Before Carpool Karaoke became part of The Late Late Show, it was a 2011 sketch for Comic Relief, a British charity that works to fight poverty, and it starred the late singer George Michael. Corden is playing Smithy, his Gavin & Stacey character, as he and Michael argue over whether or not Michael can accompany Corden to Comic Relief. Corden claims his passenger will embarrass him too much and Michael takes offence. So, of course, they break the tension by singing Wham!'s "I'm Your Man." And that was when the rest of the series was born. "We wondered if it was an idea," Corden remembered on an episode of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. "Los Angeles, traffic, carpool lanes, karaoke, traffic, driving people in the car, singing."
Corden remembers his time with Michael fondly. He tweeted Sunday, "I've loved George Michael for as long as I can remember. He was an absolute inspiration. Always ahead of his time."
He also shared a video of Michael performing "Praying for Time," saying, "it's [sic] message means more now than ever."