Stephen Colbert & James Corden Discuss Making Late-Night TV Under Quarantine, ‘Carpool Karaoke’ & “A Quest For Education”

CBS late-night hosts Stephen Colbert and James Corden shared stories of making their shows under quarantine as well as during a momentous time in American history.

The Late Late Show host Corden joined The Late Show and opened up how his show has changed over the last five years.

“I’m on my own in my garage. The other side is a curtain with a fridge freezer which is covered in so many blankets because of the noise. So, if anyone ever needs to get anything out of the fridge freezer, you have to ask yourself ‘do we really need it or would it be quicker to go to the store and buy it?’. That’s where we’re at right now,” the Brit said.

Colbert admitted, “These shows, even at the best of times, are a little like riding a flaming toboggan down a hill blindfolded, they go so fast you don’t know what you’re going to do. At least this gives us an overt excuse for having a chaotic day.”

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The former host of The Colbert Report asked Corden about doing breakout segment Carpool Karaoke during these times.

“We’ve not really explored the notion of doing it during this moment of quarantine, lockdown or shelter in place. I don’t see how we would do it,” Corden said.

Colbert threw a few suggestions at him including doing it in a limo with a partition (“I just worry that would take away from the intimacy of that and I’ve got to question the artist that would do that”), a motorcycle with a sidecar (“sound issues”) and with French helmet-wearing pop stars Daft Punk “That’s a great device for not contracting Coronavirus but I don’t know if the chat would be that great”).

Corden asked Colbert how long he thought he’d be making the show at home. “I think I can make it to the end of the next week. It depends how dark the news out there gets,” he replied.

The pair then discussed entertaining people during a global pandemic and at a time where racial injustice is leading the national conversation.

“We try to make a big variety show each week but over the last few years, with everything that’s happened and this new administration, we’ve pivoted to talk about what people are talking about so we talk about Trump,” Corden said.

“I grew up in a small town about an hour outside of London in the UK, late night TV shows aren’t on. We have Graham Norton or Michael Parkinson but never sort of this world of late night that we’re talking about. When I took this job, my frame of reference was David Letterman covering himself in Rice Krispies and being lowered into a bowl of milk. I was like ‘yeah, I can do this’. Now, we’re in my garage talking about the impact of a global pandemic and racial injustice in America.

“So, ever since I started the show, I felt grateful to follow [The Late Show] because I believe you have an incredible voice and mouthpiece that America looks to, it looks to the adult in the room, so what I’ve realized is what I can do is I can say ‘I have no idea what this is or what this means but why don’t we educate ourselves a bit more’. The greatest thing to have come out of this over the past few months, is I’ve enjoyed being open to the notion of being on on a quest of education. I’m in it to learn and that has given us a great jumping off point.”


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