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James Corden Remembers Gene Wilder’s Touching Late Late Show Appearance Rejection

Yesterday, Gene Wilder passed away at the age of 83. When news began to spread of his passing, people everywhere across all platforms of social media and on television and everything began to share touching stories of how much of an inspiration Wilder was to them. Last night, James Corden took a moment during The Late Late Show to share a fond remembrance of Wilder with a bit of an unorthodox story: how he turned down a guest appearance on The Late Late Show.

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You might remember back when he did his first show, he made a sketch explaining how he got to be host on The Late Late Show: via a golden ticket found in Late Late Show chocolate bars, of course. It’s a hilarious sketch, and it’s completely star-studded, save for one person who would’ve really completed the collection of stars: Wilder, aka Willy Wonka himself.

Corden knew Wilder from having met him after a Broadway show when Wilder visited Corden backstage in his dressing room to chat with him for a while about how he and his family are adjusting to New York. So, after Corden found out he’s going to host The Late Late Show, he asked Wilder to join him on his first show. But, perhaps unsurprisingly, Wilder was a complete class act even in his rejection, writing: “Dearest James, I don’t do or go where you are hoping, but I’ll be looking for you with my love,” signing it simply, “Gene.”

Wilder continues to be so very dearly missed, and his absence will certainly be felt for years to come.

(via Vulture)

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Jessica Lachenal
Jessica Lachenal is a writer who doesn’t talk about herself a lot, so she isn’t quite sure how biographical info panels should work. But here we go anyway. She's the Weekend Editor for The Mary Sue, a Contributing Writer for The Bold Italic (, and a Staff Writer for Spinning Platters ( She's also been featured in Model View Culture and Frontiers LA magazine, and on Autostraddle. She hopes this has been as awkward for you as it has been for her.

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