Who knew singing along to the radio while driving could be so much fun? James Corden, host of CBS’s “The Late Late Show,” instituted the segment “Carpool Karaoke” on his talk show in March 2015. It has since become a viral sensation. Looking back at a year of “Carpool Karaoke” greatness, fans can already tell this segment has changed late night television for the better.
While driving to work, Corden picks up his famous musician friends to harmonize on their greatest hits and ask them off-the-cuff questions. The segment never fails to show fans a different side of current day chart toppers, showing their humility and humor. Mariah Carey was the first celebrity to star in the segment and inspired others to get on board.
“Before Mariah Carey said yes, no one would do it,” Corden told Entertainment Weekly. “If I told you the people that turned it down before Mariah Carey said yes, you’d be like…you’d understand why they’d say no. It’s a weird ask.”
Corden has since had a variety of other musicians in his passenger seat, including Justin Bieber, Carrie Underwood, Rod Stewart, One Direction and Jennifer Hudson. Corden said the guest who most surprised him was Stevie Wonder.
“We were told very strictly that we only had an hour, and we just shot for two-and-a-half hours because he just kept saying, ‘I’m having a great time, let’s do another one!’” Corden told Entertainment Weekly.
Unarguably the most successful installment of “Carpool Karaoke” was the video featuring Adele, which has broken a late night record since its January debut. The 15-minute clip – which features Adele singing along to some of her greatest hits, as well as Nicki Minaj’s “Monster” and the Spice Girls’s “Wannabe” – has amassed over 95 million views on YouTube to date.
The segment was celebrated on its one-year anniversary when CBS aired an hour-long special of its greatest hits, as well as some new footage. This special included an appearance from Jennifer Lopez, who sang along to her hits like “Love Don’t Cost a Thing,” practiced her favorite music video poses and texted Leonardo DiCaprio.
Due to its popularity, Corden desires to develop a spin-off series of the segment, according to the Hollywood Reporter. Although “Carpool Karaoke” has only been around for a year, it has already become an online phenomena. Corden’s genius idea has added an organic, spontaneous element to the talk show history book.