the late late show with james corden

Paul McCartney joins James Corden for Carpool Karaoke in London on THE LATE LATE SHOW WITH JAMES CORDEN

Photo: Craig Sugden/CBS ©2018 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

By Rebecca Reisner

When James Corden debuted as host of The Late Late Show in 2015, he had such a low profile in the U.S. that he had to tell the audience he wasn’t Andy Richter (Conan O’Brien’s stocky blond ex-sidekick).

“As shocked as you are I’m doing this job,” the British comedian and actor said on that first night, “you will never be as shocked as I am.”

Corden went on to make his mark by mixing up the typical late-night talk show format. He introduces guests before his monologue and brings them out to be interviewed together, instead of one by one. He even reverses the optics by placing his desk camera on the left.

As he prepares to exit the show in 2023 to pursue other interests, Corden’s greatest legacy will be Carpool Karaoke. In the popular segments, he invites famous singers into his Land Rover during his “commute” to work to justify driving in a carpool lane. (In truth, there is no carpool lane on his route and he sometimes pretends to drive while a truck tows his car.) Then, he turns on music and sings live duets with the stars.

Here are eight of his most memorable Carpool Karaoke segments.

The Late Late Show With James Corden airs weeknights at 12:37a.m./11:37p.m. central on CBS and Paramount+.

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Guest: Barbra Streisand (November 1, 2018)

Known for: Gift-from-God singing voice, EGOT status (Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony winner), general fabulousness

Songs performed: Memories, Enough is Enough, Don’t Rain on my Parade, Imagine, What a Wonderful World

What makes it memorable: The Cleopatra-eyeliner-wearing star does the driving herself after answering a distress call from Corden. We get to hear what a pretty voice he has when he starts out by singing Memories alone. Streisand shares what happened when she called Apple CEO Tim Cook because Siri mispronounced her name. The Funny Girl star, 76 years old at the time of her appearance on The Late Late Show, also reveals that she failed her written driving exam three times. “If this is how I go out,” Corden says, “I’ll take it.”

Guest: Cardi B. (December 17, 2018)

Known for: Rising to fame on reality TV, New Yawk accent, openness about her roots as a stripper

Songs performed: Bodak Yellow, Money, Drip, Be Careful

What gives it “sole”: Wearing a skintight yellow suit, the South Bronx–raised “these is bloody shoes” singer and rapper shows her vulnerability during a driving lesson courtesy of Corden, swivels her hips at the Culver City Senior Center, and tells kids at a playground to stay in school.

Guest: Niall Horan (March 3, 2020)

Known for: Rising to fame in boy band One Direction, going solo, buying his mother a six-bedroom mansion in Ireland

Songs performed: Slow Hands, Steal My Girl, Nice to Meet Ya, Put a Little Love on Me, No Judgment

What makes it fly: Corden and the Irish singer-songwriter imitate each other’s accents. Horan explains that he’s afraid of pigeons because “they’re not scared of us until you get really close.” Then, at a pit stop, a professional bird handler deposits three of the so-called sky rats in Horan’s hands and on his shoulder and head. He survives.

Guest: Madonna (December 7, 2016)

Known for: Earning a lifetime fortune of $850 million, being so famous that helicopters spied on her wedding to Sean Penn in 1985, changing her look and religious affiliation

Songs performed: Vogue, Bitch I’m Madonna, Papa Don’t Preach, Express Yourself, Ray of Light, Music

Why it’s great “material”: The Get into the Groove singer—whose latest accent sounds faintly Scouse (like a native of Liverpool)—twerks the driver’s side window. Corden impersonates Eva Perón. Madonna tells a bicyclist to express himself, and she reveals how she once helped Michael Jackson loosen up.

Guest: Lin-Manuel Miranda (June 6, 2016)

Known for: Writing and starring in the musical Hamilton, which won 11 Tony Awards (tickets can cost $1,000-plus apiece)

Songs performed: Alexander Hamilton, Seasons of Love, Can’t Take My Eyes Off You, One Day More

What makes it a great “shot”: The playwright discusses his career before Hamilton turned him into a household name. Audra McDonald, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, and Jane Krakowski crash the party and join in on the singing. McDonald goes full operatic in the closing scene.

Guest: Adele (January 13, 2016)

Known for: Soulful voice, working-class British roots, power breakup ballads, winning 15 Grammy awards, having vocal cord surgery

Songs performed: Hello, Someone Like You, Wannabe, All I Ask, Monster, Rolling in the Deep

What makes it so deep: Filmed in the U.K., this segment was so British there should have been fish & chips. Corden and Adele, who were both born in London, drive on the left side of the street while singing her comeback hit Hello. Many fans would later say the diva sounded as good live in the car as she does in studio recordings.

Guest: BTS (February 25, 2018)

Known for: Being the best-selling South Korean musical act ever, winning four 2022 Billboard Music Awards, sporting creative hair colors

Songs performed: Mic Drop, Finesse, On, Circles, Black Swan

What gives it “Seoul”: Corden and the seven members of the K-pop boy band—whose name translates to “bulletproof boy scouts”—spend most of their time singing in the car, making the segment into a mini-concert. The group spokesman reveals which U.S. sitcom helped him learn English. And Corden attends a plyometric dance class with the guys.

Guest: Paul McCartney (June 21, 2018)

Known for: Being half of the McCartney-Lennon songwriting juggernaut, status as the wealthiest ex-Beatle, breaking hearts the world over when he married in 1969

Songs performed: Penny Lane, Let It Be, Blackbird, When I’m Sixty-Four, Come on to Me, Love Me Do, Ob-La-Di Ob-La-Da, Back in the U.S.S.R.

