25 Of The Most Surprising Behind-The Scenes-Facts About Carpool Karaoke

Yes, He’s Really Driving!

Did you ever wonder who was managing the steering? Because we did, but James is actually driving! The host always makes sure to take the easy routes and to keep driving at a slow and steady 20 miles per hour. We are impressed at his multi tasking skills.

Thank You George

George Michael is to thank for the show becoming a regular segment. In 2011, Michael and Corden recorded a comedy skit for the U.K.’s Comic Relief charity event. The pair had so much fun that James was inspired to create the series. And aren’t we glad that the did.

It’s Getting Hot in Here

According to Jonas favorite, Nick Jonas, filming the segment can get pretty intense. The sound of the air conditioner will interfere will be heard on the footage, so the singing celebs are forced to brave the heat. He came on the show with Demi Lovato for a great episode.

Get in Line

The show’s producers are sure to take some extra safety measures to ensure filming runs smoothly. James’s car is actually part of an impressive convoy. There are two cars ahead of him and three cars behind him so keep other drivers at bay. We wonder what the other cars on the road think and if they know what is going on.

Diva Troubles

Mariah Carey is known to be quite the diva. The legendary songstress almost ruined the very first episode of the segment. She reportedly showed up to filming and refused to sing, claiming she had a long night beforehand. After much convincing by James and the producers, Carey finally relented and agreed to sing.

Celeb Favorite

Adele was one of the most memorable episodes, that is for sure. The superstar enjoyed her karaoke experience so much she spent three hours in the passenger seat with the talk show host. Adele is responsible for the most-watched episode in the series. The video has racked up 142 million views.

A Lyric Genius

James does no preparation to brush up on remembering the lyrics of the songs featured in each episode. “I have an odd kind of autism,” he said. “There’s this odd thing in my brain where I remember songs. I’ve always sort of just been able to and it’s never really a matter of brushing up. If I wasn’t a huge fan of the person we wouldn’t be doing it.”

A Slow Start

Back in 2015, when James first conceptualized the show, he had a difficult time trying to get A-list celebs involved. Apparently, he was initially refused by every single star he approached. “If you imagine an artist — just think of any artist in the world — they said no to it. I mean, everyone. I’m talking, like, who’s the dudes who did Cotton Eye Joe? We were in those sorts of territories. And they’re like, ‘I’m not doing that’.” Luckily, Mariah Carey ultimately agreed and helped to launch the now-viral segment.

On the Spot

Christina Aguilera recently gave some behind-the-scenes secrets from her time on the segment. She revealed that each star has absolutely no idea what they’re in for until they start filming. “It’s all improv. Everything you see us saying and doing in the car, none of that’s rehearsed. We did know what songs we would sing, for the most part, but we hadn’t actually sung them together until we were in James Corden’s car,” she said.

First Lady Request

Fans were over the moon when the former First Lady, Michelle Obama, appeared in one of James’s most popular sketches. According to reports, Michelle’s people actually requested to be featured – a carpool karaoke first. “She had a new initiative called Let Girls Learn and [legendary songwriter] Diane Warren had written a song. They came to us and said they felt the best way to [promote it] was to do a Carpool,” shared James.

Celeb Walkout

Surprisingly, there was one star who bailed before just before filming was scheduled. Bryan Adams was set to be featured in a special 80s-themed segment but once the star learned of the concept, he refused to go through with filming. “Bryan’s walked in, seen the list of other people that have done it, turned around, walked, and got in his car and left,” Corden recently revealed. We would be desperate to go on.

Elusive Kanye

Kanye West is the one star that James has to be pin down to be featured on the segment. The controversial rapper has been booked to appear twice in the sketch, but cancelled both appearances at the last minute. James did mention that the hip hop star was apologetic – he even sent James a pair of Yeezy sneakers as a sincere sorry.

Would He Survive?

Of all the famous faces that have sat in James’s passenger seat, the talk show host has one particular favorite. Corden claims that Bruno Mars was the celeb guest he had the most fun filming with. ”It’s a bit like picking your children, you know what I mean?” jokes Corden, when asked which was his favorite segment. “But in terms of the one I’ve enjoyed doing the most, I think it was probably Bruno. Like, I really, I got a bit depressed afterwards … Because I’d been looking forward to it for so long and I’m such a fan.”

The Big Bucks

Though Corden is reportedly one of the lowest-paid late night talk show hosts, the popularity of Carpool Karaoke has given the star a much-deserved salary boost. In 2017 alone, he reportedly raked in $4 million. As of 2018, his net worth stands at an impressive $12 million.

