Every talk show has its own attempts to generate segments that go viral, but The Late Late Show’s “Carpool Karaoke” is a becoming a strong contender for the most genuinely entertaining. The concept is blissfully simple: Host James Corden needs someone to carpool with him to work, so he calls a famous singer, and they drive around singing along to the radio. It’s goofy, it’s charming, and it often reveals a side of celebrities you don’t expect to love. (For example, Corden briefly made me care about Justin Bieber.)
As the segment’s grown in YouTube popularity, Corden’s guests have gotten bigger and bigger, and last night he landed what might be his biggest get so far: Adele, fresh off the triumph of her mega-hit album 25. The segment’s usually filmed in The Late Late Show’s hometown of Los Angeles, but for this one Corden flew back to England (because the Queen doesn’t come to you; you go to the Queen). There’s something very fitting about these two driving around rainy London streets while they sing along to Adele’s trademark odes to heartbreak.
Most of the video is, of course, devoted to Adele’s hits, ranging from the latest (“Hello”) to the classics (“Rolling in the Deep,” though I was a little bummed they didn’t try “Chasing Pavements”), and Britain’s queen of soul unsurprisingly nails every note of her own stuff. The real fun comes, though, when they take on other music, specifically Kanye West’s “Monster.” Corden brings up that he’s heard Adele can rap, and though she’s characteristically humble about it, when Nicki Minaj’s verse in the song pops up, she nails it. She’s so good at it, in fact, that for a moment it looks like Corden might crash the car.
Oh, and she apparently also played the drums on “Hello,” because she can.