James Corden’s Carpool Karaoke segments are probably the most 2016 thing in late night television. Nobody—not even Jimmy Fallon—has mastered the Celebrities! They’re Just Like Us! schtick the way Corden can with nothing more than a stretch of drivable road and a car radio. His Carpool Karaoke segments have been charming (Adele rapping Nicki Minaj’s verse on “Monster.”), enlightening (Jennifer Lopez’s fake texts to Leonardo DiCaprio) and even sort of touching (Stevie Wonder serenading Corden’s wife over the phone).
It’s great television, and it got us wondering: Who else should make an appearance? What follows is the result of a few days of head-scratching, nit-picking, case-making and office chair-throwing, but here are the ten artists we’d like to see on Carpool Karaoke.
Let’s get the obvious one out of the way first. This sort of stuff falls so perfectly into Swift’s doofy, butterfingers brand it’s sort of weird she didn’t come up with it. Singing along to other people’s songs is one of Taylor Swift’s trademarks, and singing along to her own songs is the trademark of something like 75% of YouTube’s core demographic. If there’s a white board in The Late Late Show writer’s room, Taylor Swift’s name is at the top of it.
There are two Drakes. The steely-eyed Six God who has a bigger pool than Kanye and slams Meek Mill’s world tour for really being his girl’s tour. And then there’s the affable dork who can sell the hell out of an SNL sketch and is a gift to late night TV segments the world over. Obviously, we’d probably get the latter Drake during his almost inevitable turn on Carpool Karaoke, but how great would it be if we got the former?
Adele was the teaser, but the real gift would be Nicki herself. She is one of modern pop culture’s greatest gifts: a quick-witted badass with a heart of gold. The “Monster” verse would be a sure bet, as would a few bars from “Anaconda”, but the real treat would be to see her returning Adele’s favor and delivering a karaoke cover of “Someone Like You.”
The consummate showman, Bruno Mars is a proven entity when he’s got the attention of America in the Super Bowl, but we’ve never really gotten to see him flex his boundless charm in quieter, more intimate environments. His songs scream for the Carpool Karaoke treatment (it’s hard to think of a more favorable career-length-to-hits ratio), and the man himself would get a chance to turn on that thousand watt smile in closer quarters.
Eminem doesn’t get enough credit for his magnetism, probably because it’s not like other celebrities’. In an age of adorkability, Eminem is a throwback to a time when we liked our stars to have a tougher, less readable persona. But to watch Eminem, you’d never mistake his personality for shyness or awkwardness. No the only thing radiating from Eminem is sheer, unadulterated waves of IDGAF. It’s worked wonders for others. It’d work wonders here.
An icon of empowerment. A hex-casting witch. A Super Bowl showstopper. Katy Perry’s worn a lot of hats over the past few years, but it’s been a long time since we’ve seen her inhabit the identity that made her a star: a churlish rebel. When “I Kissed a Girl” was blowing up, Perry was living the Los Angeles dream as a sort of throwback to the Grease era of good girl gone just slightly bad. Has Perry moved on? Was this identity ever really her, or was it just a convenient troupe? One way to find out.
Another obligatory one? Sure, but what would you have us do? Not include Justin Timberlake on a list of characters we’d like to see in Carpool Karaoke? You must be out of your mind.
It’s easy to list all the reasons this would never happen. Few celebrities are as protective of their personal brands as Beyonce, and the freewheeling, anything-could-happen spirit of Carpool Karaoke doesn’t really lend itself to her aura of exquisite control. So, yeah, it’s a longshot. But when you start imagining Corden and Beyonce singing “Halo” in the car, and you just want to believe.
Willie Nelson is no longer a young man, but mark this: Nobody in the world knows how to have a better time on the road than Willie Nelson. At this point, the man’s proclivities for getting high are nearly as well known as his songs. No mean feat. It’s easy to see Nelson being more than happy to go along with whatever Corden had in mind, and hopefully that would involve at least a 24-hour road trip out through West Texas, but more importantly, it’s hard to imagine a situation in which Willie Nelson wouldn’t light up for the trip.
This is it. This would be the pearl. Prince is one of the most electrifying personalities in the music industry or any other industry, and a car ride with he and Corden would be as likely to end with Prince jumping out the window as it would them hijacking the NASA shuttle. Of course, given Prince’s notorious grouchiness regarding all things digital media, he’d probably be less likely to do Carpool Karaoke than J.D. Salinger. That doesn’t make it wrong. This would be the late night segment of this year, and probably most others.