James Corden Says it Was Near Impossible to Get a First Guest for ‘Carpool Karaoke’

Call Mariah Carey his guardian angel.

Late Late Show host James Corden is sporting some Harry Styles-inspired tats for a spread in The Wall Street Journal MagazineHe tells the publication that his decision to take on the late night gig was a huge burden on his conscious when conceiving of its impact on his kids’ childhood.

“I was Skyping my son on his birthday, and my wife was pregnant at the time. And I was like, this is only going to get harder,” remembers Corden. “Here’s someone offering me a job—[and] all I really want is to feel creative every day. And I realized it doesn’t come around again. CBS doesn’t go, ‘Let’s go back to the guy who passed.'”

Creative he is, having developed the viral segment “Carpool Karaoke“, which has featured notable appearances from Adele and Sia. But it wasn’t always this way. Corden tells WSJ that he had to fight to get his first guest.

“I would be on the phone and we would pitch and pitch. No one would do it,” he said. Finally, one of Mariah Carey’s associates had seen his previously-filmed segment with George Michael and decided to take it to Carey, knowing that she was a huge fan of Michael’s. Shortly after, his passenger’s seat was eternally filled.

Corden still has apprehensions about raising his two children in LA. “It feels like a brilliant place to have a family,” he says, but wants them to understand that not everyone has a pool in their backyard.

The British host is currently writing a screenplay for Disney, in hopes that he won’t be plagued with the late night curse of never having a job after accepting such a prolific gig.

“I’m going to give it a good crack and try to prove that wrong. I don’t know. I can’t even tell you what television will look like in 10 years’ time.”

Launch the gallery at the top of the page to view photos of a tatted Corden from his WSJ Magazine spread, and read the full profile here.