But how does a super late-night talk show host manage to score the most famous musician on the planet these days? You call in a favor from a year ago, that's how. Vulture reached out to The Late Late Show executive producer Ben Winston to find out everything they could about the amazing segment.
"Adele was actually in L.A. when we were planning back in January and February of last year, and James and I saw her a little bit. We said to her, 'We'd love to do something with you on the new show.' I don't think we'd even thought of Carpool Karaoke then, but we were hinting very heavily how much we wanted her to do the show," Winston explained. "She and her manager, Jonathan Dickins, were very sweet. They said, 'We're not doing anything until the album comes out, but the album will come out at the end of next year, and then we will do something with you guys.' When that happens, you sort of go, 'I don't know if that will ever happen.'"
But happen it did thanks to Winston's great memory.
"So when the time came, I dropped Jonathan a line and said, 'You remember when you said you would do something at the start of the year?' And instantly, they came back and said, 'Yep. We did. We're doing it. What would you like to do?' 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?'"
Winston and Corden were in the U.K. for the holidays so they decided to film the segment with Adele in London, where she spends the majority of her time. They were originally given only an hour but everyone had so much fun that Adele wanted to stay for longer. The end result was two hours worth of footage, which had to (unfortunately) be cut down to a mere 14 minutes.
"I think you've got to be sort of strict with yourself, and kill things that you love," Winston explained. "There were some amazing, amazing bits in there. But we chose what we felt was the best 14, 15 minutes."
Given that there is so much that hasn't been used, Vulture asked if they would consider running another segment. Sadly, the team agreed some things are better left untouched. "But I think that you've got to not take advantage of things, and not make people feel like they've seen enough," Winston explained. "The best television always leaves you wanting more...If it's not going to be as good as the first one, I don't think you should do a second one."
Alas, The Late Late Show has to move on with its segment, but the crew has found a great follow-up for its Super Bowl special, which is primo airtime: Sir Elton John. "Elton is a really iconic name. Whatever age you are, you love him. He's got a back catalogue that goes for years," Winston said. "When we booked him, we were just punching the air...On that night, an Elton John Carpool just felt right."
Should be amazing!