PASADENA, Calif. – Hello, James Corden fans. And fans of Adele.
Fans of the recording star should be sure to watch or record Wednesday’s episode of “The, Late Late Show with James Corden” to see her take part in Corden’s popular recurring feature, “Carpool Karaoke.”
OK, you probably don’t have to watch it or record it. It probably will go viral and break the record number views (48 million) for one of Corden's previous “Carpool Karaoke” bits with Justin Bieber.
The Adele bit, which lasts several minutes, was played for the nation’s television critics at Monday’s taping of the CBS program, which is carried locally at 12:35 a.m. by Channel 4.
And it is hysterical. At least the parts that you understand what Adele is saying is.
Viewers might worry when Corden takes his hands off the wheel during the bit, but the host says they shouldn’t be.
“Because there is our car, there is a car in front of it, a car in front of that and two cars behind,” explained Corden in an interview with a handful of reporters after Monday's show. “So we’re never driving more than like 11 or 12 miles an hour. It’s sort of a rolling convey.”
Corden starts off the bit by singing the Adele lyrics, “I was wondering after all these years you’d like to meet.”
He is a pretty good singer, too. He certainly impresses Adele, the English singer-songwriter who he has known for a long time.
Corden said “Carpool Karaoke” was inspired by a sketch he and “Late, Late Show” producer Ben Winston wrote years ago for "Comedy Relief." In the sketch, a popular character Corden played in a popular British series, “Gavin & Stacey,” interviewed George Michael in a car.
“We were singing Wham! songs, ” Corden explained. “It never really left us how joyful it was. How it is very unique about someone singing their hits in the very same environments that we sing them ourselves. Then we made a documentary about a British singer-songwriter named Gary Barlow and we sang in a car. And when we got here we were like, we thought, ‘that’s it, that’s a good idea.’”
“It is kind of completely unique. It is unique for those people who are in the car. Because so often these people come with huge teams – publicists, agents, managers. And suddenly they are in a car, me and them, and no one else. And we sing those hits. All anyone wants them to do when they are on TV is sing their hits. But that’s rarely what people want to do. They want to sing their new stuff."
He is surprised by the bit’s success.
“I didn’t think in our first three shows we’d find a bit that would absolutely define our show. I thought it would take a year, two years. If you think about those other shows and how long it takes. On most of these shows, they have three things that define them historically.
“You think about David Letterman, it is Top 10 list, Stupid Pet Tricks, Stupid Human Tricks. It is just one of those completely, wonderfully, happy accidents really.”
“The biggest criteria is they have to have hit records and I’ve got to be a fan,” said Corden. “Otherwise, what’s the point.”
Corden said the bit typically takes 60 to 90 minutes to film and then it is edited down much shorter.
“We say to our editor, make a rough cut of all of the good things,” explained Corden. “The first cut of the Adele one was 57 minutes. There are very few things in life where you think I wish that would have been longer.”
If you watch Wednesday, I bet Adele’s Carpool Karaoke will be one of them.
Adele’s star power should help Corden in Buffalo. His show has averaged a 1.2 household rating on Channel 4 since November, which ties him with ABC’s “Nightline” on Channel 7 in the time slot for second place behind the 1.5 rating that NBC’s “Late Night with Seth Meyers” averages on Channel 2.
However, the 37-year-old Corden has been a slight winner in the key adult 25-54 demographic with a 0.8 rating to Meyers’ 0.7 and “Nightline’s” zero.