And just like that, Late Late Show with James Corden is a two-time Emmy winner. Twenty-four hours after the hot newcomer won its first Emmy Award for Interactive Program, CBS’ late-night show tonight also nabbed the trophy for Variety Special for its Carpool Karaoke primetime special. And it did it in a decisive way, topping the likes of Adele — the most popular Carpool Karaoke subject to date — and Beyonce, whose specials Adele in New York City and Lemonade, respectively, also were nominated in the category along with Amy Schumer: Live at the Apollo.
Late Late Show has converted two of its three Creative Emmy nominations, and still has one more category to contend next Sunday, best variety series, at the televised Primetime Emmy Awards.
Carpool Karaoke has become a pop culture staple with viral segments featuring Adele, First Lady Michelle Obama, and Justin Bieber among others. In addition to crossing over to primetime, the segment also spawned a series, which landed on Apple Music.
Backstage, Late Late Show executive producer Ben Winston said that the carpool karaoke concept was inspired by a stint he and James Corden did for a 2011 Comic Relief special in England, where Corden drove around with singer George Michael in the car. “Did we ever think it would be as big as it is…two people being idiots in a car? No.” He called the experience “a joyful and intimate thing” and said stars are encouraged to sing their hits, not the newest songs they are trying to promote. The team joked that they are shocked to beat the powerhouses Adele and Beyonce.