What makes it a high note: The segment, filmed in Liverpool, functions as a 23-minute homecoming documentary for the former Beatle. McCartney and Corden visit Penny Lane and surprise local pub goers with a free musical performance. McCartney gives a tour of the house where he spent his teen years and recounts how his father wanted to revise She Loves You.

The Late Late Show With James Corden airs weeknights at 12:37a.m./11:37p.m. central on CBS and Paramount+.

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Pete Holmes on The Late Late Show with James Corden in May 2021

Photo credit: Terence Patrick/CBS via Getty Images

By Katey Clifford

In the CBS comedy How We Roll, Tom Smallwood has been laid off from his job at the car assembly line. Not sure what to do next, this small-town dad decides to follow his passion and become a professional bowler, with encouragement from his wife.

Actor and comedian Pete Holmes plays the show's likable protagonist—based on the real life Tom Smallwood—but where else have you seen him? Get to know the man behind the character!

Watch the CBS comedy How We Roll on Thursdays at 9:30 p.m. ET/PT and stream it on Paramount+.

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Beantown-Born

Pete Holmes speaking into a microphone with his index finger on his temple

Holmes onstage at Comedy Gives Back during the 2014 SXSW Music, Film + Interactive Festival at Brazos Hall in 2014 in Austin, Texas

Photo credit: Heather Kennedy/Getty Images for SXSW

While his character hails from Saginaw, Michigan, Holmes is actually from Boston. His comedy career has led him from Beantown to New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles.

In real life, he says he's a so-so bowler, but he has happy memories of going to birthday parties at bowling alleys as a kid and later hanging with buddies by the lanes. “Bowling is the ultimate excuse to hang out with your friends because most of the time you’re sitting around waiting for your turn,” he told the Daily News.

Jokes For Days

Pete Holmes in a suit walking down the steps of The Late Late Show with James Corden surrounded by clapping audience members

Holmes on The Late Late Show with James Corden in 2019

Photo credit: Phillip Faraone / Stringer / Getty Images

He has made appearances on a number of TV shows, including multiple guest spots on The Late Late Show with James Corden. He also starred in the sitcoms Crashing (2017–2019) and The Pete Holmes Show (2013–2014), which he created.

Comedian's Corner

Pete Holmes sitting in a blue chair while wearing a blue suit on the set of The Late Late Show with James Corden

Holmes on The Late Late Show with James Corden in 2021

Photo credit: Terence Patrick/CBS via Getty Images

His brand of comedy is a hearty mix of self-aware humor and musings on spirituality and religion. He has said he wanted to be a comedian ever since he knew the career existed. He also thought about becoming a youth pastor, "which is very similar to a comedian ... They get up in front of groups, they’re entertaining, they’re informative, they sort of make you feel good."

Podcast Prowess

Pete Holmes wearing a yellow number 3 jersey and making a defensive face with his hands up in front of him

On The Late Late Show with James Corden in 2017

Photo credit: Terence Patrick/CBS via Getty Images

Holmes has his own podcast, You Made it Weird with Pete Holmes, in which he often interviews fellow comedians. His guests have included Judd Apatow, Aziz Ansari, John Mulaney, Ben Schwartz, Dana Carvey, and the late Garry Shandling.

Voice Actor

Pete Holmes stands in a jacket with a hand in his pants pocket

Holmes attends the premiere of The Secret Life Of Pets 2 in 2019 in Westwood, California.

Photo credit: Phillip Faraone / Stringer / Getty Images

Holmes is also a voice actor. If you've seen The Secret Life Of Pets 2, he might sound familiar as the voice of the clumsy, affable character Chuck.

Arguably, his best known vocal work was as the baby in the E*Trade commercials popular about a decade ago. The baby "came out of retirement" earlier this year for a new ad that premiered during Superbowl 56.

How We Roll airs Thursdays at 9:30 p.m. ET/PT and streams on Paramount+.

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Emmy winner Bryan Cranston stars in Your Honor.

Photo credit: Andreas Laszlo Konrath/Trunk Archive

By Nate Millado

If ever there was a time we needed television, it was the last year and a half—and CBS Studios gave us stories that made us laugh, cry, and everything in between. With Primetime Emmy nominations just weeks away (July 13), we want to show some love to a few shows and artists that delivered award-worthy entertainment—and escapism.

READ MORE: Flip Through the Gorgeous Watch For Your Consideration Issue Now!

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Some of the most memorable Crosswalk the Musical performances have riffed on Beauty and the Beast, Les Misérables, and On the Town.

Photo credits: (clockwise from top) Terence Patrick/CBS, Craig Sugden/CBS, Timothy Kuratek/CBS.

By Nate Millado

Sadly, Broadway has remained dark since March 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic. But there's light at the end of the Great White Way: Broadway shows are expected to reopen after Labor Day. Until then, The Late Late Show with James Corden brings the theater to you with Crosswalk the Musical. For the uninitiated, the Tony-winning late night talk show host headlines pared-down versions of some of your favorite shows (with your favorite stars) in the middle of the street. Watch rounds up some of the best, from Aladdin to Les Misérables.

SUBSCRIBE NOW: Enjoy 4 Digital Plus 2 Print/Digital Issues Of Watch Per Year— For Free!

The Late Late Show with James Corden airs Weeknights at 12:37/11:37c on CBS. Stream anytime on Paramount+.

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