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James Corden has announced he will be leaving The Late Late Show next year. The British comedian and actor shared the news on Thursday night’s episode. He has been hosting the CBS network talk show since 2015.
“I never want this show to overstay its welcome in any way, I always want to love making it and I really think in a year from now that will be a good time to move on and see what else might be out there,” he said.
He added that leaving was “the hardest decision I’ve ever had to make”.
So, you know what that means folks? There’s just one year left of everyone’s favourite mini-series, Carpool Karaoke. The segment had only just returned on April 7 after a two-year hiatus – and nearly 8 million fans tuned in to watch Nicki Minaj and Corden’s YouTube relaunch episode.
The series began back in 2015 as a segment on the late-night talk show. The premise is simple: Corden picks up a major musical celebrity – previous guests include Niall Horan, Celine Dion, Michael Bublé, Justin Beiber and Iggy Azalea – and drives them about as if it’s a carpool. They play songs – usually belonging to the artist, but sometimes playing other hits – and have a hearty sing-song.
To celebrate – and mourn – the last season of everyone’s favourite sing-song show, here are our biggest and best moments of James Corden’s Carpool Karaoke (so far).
— The Late Late Show with James Corden (@latelateshow) April 1, 2022
The first guest ever was Mariah Carey – the star sat in her sunglasses, blonde fringe covering half of her face, speaking in an English accent and having a whale of a time, and lo and behold, the series became an instant hit.
It doesn’t necessarily sound hilarious, but it is. Maybe it’s the awkward seating position, Corden’s affable disposition, or the sight of seeing usually untouchable musicians larking about, shouting out the lyrics to their own songs? Whatever it is, the concoction works, and the segments regularly go viral.
To celebrate the relaunch, or rather, so we can all watch our favourite moment again, here is our round-up of the biggest and best bits of the show.
Michelle Obama and Missy Elliott
A simply awe-inspiring combination. No one is cooler than Michelle Obama and Corden must have pondered how to rise to this challenge. He did a great job – bringing legend Missy Elliot to ride out in the last quarter of the 15-minute clip. The best moment has to be when all three celebs start having an absolute blast to Get Your Freak On.
Cardi B and James Corden are from different universes, and that’s what makes this drive so good. Cardi is, as usual, excruciatingly honest about her grind to the top, while James, despite all the Hollywood success, is still from Buckinghamshire. There are some literally laugh out loud moments, such as when Cardi uses her water bottle as a microphone, winding down her window to shout at the cars driving by.
Rod Stewart and A$AP Rocky
Shortly after the release of A$AP Rocky’s song Everyday featuring Rod Stewart, Late Late Show viewers were treated to the seemingly odd duo on Carpool Karaoke. The clip begins with British favourite Rod, who is as laidback and charming as ever, but then the scene gets even better when A$AP pops up to rap his verse.
Madonna’s carpool is on this list purely for the opening song sequence. It’s Madonna’s Vogue on the radio and both the singer and Corden go hard into posing at each “strike a pose” command. The good vibes are infectious.
Adele’s 2016 drive with Corden racked up 253 million views, making it the most viewed Carpool Karaoke clip ever. And it’s clear why. Not only is Adele her usual genial self, but she properly belts out her songs too. Then she raps Nicki Minaj’s verse from Monster - iconic.
Billie’s carpool is by far the most wholesome of the bunch. She’s still just 18 years old and seems like it in the clip – probably a combination of her earnestness and enthusiasm for every song James plays. Anyway, it’s lovely to see the talent enjoying herself so much. She leans back in her chair, ricochets back and forth in her seat, and plays the ukulele. The best bit is when the duo make a stop off at Billie’s childhood home to check out her tarantula. When he’s holding the giant spider she disappears, leaving the chat host quaking.
Gwen Stefani, George Clooney & Julia Roberts
There is surely no bigger superstar carpool moment than when George Clooney and Julia Roberts popped in for a brief cameo during Gwen Stefani’s drive. And who would have thought they would ever witness the illustrious actors rapping along to Hollaback Girl? It was a surreal treat.
As per usual, Kanye West had to do things a little differently. Corden catches the rapper on an aeroplane as he is travelling with his Sunday Service choir. This means that whenever they do break out in song, the sound and energy are incredible.
Back in the days before the end of her conservatorship, Britney graced our screens on carpool karaoke. The pop star was sweet and hilarious and for Britney fans, there was literally nothing better than seeing the artist sing along to her smash hits. Now that her conservatorship has ended, a round two, of a freer, happier Britney would be most welcome.