Who better than Rosie O'Donnell to give Tony Awards hosting tips?
The comedienne emceed the show solo in 1997 and 1998, and she co-hosted Broadway's biggest night with Nathan Lane in 2000. So, when she appeared on CBS' The Late Late Show Wednesday, she gave James Corden some advice before he hosts the 70th Annual Tony Awards at the Beacon Theatre in New York City on June 12. "You need to practice saying, 'And the Tony goes to Hamilton, because it is by far the best thing I have ever seen in my entire life. I've seen in 12 times. If I could go once a week, I would. It's like going to church for me," she said. "I pay my penance. I go up to the stage. I bless myself. 'Thank you for allowing me to be here again.'"
Corden, an unabashed musical theater fan, is also a fan of Lin-Manuel Miranda's show. "When I saw the show—I've only seen it the one time—but I felt when they were bowing, I felt like, 'No, no, no. We should be bowing to them.' It's an incredible show. Do you have the soundtrack? I have the soundtrack. I listen to it every day on the way in in the car," he said. O'Donnell replied, "I know you probably know all the words to all of it, right? Because you're that kind of guy."
"Well, they stick in your head!" Corden said. "You know!"
"What's your favorite part?" O'Donnell asked.
"Well, what do you know?" Corden said in response.
"I know pretty much all of it," O'Donnell said before rapping a bit of "Satisfied. "I love the Schuyler sisters because I'm the oldest and the wittiest and the gossip in New York City is insidious." Corden then joined his guest in rapping the opening number, "Alexander Hamilton."
"How does a bastard, orphan, son of a whore and a / Scotsman, dropped in the middle of a / Forgotten spot in the Caribbean by providence / Impoverished, in squalor / Grow up to be a hero and a scholar? / The 10-dollar founding father without a father / Got a lot farther by working a lot harder / By being a lot smarter / By being a self-starter / By 14, they placed him in charge of a / Trading charter / And every day while slaves were being slaughtered and carted," Corden and O'Donnell rapped. "Away across the waves, he struggled and kept his guard up / Inside, he was longing for something to be a part of / The brother was ready to beg, steal, borrow, or barter / Then a hurricane came, and devastation reigned / Our man saw his future drip, dripping down the drain / Put a pencil to his temple, connected it to his brain / And he wrote his first refrain, a testament to his pain / Well, the word got around, they said, 'This kid is insane, man' / Took up a collection just to send him to the mainland / 'Get your education, don't forget from whence you came, and / The world is gonna know your name. What's your name, man?'"
Nominations for the 2016 Tony Awards will be announced Apr. 29.