Attention-calling grooves and gambits | Inquirer Entertainment


Harry Styles

There are so many talk shows on the tube these days that their host-producers have to crack their skulls for unusual features and gimmicks to upstage the competition.

Last month, James Corden came up with a real lulu where he got young singing fave Harry Styles of One Direction fame and provenance to step into his hosting shoes for a special telecast of his late-night program.

Corden’s move was inspired, because Styles is British like him, so the link between them is consequently made strong and clean.

They may look drastically different, but Corden intuitively sensed that there was “something” beneath Styles’ sensationally stellar projection that could be developed into a hitherto unseen and unappreciated flair for comedy and TV program hosting!

The proof positive was proffered recently on “The Late Late Show with James Corden,” when Styles surprised everyone by taking over the telecast, and launching into its regulation opening monologue.

This was a hugely audacious and even risky move for him, because only a few supremely confident and idiosyncratic comedians can do an opening monologue successfully.

At his relatively young age, the inexperienced “replacement” host could have fumbled and stumbled big-time. But, lo and behold, Styles was able to hold his own—and more than pass muster!

All of a sudden, our perception of Styles’ talent and our appreciation of what he could do aside from singing and going the fave, young idol route was vastly expanded.

Corden must have mentored and motivated him, not to mention, made sure his writers gave Styles a lot of “sure-fire” punch lines to dish out.

But, talents can be guided and gilded only up to a point, so Styles should be complimented for doing Corden proud!

It later turned out that Styles wasn’t supposed to host the entire show—it was just a come-on to make viewers want to watch the special telecast.

So, after his long opening act, Styles could heave a big sigh and gasp of relief as Corden took over again!

Still, it was a major success for the young singing star, who has served notice that he’s ready, willing and able to tackle more career-boosting and varied challenges from here on in.

As for Corden, his relatively new talk-magazine show is faring well in the highly competitive late-night TV time slot, thanks to its innovative moves, like Styles’ recent “hosting” coup.

Before that, Corden’s hit series of “Carpool Karaoke” singfests with stars became a droll and wacky viewing habit for many viewers, benefiting from Corden’s long experience—not just in comedy, but also in musical theater.

Can’t wait to see what else Corden has up his ample TV sleeve!

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