The late show will soon be looking for a new host after James Corden announced he was to leave the CBS show.
One thing’s for sure — when you don’t have women hosting late-night network shows, but you have three white men named James, you could probably do with a little more diversity.
At least, that’s what many netizens are arguing as the discussion begins over who should replace Corden. Among the names that have been touted are women with experience hosting late nights, daytime hosts who could transition to later in the day and beloved comedians who are said to be new to the business. ‘accommodation.
This conversation also highlighted how women are generally underrepresented in late night – a genre where, according to the Los Angeles Timenone of the main late-night shows are 50% female.
Among those advocating for a woman to take Corden’s job was NPR TV critic Eric Deggans, who tweeted his support for fellow critic Soraya McDonald’s suggestion of Amber Ruffin to replace him.
Deggans wrote, “I’m going to co-sign my friend @SorayaMcDonald and say, I hope CBS uses Corden’s departure as an opportunity to bring real diversity to late night network TV and hire Amber Ruffin to animate the Late show.”
Ruffin is currently listed as the host of Peacock’s late-night equivalent, The Amber Ruffin Show. Alongside Samantha Bee on TBS and Christiane Amanpour on PBS, she is one of the few women currently hosting her own late-night show.
Another Twitter user gave a list of many women CBS should consider, with varying degrees of plausibility. They wrote: “With ‘The Late Late Show with James Corden‘ comes to an end maybe hire a woman to replace him.
“Suggestions include, but are not limited to: Wanda Sykes, Nicole Byer, Margaret Cho, Chelsea Handler, Kathy Griffin, Ali Wong, Hannah Gadsby, Jessica Williams, Tig Notaro.”
Of these, Sykes is the only one who has ever animated late at night, with The Wanda Sykes Show aired for five months on Fox in 2009 and 2010. Apart from Sykes, the only living women to have had a self-titled late-night show on television are Amanpour and Lilly Singh, whose A little late with Lilly Singh ran on NBC from 2019 to 2021.
Other names cited by other Twitter users were Tiffany Haddish, Amy Schumer and Kate McKinnon. If a woman took over the CBS show, she would be the first to host this late-night slot since the women of The speech did a week of evening shows in 2015, and the network’s first woman to have her own self-titled late-night show since The Faye Emerson Show completed in June 1951.
With a female host, many hope more female writers will come. In 2019, the LA Times reported that The Late Late Show with James Corden had 17 credited writers, four of whom were women. Corden’s show wasn’t alone in this—none of the late-night shows had more than five women on its credited writing staff, and The late show had the second highest percentage of female writers on network shows behind Late Night with Seth Meyers.
Jenny Hagel, staffer at Seth Meyers, told the outlet: “I don’t think anyone has any malicious intent, but every step of the way it’s a little harder for women and people of color… the whole field is so male dominated.”
In comparison, the female-hosted network show’s writers’ room had much more gender equality. Samantha Bee’s cable show was reported to feature five women out of 11 credited writers.