Carpool Karaoke is a recurring segment on The Late Late Show with James Corden, in which host James Corden invites famous musical guests to sing along to their songs with him whilst travelling in a car driven by Corden on a planned route usually in Los Angeles, usually under the pretense of needing to get to work and preferring to use the high-occupancy carpool vehicle lane, or the pretext of needing directions from a local when in a new town, such as London (with Adele), Liverpool (with Paul McCartney), New York City (with Madonna) or Las Vegas (with Céline Dion).
In 2016, Apple Music and CBS Television Studios announced that they had reached a deal for an exclusive first-window licensing agreement under which Apple Music will be the global home of a television series adaptation of the segment. It was also initially announced that the series would have a host that would appear in every episode. On January 9, 2017, it was reported that the series would not feature a single host and instead would have a different host in every episode.
Corden explained that the segment was inspired by a Gavin & Stacey-themed sketch he had participated in for the British charity television special Red Nose Day 2011, in which he sang along with George Michael in a car.
For the 2014 documentary When Corden Met Barlow which aired on BBC One, Corden included a 6-minute 45 second Carpool Karaoke segment in the documentary with singer-songwriter Gary Barlow of Take That. The documentary was directed by Ben Winston. Corden explained that "Ben Winston and I always thought there was something very joyful about someone very, very famous singing their songs in an ordinary situation. We just had this idea: Los Angeles, traffic, the carpool lane—maybe this is something we could pull off." No musicians were interested initially, but when Corden showed the George Michael-clip to Mariah Carey, she agreed to pioneer the show.
In 2020, it was revealed that Corden does not always actually drive the vehicle during filming; instead it is towed. Corden explained that due to safety issues—like for a dance routine, or costume change—they have to tow, and cited five instances, roughly five percent of the series to date, where this method was employed: with Meghan Trainor, Migos, Cardi B, Chance the Rapper, and Justin Bieber (3rd time). He also noted the entire endeavor is for entertainment, he is already at work so never needs a carpool, and those streets do not have carpool lanes.
Similar named show
An earlier 2009-2016 iTunes and YouTube web series, Carpool  was produced and presented by English actor and comedian Robert Llewellyn and had a format with Llewellyn interviewing celebrity guests over 106 episodes while giving them a lift in an eco-friendly car (normally a Toyota Prius hybrid electric vehicle). In 2010, a ten episode series of Carpool was also broadcast on the free-to-air British tv channel Dave from 4 November 2010.
The segments, which have featured artists such as Paul McCartney, Migos, Cardi B, Mariah Carey, Celine Dion, Justin Bieber, Madonna, Bruno Mars, Billie Eilish, The Foo Fighters, The Jonas Brothers, Nick Jonas, Coldplay, Lady Gaga, Jennifer Lopez, Kanye West, Britney Spears, Stevie Wonder, Demi Lovato, Ariana Grande, Katy Perry, Selena Gomez, BTS, One Direction, Adele, Shawn Mendes, Harry Styles, Ed Sheeran, Sia, Elton John, Carrie Underwood and the Red Hot Chili Peppers, became popular videos on the Late Late Show's YouTube channel. A January 2016 Carpool Karaoke segment featuring Adele reached 42 million YouTube views within 5 days, making it the most popular video originating from a late night program since 2013, continuing on to gather 206.5 million by 15 November 2019. As of 15 November 2019[update], five other segments have received 100+ million YouTube views: One Direction at 148.7 million, Justin Bieber's first visit at 148.2 million views, Sia at 120.5 million, Bruno Mars at 110.6 million and Selena Gomez at 100.4 million. As of 15 November 2019[update], the most viewed segment featuring a non-musician, then-current First Lady Michelle Obama (eventually joined by Missy Elliott for one song) has reached over 72 million views.
On March 29, 2016, CBS aired a primetime special featuring highlights of the segment, and a new edition with Jennifer Lopez. The special won a 2016 Emmy Award for Outstanding Variety Special. The Red Hot Chili Peppers appeared on the June 13, 2016 segment. During the filming, singer Anthony Kiedis saved the life of a baby. Kiedis later said, "A woman came out of her house, holding a child, saying, 'My baby, my baby, my baby can't breathe!' We all ran across the street, the woman thrust the baby into my arms, the baby was not breathing and I thought, 'I'm gonna try and do a little baby CPR real quick, see if I can get some air in this kid.' Tried to open the mouth, [it was] like locked shut. So I started rubbing the belly, bubbles came out of the mouth, the eyes rolled back into place, the ambulance showed up and I handed the baby over, who was now breathing and fine, and we went back to Carpool Karaoke."
