On the latest episode of Hot Ones, James Corden broke down how his recurring Carpool Karaoke segment “humanizes” his celebrity guests.
When asked what publicists didn’t really get about Carpool Karaoke, one of the most popular segments on The Late Late Show, Corden said it took a lot of convincing to get it going.
“It was everything, really,” said Corden around the 3:50 point of the episode. “I was so certain that we had a good idea. … I’m sure the way you thought about this [Hot Ones], I remember reading about you saying people open up in an environment where they’re feeling uncomfortable. It’s very difficult to keep your guard up. … And you’re sharing something together, I think this would be very, very different if you sat there and just got the guest to eat, and you didn’t.”
While Corden doesn’t aim to make his guests “uncomfortable” like they often find themselves on Hot Ones, there is something to be said about the way Carpool Karaoke also provides a fresh spin on the video interview format.
“There’s something about taking someone and placing them completely on their own, in an environment that is so recognizable to us,” he added. “We sing our lungs out in the car, along to the radio, and seeing someone doing something in the very same way we do it is quite humanizing. And I think that’s what you’ve done so brilliantly here.”
At the 15:30 point of the interview, Corden also spoke about the difficulties of getting Paul McCartney to do Carpool Karaoke in Liverpool, UK.
“It was tough to get him to do it,” he said. “He was in, he was out. Brilliantly, he said, ‘Okay, fine. I’ll do it.’ And he said to me, ‘I don’t wanna go in my house. I haven’t been in there since I left.’ I think he was 18, 19. And I remember saying, ‘Paul, your only day’s work today, is to have a great time. If you don’t wanna go in your house, of course we won’t go in your house.’”
He asked Paul not to rule it out, though, and suggested they see how he felt when they arrived at the street where his childhood home was. Ultimately, they actually returned to his home. “I’ll always be really, really proud of that,” he said. “And incredibly grateful to Paul for taking a leap with us, really.”
Watch the full episode of Hot Ones with James Corden above. You can also catch Corden starring alongside Sally Hawkins in the dark comedy-drama series Mammals, which is set to drop on Prime Video Friday, November 11th.