James Corden takes "caraoke" to next level

LONDON -- The Ricardos and the Mertzes may have invented "Carpool Karaoke" in a 1955 Pontiac, but James Corden has taken it to the next level on the "Late Late Show."

Scene of "I Love Lucy." CBS News

Most of you have probably seen the video of Corden singing with Adele.

The video begins with Corden sitting in his car on his telephone.

"Hello? It's me. I was wondering if after all these years you'd like to meet?" he says before Adele shows up.

The script is a steal from the lyrics of Adele's mega-hit, "Hello."

James Corden's Carpool Karaoke segments are a signature feature on his show. And the latest thing in pop music has become about the hottest thing on the web.

Corden's car-born conversation and crooning with Adele has set a new record, more than 45 million hits in less than a week.

Why does it work?

Maybe because singing along in the car is what people do. And what could be better than singing along with people like Adele, Justin Bieber, One Direction or Stevie Wonder.

The Carpool Karaoke was just one of the ideas Corden had when he was planning his show a year ago. CBS News spoke to him then -- when a walk along Thames River in London showed he was already a popular showbiz figure in Britain.

Rod Stewart and James Corden perform "Carpool Karaoke" (hands on the steering wheel, James!). CBS

Fans screamed after him.

"I don't think that was for me I think it's more the camera," Corden said at the time.

But it was for him. And the popularity seems to have stuck with him.

"Every now and then in your career there's one thing -- and they are few and far between -- where both critics and audiences go 'wow'," said Corden.

Maybe it was the rapping Adele that made 45 million people -- and counting -- go "Wow."

  • Mark Phillips

    Mark Phillips is CBS News senior foreign correspondent, based in London.