Anyone who knows me also knows I’m an outrageously big in-car singer. So, naturally, Carpool Karaoke is one of my favorite things on Earth (I mean, just look at my RIYL below). James Corden has ingeniously transformed an every day frustration for many — especially here in LA — into a hilarious musical adventure I always look forward to watching.
While there were an incredible number of notable videos (and cameos) this year, here are my five favorites:
5) Justin Bieber Pt. 3
Justin Bieber is just too good at this. Even though he appeared twice in 2015, Corden brought him back for a third time in 2016. These two men have a rapport so casually entertaining that I couldn’t omit Bieber from the list. I feel like all I need to say about this one is: “Big box, little box, cardboard box.”
4) Lady Gaga
Lady Gaga went all out, singing full belt, dancing, and even taking over behind the wheel at one point after Corden brought up the fact that Gaga had just passed her driving test. Between using Benedict Cumberbatch’s name as a vocal warm up and Corden’s attempts at copying Lady Gaga’s daring wardrobe choices, it was an engaging episode all around!
3) Bruno Mars
It is no secret that I love Bruno Mars. Bruno is all about energy, energy, energy. It makes watching him perform (even when sitting down in a car) so fun. If you’re going to watch any part of the 15-minute clip, I encourage you to make it the “Uptown Funk” portion beginning at 11:13. It just keeps getting better the longer the song goes. You won’t be disappointed!
While I know this one won’t resonate with everybody, as a theatre kid I have to put it down as one of my favorites. In preparation for the Tony’s, Corden takes to the busy streets of New York with some of Manhattan’s favorites: Lin Manuel Miranda, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Jane Krakowski, and the Broadway legend herself, Audra McDonald. Whether you’re familiar with the musicals or not, I think everyone will be able to appreciate the rendition of “One Day More” from Les Miserables that begins at 8:15.
It’s the most-watched Carpool Karaoke episode ever, with over 140 million views, and for good reason. I can’t describe this episode as anything other than hysterically funny. Adele tells tales of drunken calamities, she raps, she sings impeccably (but what else would we expect?), and she laughs so genuinely throughout the entire video I also couldn’t stop laughing. There’s no doubt that she takes the top spot this year!
But wait! There were two other videos that I feel are worth noting, so…here’s a bonus category!
Bonus 1: FLOTUS
This video is too good to simply be relegated to my top 5 — it deserves its own bonus category. Corden takes First Lady Michelle Obama on a drive (in circles, as you may or may not notice while watching, undoubtedly for security reasons) around the White House grounds. There’s also quite a phenomenal cameo made by Missy Elliot. Take a look!
Bonus 2: Christmas Special
Corden brings back his first ever Carpool Karaoke guest, Mariah Carey, before revealing some surprises…I’m adding this as a bonus because Corden had been planning it all year. Whether or not you celebrate Christmas, it’s definitely a video (and effort) worth applauding.