James Corden on How Mariah Carey’s ‘Carpool Karaoke’ Almost Turned Into a Wreck

Late-night host also reveals that he doesn't ever want to take Stephen Colbert's "Late Show" gig

June 7, 2016

James Corden has done his fair share of winning the internet lately. His “Carpool Karaoke” series has made him a household name in America, maybe even more than having his own late-night talk show. The “Late Late Show” host stopped by the Stern Show on Monday morning and revealed it wasn’t easy getting the wheels in motion for “Carpool Karaoke.”

“We tried to book it for two months,” Corden said. No matter the musician, though, everyone said no to participating in the bit. James then had a chance meeting with a woman from Mariah Carey’s record company who was able to convince the pop diva to give the singing segment a try.

“When she says, ‘Fine, let’s do it on Sunday,’ you just shit yourself,” James told Howard, adding that he now had to prove that this was a worthwhile idea. “We picked her up from her house – it’s a lot harder for people to say no when you are outside the gates,” James continued, “And then she came out and said ‘I’m not singing today. We’ll just drive around and have a chat.'”

With the word karaoke in the very name of the bit, it was crucial for at least someone to sing. Once James began belting out Mariah’s biggest hits, she soon followed suit and sang along – lucky she did because the video went viral and gave Corden his now sure-fire franchise. A glimpse at “The Late Late Show’s” YouTube channel reveals that the top seven videos are all of James singing with celebrities, including his video with Adele, which has been viewed more than 107 million times.

“The greatest thing about the internet is it is a completely level and fair playing field,” Corden told Howard. “There’s no big 10 o’clock drama, there’s no NBA game, NFL game, there’s no lead-in, there’s no nothing. It’s like oil and the good will just rise to the top.”

He continued, saying: “I genuinely couldn’t tell you how many watch our show … We only really look at the internet.”

Despite the success, Corden told Howard he wouldn’t be interested in moving to the 11:35 p.m. “Late Night” slot if it were open.

While he’s happy with the gig he’s got now, Corden explained that he’s not sure if he’s willing to stick to late-night for the long haul.

“I don’t know if I necessarily think that I’m a host of a television show and I should do this for 20 years,” he said, adding that it takes a certain type of person to make a career in late-night TV. “There is a thing within America where people look to those guys for the things that they want and need and require from a host at those times … when stuff happens, when big things happen … I do think there is a different pressure and I don’t know if I want that to be my life.”

Watch “The Late Late Show with James Corden” at 12:37 a.m. ET on CBS weeknights following “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.”