Days after his death on Christmas Day, this TV host looks back on a historic moment with the late singer.
Long before James Corden became a late night television host and well-known American celebrity, he was taking up different bits in England and almost accidentally stumbled up on what would become one of his signature series.
Along for the ride (literally) was famed musician George Michael who rose to popularity in the ’80s as a member of musical duo Wham! before chartering his own incredibly successful career as a soloist.
Together, Corden and Michael brought to viewers a very early first version of what would become the now infamous series, “Carpool Karaoke”.
The segment began as a comedy sketch for the charity called “Comic Relief” and caught the pair in matching track jackets, with Corden donning the persona of Smithy from the popular British sitcom, Gavin & Stacey.
During their adventure they belt out hits from Michael’s career as they drive about London having a blast together.
Earlier this summer, Corden spoke about his experience with Michael and their early “Carpool Karaoke” days.
“My original idea was to pick George Michael up from prison in a car,” he explained to Stephen Colbert during a late night talk show interview. “And then we realized, ‘Maybe we’ll lose the prison, but what if there’s still some fun for me and George to be in the car and we’ll sing some Wham! songs?’”
In a separate interview with Howard Stern, Corden added, “We sat in the car and we were singing Wham! songs and we couldn’t really put our finger on: ‘Why is this so joyful?’….There’s just a joy in it and we couldn’t really work out why.”
Tragically, George Michael passed away on Christmas day from heart failure at his home in England.
Since his passing, Corden released a statement mourning the loss of someone he considered so close and someone who had such a profound influence on the world.
Watch one of the earliest versions of “Carpool Karaoke” with James Corden and George Michael in the video below.