Like all great viral internet stories, James Corden’s wildly popular late night talk show segment “Carpool Karaoke” had an inauspicious beginning. In fact, the very first “Carpool Karaoke” wasn’t even called “Carpool Karaoke.” The idea came in 2011 as part of the BBC’s annual “Comic Relief” benefit show. Before Corden made his name stateside, he was and remains a bona fide television star in his native U.K. Because of his extensive skillset, Corden often appeared on British television, whether that was hosting the Brit Awards, honing his acting chops on numerous sitcoms, or performing on benefit telethons like “Comic Relief.”
Related: The 10 best George Michael songs
While Corden’s “Carpool Karaoke” has welcomed mega pop stars like Adele, Madonna, Bruno Mars, and Justin Bieber, Corden first had George Michael sitting shotgun. The premise begins with Corden in his role as Smithy from the BBC sitcom “ Gavin & Stacey” who is riding around with his old friend who he hasn’t seen in awhile, George Michael. The organizers from “Comic Relief” call in Smithy for some help to the disappointment of Michael, who has been waiting to hang out with his friend. Corden cheers up Michael by turning on the radio, where Wham’s “I’m Your Man” is playing, and thus “Carpool Karaoke” was born. Today, (Dec. 25), Michael passed away peacefully at his home at the age of 53, and it’s worth looking back the beginning of “Carpool Karaoke,” as well as Michael in better times. Watch and read Corden’s tweet in tribute to Michael below.
I've loved George Michael for as long as I can remember. He was an absolute inspiration. Always ahead of his time.— James Corden (@JKCorden) December 25, 2016