The Wishlist

There’s one megastar that Corden is desperate to feature on the segment: The incredible Queen Bey. “It would break the internet,” he said of a potential Beyonce feature. “She’s on tour right now. We’re working on it.”

Award Winner

Few people know that Corden has an extensive background in film and theatre acting. The man of many talents won a prestigious Tony Award for his role as Francis Henshall in One Man, Two Guvnors which ran from 2011-2012.

Madonna’s Secrets

Each star who appears on the segment seems to feel particularly comfortable in the passenger seat. With the discreet cameras and intimate setting, many singers have shared some revealing tidbits to the talk show host. One of the most surprising came from the Queen of Pop, none other than Madonna. The superstar actually insinuated that she had had a fling with Michael Jackson. When asked about their relationship, Madonna said, “So you want me to kiss and tell then, don’t you?”  She then says, “Baby, I’ve been around,” before recalling that she made the first move describing the late Jackson as “a willing accomplice.”

The Least Popular

Elton John was featured on a special Superbowl episode of the segment. Despite the singer’s decade-spanning, acclaimed pop career, the video is the least viewed sketch of the series. Though still impressive, Elton’s appearance has only been viewed 14 million times.

Surprising Skill

The second most-watched episode of the sketch features Justin Bieber. The video has been watched 134 million times. The footage features a particularly memorable moment. Corden hands Bieber a Rubik’s Cube which he manages to solve in under a minute!

Celeb Texts

Corden has got his guests to do some pretty outrageous things during their ride alongs. One of the most memorable moments includes a famous text exchange. Corden hijacked the star’s phone and proceeded to text Leonardo DiCaprio, saying, “I’m kind of feeling like I need to cut loose. Any suggestions, let me know. J. Lo (you know, from the block).”An unassuming DiCaprio responded with the now infamous response: “You mean tonight, boo boo? Club wise?”

An Unexpected Fan

Anna Wintour is not exactly known for warmth. The notoriously severe fashion icon surprisingly claims to be one of James Corden’s biggest fans. Wintour said that Corden was her ”favorite comedian” in her Vogue 73 Questions interview. This definitely is one of the most unexpected celeb BFF pairing…

Hacked Emails

Adele had reportedly verbally confirmed to do something with James on his show at the beginning of 2015 but when the album finally came out they didn’t believe they would actually be able to get her on the show. After calling her manager Jonathan Dickens, Ben said: ‘We said we’d love to do Carpool, and amazingly, they replied, saying, “Okay. December 21, 12:30 at this address. Does this work for you?” ‘I was like, “Oh my God, that can’t be right. Has someone hacked my email?”‘ See? Even the execs of the show fan girl over celebs like we do too.

Flood Gates Open

Even top dog television producers have hearts: one producer revealed that another producer Carly Shackleton started crying in the car behind Adele and James when they sang Someone Like You. ‘I turned around, and she’s in floods of tears. Buckets and buckets of tears,’ said Ben. ‘Adele just touches those cords.’

She Didn’t Want To Leave

“She was having a great time, and James was having a great time,” the producer told Vulture. “She’s a remarkable woman. She is the biggest star, I would say, in the world right now. But yet she’s the most down-to-earth, lovely girl you could meet. You sometimes wonder if success will change someone, but it wasn’t with her. She’s as wonderful as you would hope she would be.”

Stevie Wonder Changed It All

Stevie Wonder’s Carpool Karaoke changed everything. ‘He was just promoting his tour, and not an album. But then, within 48 hours after he did Carpool, an album he had released in 2002, a greatest hits, went to No. 1 in the U.K and Europe. And it went up in the U.S., too. ‘And the labels and the artists all sat up after that.’ According to Corden. We loved this episode did you?

Most Memorable Carpool Karaoke

Most recently, Corden was escorted to work by none other than the famous and legendary Beatles member Paul Mccartney. The duo drive around Liverpool, which is where the musician is from, and is the city that inspired so many of their songs, they even go to Penny Lane and visit the hairdressers salon that features in the song Penny Lane. If you have not yet seen this episode it is truly iconic. He even surprises visitors in a pub by appearing from behind a curtain to perform his best hits.

B*itch Im Madonna

This was a legendary episode. We especially chuckled when Madonna casually made snarks about James’s choice of shirt, on multiple occasions. “It’s very Seattle 1990s.” Spilling all about her smooch with Michael Jackson (and giving him chardonnay beforehand to get him to “loosen up”), twerking, sticking her legs out of the window, admitting that she used to have a “perverse” desire to be a nun, and castigating James for not giving a bus driver what for when he got cut up, everything about Madonna’s trip was a complete delight.

