Love or hate those “Carpool Karaoke” segments, you have to give James Corden credit for being savvy enough to exploit the viral power of the internet to distinguish himself in the late-night landscape. With over a billion views collectively on YouTube, the video series has become a monster hit for the Late Late Show host and given him name recognition in a country where almost no one knew who he was when he was first signed on for the gig. On Monday's Howard Stern Show, the British stage performer-turned-late-night-host discussed the hugely popular online franchise, addressed rumors he'll be taking over for Stephen Colbert at 11:30 and divulged a winning Harrison Ford anecdote. See below for three big highlights from today's interview.
1. Harrison Ford gave him the cold shoulder at a History Boys performance.
When Ford and wife Calista Flockhart came backstage following a performance of the Tony-winning musical, a shocked Corden — who noted they were the first celebrities ever to actually pay a post-show visit — approached them effusively. That was when it all went horribly wrong.
“I go, 'Mr. Ford, I can't believe you've come backstage…this is just gonna mean the world to the boys. We got told that people always come backstage, no one ever has. This is amazing. They're gonna lose their shit. Thank you so much. This is incredible,'” said Corden. “I even went as far as to go, 'your time is so precious.' And at that moment, a man just leans in and goes, 'Mr. Ford, your car's outside.' And bang, he just walks straight out. Calista Flockhart just looked at me and did like a smile as if to go, 'aww, sorry.'”
2. When he picked up Mariah Carey for the first-ever “Carpool Karaoke” segment, she announced she would not be singing.
Though Corden gave the pop superstar credit for being the first to sign on for his vision after nearly every other major artist turned him down, he admitted that when it came time to film, she wasn't exactly game for the actual singing part.
“She came out and said, 'Oh, I'm not singing today,'” said Corden. “She went, 'We'll just drive around and have a chat.' And I went, 'Oh, but it's…right, we call it carpool karaoke. So without that'…and I just thought, I've just gotta go. I've just gotta jump into it. And even if this bit is just me singing to Mariah Carey, it's still on the show. It may not be the recurring bit we hope it is, but it's still probably on the show.”
Luckily, she did end up singing a little.
3. Despite rumors saying CBS bosses want him to take Stephen Colbert's place on the struggling Late Show, he swears he would never do that.
“Firstly, and I genuinely mean this, I'm not being coy in any way. That's never gonna — it's never gonna happen,” Corden asserted when Howard asked him about the possibility of taking over. He went on to explain his reasoning at some length, stating his belief that Americans don't want to listen to “some British guy” when “big things happen”:
“I do think in those earlier slots you are — there is a thing within America where people look to those guys for the things that they want, and need, and require from a host at those times. When stuff happens, when big things happen and all those things, I do think there is a different pressure. And I don't know if I want that to be my life. I think there might be a world in which I'll do the show now, and then I'll go and do the musical I was gonna do on Broadway, or do something else. And I don't know, if you're in that earlier slot…it's a different legacy that you're building. I'm British, and I don't know if America wants to listen to some British guy when shit actually happens, when stuff happens. I think you look to Jimmy Kimmel, and I think you look to Jimmy Fallon, and I think you look to Stephen Colbert in the way you look to Jay Leno and David Letterman.”
You can hear more clips from today's interview over at the Howard Stern Show's official SoundCloud page.