James Corden brings ‘Carpool Karaoke’ to primetime again

Popular ‘Late Late Show’ segment gets another CBS showcase

James Corden of “The Late Late Show Carpool Karaoke Primetime Special 2018” Monday on CBS

Q: What was the genesis of the late-night segment being showcased again by “The Late Late Show Carpool Karaoke Primetime Special 2018’’?

A: We had shot a sketch in 2011 for “Comic Relief,” for “Red Nose Day,” with myself and George Michael – me playing a character from a TV show I’d done at home (in England). And we had this idea that George and I would be singing in a car, and the whole sketch had a mass of people in it, and it did very, very well. People would talk to us about this moment of, “Ah, you and George singing in the car, it was so great.” And they loved it.

So, when we got here and we were thinking about (starting “The Late Late Show”), we were thinking, “Well, what could be?” You know, you’re throwing around a million ideas. And on this one, we said, “You know, we’re relocating to Los Angeles. People talk about the traffic here all the time and carpool lanes. And carpool and maybe a singer and carpool karaoke, is that a thing? Could it be a thing? I don’t know.”

Q: What’s it like to be driving while you’re recording a “Carpool Karaoke” segment?

A: Well, it’s pretty easy. You just mostly drive in a straight line, and you are in a convoy of a few cars. And then you sort of turn around and come back, and that’s it. I think my driving is okay. I’d rather do it here than in London … that’s harder.

Q: Since it’s been going for a while, how do you think “Carpool Karaoke” fits into “The Late Late Show” overall now?

A: I feel very lucky that I’m surrounded with who I believe are the best producers in the world. I never really wanted to be a talk-show host. It’s never something I aspired to be or wanted to be, and it was only really (appealing) through realizing that this show could just be a creative platform where I could make whatever hour we wanted to make, and we could do anything and we were actually bound by nothing. That’s when it becomes incredibly exciting.

Jay Bobbin

Jay Bobbin

Jay Bobbin has decades of experience covering the television and movie businesses, winning Tribune Media Services’ Crown Jewel Award in 2008 for his performance in the company. Over those many years of interviewing and writing, he has spoken with everyone from Robert De Niro and John Travolta to Paul McCartney and Tony Bennett … from Meryl Streep and Julie Andrews to Taylor Swift and Carrie Underwood.

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