By Dan Snierson
Updated February 20, 2015 at 10:38 PM EST
Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images

Comedy force and former illusionist Will Arnett will try to work his magic in a different kind of way tonight when he becomes the latest person to guest-host The Late Late Show before James Corden permanently assumes the chair on March 23. He’ll have a discerning audience sitting right next to him, as his first guest is Jimmy Kimmel Live host Jimmy Kimmel. “I plan on really turning the tables on Jimmy and asking the hard-hitting questions that people have always wanted to ask him, like, ‘How was your day?'” Arnett tells EW. “On a quasi-serious tip, I want to get into how he likes hosting a talk show. For real. And I know him well enough to be able to be like, ‘First of all, am I doing an okay job? What should I be doing? What are the things I should be thinking about, if anything, or are you on autopilot? And do you even like doing it?'”

Turns out that Kimmel—who popped up on The Late Late Show in November to bid farewell to the departing Craig Ferguson—said yes to this special cross-network appearance with a very specific condition. “One of the reasons that Jimmy agreed to do it, and he’s going to hold me to it, is I promised him that I’d cry on the show,” says Arnett. “So I’ve got to live up to that. I promise that I’ll cry.”

Before the tears, will there be nerves? “Of course, I’m nervous,” says Arnett, who also will welcome John Krasinski and his Arrested Development co-star David Cross to the show (CBS, 12:37 a.m.). “I’ve been a talk-show guest dozens of times, but to go the other way, who freaking knows?… It’s something that I always thought about would be interesting and fun, but I’m not insane enough to suppose that I think that I’d be good at it. The guys who do do it on a daily basis like Jimmy are so good at it.'”

If this late night thing doesn’t pan out, Arnett has plenty of other projects on his plate. He’ll shoot Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2 this summer, and then there’s The Lego Batman Movie, a spin-off of The Lego Movie that will precede The Lego Movie 2. “I love that even before we get into the sequel that we’re going to take a little side detour into the dark recesses of Lego Batman’s mind,” says the voice of the plastic Dark Knight. “It’s a really, really fun idea and I think that for the people who did enjoy that part of The Lego Movie and who enjoyed Batman, they’re going to feel very satisfied about where this goes… The action, from what I’ve seen so far, is incredibly intense and hilarious simultaneously. And that’s no easy feat.“

Arnett is also jumping into another small-screen project. After The Millers was canceled, he signed a deal with Netflix to co-write and star in an eight-episode comedy titled Flaked, in which he’ll play a self-appointed ‘guru’ in Venice, Calif., who becomes enamored with his best friend’s crush. “It is a comedy but it also a lot more probably real than anything I’ve done before,” he says. “And more than anything, this has been—I hate the expression—but a passion fruit project. It’s something that I’ve been working on and thinking about for a few years. It’s kind of a different gear for me.”