Although he was never formally announced, we were banking on seeing James Corden as scheming slave Pseudolus in the planned Broadway revival of A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum. After all, Corden killed in Tony-winning turn as—get this—a scheming
slave servant in One Man, Two Guvnors. Unfortunately, it looks like Corden thinks it’d be more fun to wear a suit and talk to celebs as the host of The Late Late Show than to wear a toga and sing this Stephen Sondheim score. Sigh! Since Corden is likely out of Forum, we thought of seven performers who should do it. Wanted: A big personality to lead this musical romp through ancient Rome’s desperate lovers and conniving neighbors. Here are our picks...
Norbert Leo Butz
He’s a two-time Tony-winning musical comedy favorite who is probably tired of originating roles. So much work! This is a simple one, Norbs. Throw on a toga, let loose your gorgeous voice and go nuts with some shticky sex farce stuff. No brainer.
This wisecracking comedian is versatile, wacky, has a decent set of pipes and gives off the perfect slacker vibe for a fed-up slave. In fact, Corden has been called the “British Jack Black.” You’re welcome, Broadway producers.
Name a huge Broadway comedy blockbuster. Right: The Book of Mormon. Now name a movie musical that exceeded all expectations and made a mint. Yep, Frozen. What do these things have in common? #dzuh
The original 1962 New York Times review called Forum “noisy, coarse, blue and obvious.” Aren’t these all the things we love about 30 Rock star Morgan? Plus, a belly slap could totally work for the character.
Jesse Tyler Ferguson
Speaking of TV stars, it’s time to come home to Broadway, Jesse! Does anyone do exasperation better than the Modern Family star? And who is more exasperated than a freedom-hungry slave who is cleverer than his master?
Yes, a woman can play Pseudolus, just ask Whoopi Goldberg. McCarthy is right for the part: fearless, kooky and willing to do anything for a laugh. This Oscar nominee and Emmy winner conquered the big and small screen; It’s time to hit the stage!
He’s no stranger to controversy…or sex jokes. In fact, he’s a peerless comic genius who would instantly transform Forum into the hottest ticket of the season. But we have two questions: Would Pseudolus have to be a divorced father of two? And would every ticket in the theater cost $5? Because we're totally OK with that.