James Corden Sings with Adele

In seven months on the air “The Late Late Show with James Corden” (CBS, 12:37 a.m.) has established its tone — an entertainment show that has pioneered a roundtable chat of celebrities to a recurring bit (“Celebrity Noses”) that never quite gets delivered.

The show hit the jackpot with “Carpool Karaoke” in which Corden, an accomplished singer and musical veteran (who was in “Les Miserables”) drives around and sings along with a wide variety of performers, from Justin Bieber to Stevie Wonder.

The bit, which combines musical high notes with the kind of intimate conversation that you get in a car with one other person, reaches its high point tonight on a ride with Adele.

Corden and Adele go way back together, to their first British broadcasts, in which they worked together. And they remained close, as Corden became a comedy force in England and Adele the biggest selling artist in the world.

Tooling around London over the holidays has produced one of the longest and most poignant editions of “Carpool Karaoke” yet. Of course you get “Hello” and “Rolling in the Deep” with surprising Corden counter-melodies but also their exuberant singalong to Spice Girls’ “Wannabe” and the Nicki Minaj parts on Jay Z’s “Monster.”

When the full clip was shown following Monday night’s taping, with TV reporters on hand, Corden sat quietly by himself to watch take it in.

As in the clip, he seemed a bit emotional.

When I brought this up to him, he says he’s generally an emotional guy anyway. “I’m emotional talking to you mate,” he told me.

I’m sure it wasn’t the same.

 

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