It's hard to imagine anyone else hosting a Carpool Karaoke series besides The Late, Late Show host James Corden, who originated the segment on the late-night series and has been indelible to its popularity.
But with the development of the segment as its own standalone series as Apple Music's first bit of original programming, the first task at hand was finding someone to do just that. (After all, Corden's a bit busy handling his own series.) During Carpool Karaoke's first-ever panel at the 2017 Winter TCA Press Tour, Corden and fellow executive producers Ben Winston and Eric R. Pankowski revealed that not the somebody, but the somebodies who will be getting behind the wheel in Corden's absence.
"We're doing 16 different episodes, so we're going to have 16 different hosts," Winston revealed, before launching into a sizzle reel that gave journalists their first look at a handful of the pairing audiences have to look forward to. While not the full list of hosts and guests, the teaser revealed: John Legend and Alicia Keys (with a special appearance from Taraji P. Henson!), Ariana Grande and Seth MacFarlane, Billy Eichner and Metallica, Blake Shelton and Chelsea Handler and Will Smith with none other than Corden himself!
So, why the decision to not land on a singular host? "We talked about it a lot at the beginning," Pankowski explained. "Really, it was a pretty quick decision because the truth is, what James does…is so special and so singular and unique, that it was silly to try to replicate that and duplicate that."
As for how the show landed on its celebrity pairing, Corden shed some light on the process. "Mostly it's going, well what about these two? Because a lot of it comes down to schedule and time," he explained to a group of reporters following the panel. "I wish we were in a position where we could go, her and him. Mostly you go, well these people are interested in doing it, these people would like to do it, oh that's a good pairing. Or in the case of Chelsea Handler and Blake Shelton, they both came and said we'd love to do it together. So it's a little bit of everything."
Will you go along for a Carpool Karaoke ride without Corden behind the wheel? Let us know in the comments below!
All 16 half-hour episodes of Carpool Karaoke will debut later this year, exclusively on Apple Music.