Elton Dishes The Dirt

Elton stealing the lion mane James wore for ‘Circle Of Life’… but not being able to put it on properly was definitely a moment! Not only did he bring the solid tunes, he’s far more entertaining than that, adding in ad-libs to the songs and gamely playing along with James at every turn. On top of that, he openly admits that he once became such a diva that he asked someone to “do something about the wind” to confessing: “Arlene Phillips said I was the worst dancer she ever worked with. Bitch.” There’s other stuff too – make sure you watch it.

How Do They Choose The Best Bits?

“I think you’ve got to be sort of strict with yourself, and kill things that you love,” Corden says. “There are always some amazing, amazing bits in there. But we choose what we feel was the best 14, 15 minutes…The best television always leaves you wanting more.”

Take That Spills The Beans

The famous band reveals what it’s like to be in the car in front of the cameras. “It was an amazing experience filming,” “You don’t realize how much work goes into it. As soon as you get in the car you’ve got 30, 40 cameras pointing at you from different angles. You have to be sitting in a certain position. There’s a crew of about 25 people. You’re in convoy, and you’re driving around LA for almost three hours.”

Ed Sheeran’s Mad Skills

Ed Sheeran’s episode revealed that the talented musician has more skills than viewers expected. Corden then challenged Sheeran to fit as many Maltesers in their mouths as they could, and somehow Sheeran shoveled 55 into the apparently bottomless pit that is his mouth. We admit, it made us want to try it at home.

Jane Krakowski Speaks Out

It appears that it really is how you see it on the episode. Jane Krakowski said “It’s all improv. Everything you see us saying and doing in the car, none of that’s rehearsed. We hadn’t actually sung them together until we were in James Corden’s car,” she said. So how long did it really take to make the segment? “An hour and a half. Max.”

They’re Just Real People

Corden owes the success of the segment to its relaxed atmosphere. With the unobtrusive camera set up and intimate setting, the stars are able to have fun and open up. James has said that his ultimate goal for the segment is to create a “bubble” where the guests forget they’re on television. “There’s just a very humanising quality to it, which is all anybody wants to see, really,” he said.

Always a Fan

Corden admitted that he only ever invites his favorite singers on to the show. If he’s not a genuine fan of the featured celeb, Corden will refuse to film the segment. “Otherwise what’s the point?” he was quoted saying in the interview. “I feel lucky to spend any time with these people.”

Carrie Underwood Reveals

Carrie Underwood has a hockey-player kink and is a Wham! fanatic, cowboy vests cost more than our rent and Corden can hold a note longer than a seven-time Grammy winner. Extra points for an always-welcome Dumb & Dumber reference.

Fun Jason Derulo Facts

Fun fact: Derulo can hit operatic notes even while hungover. He can also give you dabbing lessons in a parking lot and perform an impromptu concert of “Talk Dirty” atop a stranger’s star-tour bus.

Iggy Iggy Iggy

Not only does Azalea’s carpool session prove to detractors that her rap skills at the very least trump her pitchy singing (sorry, Ig), but the pair’s giddy planning of the rapper’s nuptials (Corden to officiate, Demi Lovato to act as bridesmaid) and subsequent wedding-dress shopping also prove to be downright charming. You have to check this one out.

One Direction

From dodgeball games to tattoo roulette, Corden is basically the 1D whisperer—here, he gets the usually choreography-averse group to don matching denim shirts and break it down to “No Control.” Bless you, James Corden. This episode is very comical, and proves Corden really can sing.

The Biebs

Bieb’s Carpool Karaoke was so good, he did it twice. After his fall off the bandwagon, fans fell in love with him again from this episode. Bieb’s first foray on Carpool Karaoke was basically like every middle-school sleepover we ever had—talking about kissing, swapping clothes, wolfing down French fries and wailing to Boyz II Men’s “End of the Road”—but volume two ups the ante, with the twosome going shopping (sequins and snowboards are involved), tackling “shrinkage” and head-banging to Alanis Morissette.

Rock Legendary

Having the rock legend sing classics like “Maggie May,” shred on air guitar and chat about “shaggin’ and a’ drinkin'” is exciting enough, but throw in an A$AP Rocky cameo in the back seat and now we’re talking.


When asked about the pairing Corden revealed. “This was the best day ever. I was very nervous about it because it’s Metallica and we don’t have a lot of overlap.” But he says that even though he was initially awestruck by the rock stars he knew from growing up seeing them on TV, he soon realized they were a bunch of dads and very sweet.

Behind-the-Scenes Magic

Despite the segment’s relaxed atmosphere, there’s a huge amount of work that goes into recording each episode of the series. 20 Cameras are used to capture the footage. The cameras are penny-sized to ensure that the host is not distracted by their presence. Each segment is recorded in roughly an hour and then edited down to the best 15 minutes.