evening, as opposed to being funny. It’s not really a room where you can come out and do a monologue.”
This is Corden’s seconds awards-hosting stint in the past year. Last June, he headlined the 70th annual Tony Awards (also on CBS).
Watch Corden’s performance above, then grade it below.