The Late Late Show With James Corden made its grand debut last night, with seemingly every celebrity in existence popping up to say hello. But for his first official guest, Corden snagged everyone’s favorite actor: the one and only Tom Hanks. More importantly, he got Tom Hanks to get really silly and there are few things better than Hanks throwing caution to the wind and embracing his inner comedian. In this case, he got the two-time Oscar winner to re-enact all of his movies in less than eight minutes.
In a sketch that wouldn’t have been out of place on The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon (for better or worse), Corden and Hanks stood in front of a green screen and recreated iconic and not-so-iconic moments from Forrest Gump, Saving Private Ryan, Big, Captain Phillips and countless others. It’s a hectic and deliberately lo-fi bit, with the two performers rapidly changing costumes and characters at a moment’s notice while the background swaps between various still photographs. The result is charming, with Hanks gleefully poking fun at his own career while Corden offers strong support, getting the chance to play everyone from Meg Ryan to Barkhad Abdi.
If the mark of a successful modern late night host is to create sketches that instantly go viral, then James Corden is off to a pretty strong start. Then again, it’s really hard to go wrong when you have someone as affable as Hanks in your corner.