It’s not like we haven’t seen this before. Dave Chappelle drove around with Mos Def rapping over the track for “Close Edge” on the Chappelle Show. Tom Hiddleston rocked “Stand By Me.” The masses love stars in cars doing karaoke. It’s funny, vulnerable and ultimately endearing, especially when the celebrity voice cracks like any other normal human being.
The most recent late night talk show host, James Corden, took car karaoke to the next level when he harmonized with none other than Mariah Carey. As the two drove around Los Angeles for The Late Late Show, Corden “accidentally” put on the diva’s songs and to everyone’s delight, Mariah sang along to “Always Be My Baby,” “Vision of Love” and the ODB remix of “Fantasy.”
As the content strategy for The Late Late Show’s new host builds out, there is a lot of competition, as well as monotony, to keep in mind. Not only does Corden need to distinguish himself from his predecessor, Craig Ferguson, but he also must stand out from the other late night hosts, whether they’re competing in his time slot or not. So far, his rating have been good and as Deadline observed, he even gained a little despite staying in accordance with other late night routines:
On his second show, Corden went with an opening monologue, and hosted a show very much in line with other late-night talk show offerings, emphasizing games, gags, and pre-taped bits, but not so much actual conversation, which had been his predecessor Craig Ferguson’s strong suit. In the episode, Corden made unusual pizza deliveries to unsuspecting locals, after which he and guests Chris Pine and Patricia Arquette scenery-chewed their way through part of a The Young And The Restless script said to have been found on a printer by a Late Late Show assistant.
Versus what Late Late Show has been averaging on Tuesdays this season, Corden generated a gain in households – his 1.3 last night is up 0.2 compared to the franchise’s 1.1 average for Tuesdays this season. His early showing of 0.3 in 18-49 is even with Late Late Show’s 0.3 Tuesday average this season in the LPMs.
He definitely managed a coup with a vocal icon like Mariah Carey and CBS is smartly promoting the content as a glimpse into a fun, silly side of the always-polishedpop star. In order for Corden to skyrocket from here, he must find something unique that he can keep duplicating, like Jimmy Fallon’s Lip Sync Battles on The Tonight Show or Jimmy Kimmel’s running gag with Matt Damon. Perhaps Corden can finesse this type of strategic partnership with Mariah. The two actually make a great team. – JD