James Corden Accused Of Plagiarism?

James Corden is alleged to have stolen the look of his talk show set from Andy Cohen's show.

By TeeJay Small | Published

james corden andy cohen

James Corden has been accused of ripping off the set design of Andy Cohen’s Watch What Happens Live show, according to a report from Deadline. During an interview on the Table for Two with Bruce Bozzi podcast, Cohen explained this plagiarism claim, stating “I would argue that Watch What Happens Live redefined what the late-night talk show is, [WWHL] was the first bar on late-night [then] James Corden got a bar. James Corden kind of wound up [copying our set]. It is what it is.” The host then chimed in, probing whether Cohen felt that James Corden has ripped off the set, to which Cohen agreed.

The Carpool Karaoke magnate and Hi-5 emoji voice actor announced his departure from late-night at the conclusion of the current season of The Late Late Show With James Corden back in April after airing since 2015. In comparison, James Corden’s contemporary, Andy Cohen, has been running his show Watch What Happens Live since 2009. WWHL airs on Bravo and famously includes a set that consists of a tavern-style bar surrounded with memorabilia and pop culture props, often gifted by the myriad of nightly guests welcomed onto the show.

james corden

It is no secret that the late-night show format has remained stagnant for years, featuring a charismatic host behind a desk, often consisting of a sidekick and in-house band, and boasting celebrity guest appearances and interviews following a comedy monologue. This has been the cultural staple since the days of Johnny Carson and has remained the norm following other great late-night hosts such as Jimmy Kimmel, Conan O’Brien, and Seth Meyers. So it should come as no surprise that a show such as James Corden’s Late Late Show would seek to update and revamp the set, so as not to blend in with the crowd, resulting in the show seemingly aping the style of Andy Cohen.

While some people online seemed to note the similarities between James Corden’s and Andy Cohen’s sets, others were quick to point out that both sets seem to be a slight deviation from Graham Norton‘s BBC One show, The Graham Norton Show, which has been airing since 2007. Could this simply be a coincidence? A series of parallel thinking from like-minded talk show hosts airing within a few years of one another, occupying a new cultural space? Or is this a case of projection, wherein Andy Cohen’s own insecurities about his set are put forth as an accusation rather than a confession? For now, nobody can be sure.

In the same interview, after concluding his remarks about James Corden, Andy Cohen went on to state that he feels like an outsider within the world of late night, and doesn’t feel like he’s usually considered alongside his contemporaries. Cohen was quick to cite a September 2015 Vanity Fair cover which featured 10 of the most prominent late-night hosts, in which Cohen was notably absent, lamenting that he’d been a television personality for over a decade when the photoshoot occurred, but was never invited to participate. Whether James Corden has plagiarized his set or not seems to be one in a series of moves made within the late-night television community that leaves Andy Cohen overlooked and underutilized.