The top calibre artist who 'made' carpool karaoke a big deal
JAMES Corden, king of Carpool Karaoke, has driven around a veritable who's who of celebrities singing along with him through the streets of Los Angeles.
But the Late Late Show host knows he struck gold landing one huge name.
"Stevie Wonder changed everything. When he did the show, people went, 'Oh my God!'" he laughs. "Artists follow other artists, actors follow actors, and artists ultimately feel comforted and supported by the people that are around them. When you say to an artist who doesn't want to do the segment, 'Well, Stevie Wonder did it. What are you saying?' Then they'll go, 'Oh, God. If it's good enough for him, I'll do it!'"
"The one we did with Adele was amazing," he gushes. The British duo belted out the hits Rolling in the Deep, All I Ask, and Someone Like You. "It's inconceivable to me that that has had 177 million views on YouTube. It's amazing to me that a clip we can make is still viewed around 200,000 times a week."
Despite his impressive run of A-listers, Corden admits he still gets starstruck. "I am such a fan of Bruno Mars, so that was a particularly exciting one because I'd been looking forward to it for so long." They sang a few tracks from Mars' 24k Magic album. "The thing about Bruno Mars is that he does so little in terms of appearances, and is so particular about what he does, so the fact that he wanted to do it was incredible for all of us on the show."
Corden throws out a few names he hopes will one day sit in the passenger seat.
"I would love Bruce Springsteen, I would love Beyonce, Kendrick Lamar, Eminem, Taylor Swift, Paul Simon, Kylie and of course, Barbra Streisand. I hope we get them one day."
Another memorable moment featured a guest-turned-life saver. "The Red Hot Chili Peppers' Anthony Kiedis and I were talking about who was the better dancer, and we got out of the car to have a dance-off, which was pretty ridiculous. Suddenly, across the road, a woman came out of her house with her baby flopped over her arms. She was screaming, 'Help me, help me, something's happened to my daughter.'
"Anthony sprinted across the road, he took the baby, and started to rub her back. He kept saying to the mother, 'It's okay. She's going to be okay, she's breathing.'
"I was going, 'Someone call an ambulance!' But Anthony was the calmest man I have ever seen in my life [in that situation]. Finally, the baby let out the biggest burp you've ever heard." He laughs. "And as we walked back to the car, you saw this woman go, 'Thank you so much!' and then realised that the Red Hot Chili Peppers had just saved her daughter's life."
How would Corden fare in such a life and death emergency?
"I would have freaked out! I kept thinking, should anything ever happen to my children, I really hope Anthony Kiedis is around!"
Corden has enjoyed an eclectic assortment of guests, including First Lady, Michelle Obama, who was happy to ride shotgun and sang one of her husband's favourite tunes, Signed, Sealed, Delivered. He even considered President Trump as a potential wingman. While Trump may be known for many things, his singing talent isn't one of them, so Corden came up with a different idea for him. "It was a game called 'Stand By It or Take it Back'," he explains. "He would have two paddles and I would read him something he said on the campaign trail. He'd have to stand by it or take it back. And if he took it back, it would be gone forever and he could admit it was a mistake. And if he stood by it, he had to explain why," he says. "After they heard that idea they very quickly didn't want to come on our show."
Corden is promoting the live action adventure film, Peter Rabbit, from his new hometown of Los Angeles, where he lives with his wife, Julia Carey, and their three children. The London-born actor and comedian voices the titular character, based on the novel by Beatrix Potter. Shot in Australia, the film's cast includes an array of Aussies including Margot Robbie, Rose Byrne and Elizabeth Debicki. He says, "I remember as a kid my parents reading it to me and it was the first time I'd ever heard of a character who was naughty. I loved it."