The guests in chronological order appearing on the Carpool Karaoke segment of the show.
|#||Episode||Guest(s)||Date of first broadcast||Songs|
|52||603||Jonas Brothers||March 7, 2019||"Burnin' Up"|
"When You Look Me in the Eyes"
|53||Special||Celine Dion||May 20, 2019||"I'm So Excited"|
"On the Radio"
"It's All Coming Back to Me Now"
"Because You Loved Me"
"I Drove All Night"
"My Heart Will Go On"
"All by Myself" (bonus)
|54||685||Chance the Rapper||October 9, 2019||"All Day Long"|
|October 28, 2019||"Souls Anchored"|
|56||713||Harry Styles||December 10, 2019||"Watermelon Sugar"|
|57||719||Billie Eilish||December 19, 2019||"Bad Guy"|
"All the Good Girls Go to Hell"
"When the Party's Over"
|#||Episode||Guest(s)||Date of first broadcast||Songs|
(eventually joined by Dr. Phil)
|January 30, 2020||"All About That Bass"|
"Like I'm Gonna Lose You"
"Nice To Meet Ya"
|59||735||Justin Bieber (2020)||February 18, 2020||"I Don't Care"|
"One Less Lonely Girl"
|60||739||BTS||February 25, 2020||"Mic Drop"|
|61||749||Niall Horan||March 12, 2020||"Slow Hands" |
"Nice to Meet Ya"
"Steal My Girl"
"Put a Little Love on Me"
The Late Late Show Primetime Special
Special broadcasts on prime time (10 pm) highlighting the Carpool Karaoke segment of The Late Late Show. The first show broadcast on March 29, 2016 on CBS won the Primetime Emmy Awards 2016 for "Outstanding Variety Special" category.
|Episode||Guest(s)||Date of first broadcast|
|1||Highlights from past segments,
James Corden's favorite moments from his first year as host of the show
Jennifer Lopez (new)
|March 29, 2016|
|2||Bruno Mars, Crosswalk Musical,
Highlights from past segments,
Dance skit with Jennifer Lopez,
Katy Perry (new)
|May 22, 2017|
|3||"Carpool Karaoke" with musician Christina Aguilera (new)
"Crosswalk the Musical: The Sound of Music" with actors Kunal Nayyar, Iain Armitage and actresses Allison Janney and Anna Faris.
|April 23, 2018|
|4||Crosswalk The Musical - The Work of Andrew Lloyd Webber,
James Skydives with Tom Cruise
Celine Dion (new)
|May 20, 2019|
Apple Music series
In 2016, Apple Music announced that it would distribute a TV series, based on Corden's segment, called Carpool Karaoke: The Series. The series premiered on August 8, 2017, with new episodes each Wednesday, available to Apple Music subscribers. The Linkin Park - Ken Jeong episode was recorded less than a week before Chester Bennington's death, and is dedicated in his memory. On February 15, 2018, it was renewed for a second season.
In Italy, a version of "Carpool Karaoke" aired on Italia 1 in 2017 hosted by Jake La Furia (Jake the Fury). Dubai TV bought the Arabic version of "Carpool Karaoke” in 2017 hosted by Hisham Al Howaish and its first episode aired in February 2018 featuring Lebanese pop star Elissa. In Israel, a local version of Carpool Karaoke was produced for channel 11 (Kan).
- List of The Late Late Show with James Corden episodes
- Carpool 2009-2014 British web series and tv series hosted by Robert Llewellyn.
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- James Corden (May 20, 2015). Justin Bieber Carpool Karaoke (YouTube). Los Angeles. Retrieved November 15, 2019.
- James Corden (February 16, 2016). Sia Carpool Karaoke (YouTube). Los Angeles. Retrieved November 15, 2019.
- James Corden (December 13, 2016). Bruno Mars Carpool Karaoke (YouTube). Los Angeles. Retrieved November 15, 2019.
- James Corden (June 20, 2016). Selena Gomez Carpool Karaoke (YouTube). Los Angeles. Retrieved November 15, 2019.
- James Corden (July 20, 2016). First Lady Michelle Obama Carpool Karaoke (YouTube). Washington, D.C. Retrieved November 15, 2019.
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- "Demi Lovato & Nick Jonas Carpool Karaoke". The Late Late Show with James Corden. YouTube. May 16, 2016. Retrieved June 1, 2016.
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