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In the current line-up of late night talk show hosts, arguably the least controversial member of the pack is The Late Late Show's James Corden, who always shoots for cheeky over cringe-y. Alas, Corden couldn't escape the scathing wrath of the Internet after he was videoed in the Carpool Karaoke car with Justin Bieber as a tow truck pulled them down the street, leading fans to believe that Corden is never actually driving the car during the Late Late Show segments.
Perhaps expectedly, James Corden set aside some time during yesterday's Late Late Show taping to address the heightened Carpool Karaoke backlash that sprouted up online, and the Cats star legitimately did call it "fake news" with a bemused look. Below is the gist of his explanatory rebuttal:
I'm sorry that you were so deep into the reality of Carpool Karaoke, but it's TV, and sometimes we do stuff just for the sake of entertainment. When it comes to Carpool, with very rare exceptions for safety, I'm driving the car. And I want credit for it, because I was raised driving on a completely different side of the road!
There you have it, karaoke fans. Even though a sizable chunk of users on Twitter and other social media platforms expressed plucky disbelief over that video of the car getting towed, everyone's fury was for naught. What was seen was one of the rare exceptions when Carpool Karaoke producers got James Corden to use a tow truck for safety purposes.
Now, James Corden didn't get into any long-winded explanations about what the safety issues were, or why certain people warrant such safety precautions while others don't. So that side of things is still up for debate. But during the segment, Corden did share a list of the very few Carpool Karaoke guests that required a tow truck for safety reasons.
Chance the Rapper
Justin Bieber (3rd Time)
So wait, Justin Bieber didn't even need the tow truck the first two times? Now I'm somehow even more invested in the details that go into everything. But for now, I'm taking James Corden at his word without (too many) further questions.
Before he reached his more sincere-ish statement above, James Corden poked some fun at viewers apparently being unable to suspend their disbeliefs for Carpool Karaoke.
I swear to you, 95% of the time, I really am endangering the lives of the world's biggest pop stars. But this is a TV show. not everything is real. [The Late Late Show] doesn't tape after midnight. We tape at 5 p.m. and pretend that it's midnight. Reggie Watts isn't actually here. He's 100% CGI, okay? And I hate to be the bearer of even more bad news, but while we're getting things out in the open: I don't actually need them to help me get to work, right? Often, I'm at work already! We've also never once in the history of doing that bit ever used the carpool lane. There's not even a carpool lane on my way to work, and I just thought that we all knew this.
James Corden may have been pouring on the sarcasm a bit, but it was largely just a reflection of the hyperbolic reactions that people ran with online, both from personal accounts and from entertainment news websites. To his credit, there probably ARE people out there who can't understand why Corden doesn't remember where he works with such a workmanlike regularity. As well as people who still don't grasp that late night talk shows record their episodes quite a few hours ahead of when things air.
Maybe if someone should write a song about all the things on TV that people take for granted as real, and then that song can be performed on Carpool Karaoke, with or without a tow truck.
The Late Late Show airs on CBS weeknights at 12:35 a.m. ET.