Since Carpool Karaoke first became a viral sensation more than two years ago, it seemed as if the Late Late Show and host James Corden would never be able to top their iconic January 2016 segment with Adele.
But Corden and his team might have done just that with last night’s edition of Carpool Karaoke, which featured legendary Beatle Paul McCartney.
The duo closed out Corden’s weeklong Late Late Show visit to London by revisiting McCartney’s old haunts in Liverpool, including his childhood home and Penny Lane, the latter of which he immortalized in the Beatles song of the same name.
In typical Carpool Karaoke fashion, Corden and McCartney alternate between conducting an interview and singing Beatles classics like “Baby You Can Drive My Car” and “Let It Be” as they drive around Liverpool.
But the duo frequently breaks the mold by getting out of the car to visit several places from McCartney’s childhood, including the barber shop referenced in “Penny Lane” and the home he grew up in.
As they tour his old home, McCartney tells Corden that after he and John Lennon wrote “She Loves You” and performed it for his father, his dad suggested they change the lyrics to “She loves you/Yes, Yes, yes” and remove the “American-isms” from the song.
The segment becomes surprisingly moving as McCartney explains his inspiration for “Let It Be”: He wrote it after his late mother came to him in a dream to tell him everything was going to be OK and that he should just “let it be.”
After they sing the song, Corden tears up, and recalls when his grandfather first played him “Let It Be,” describing it to his grandson as the best song he’d ever heard. “If my grandfather was here, he’d get an absolute kick out of this,” an emotional Corden said.
The supersized Carpool Karaoke segment ends at local pub Philharmonic, where McCartney—who used to perform there as a teen—throws a surprise concert for astonished patrons, singing several iconic Beatles songs, including “Hey Jude” and “Back in the USSR.”
McCartney’s Carpool Karaoke still has a long way to go to dethrone the Adele video on YouTube (which currently has 181 million views), but the experience left an impression on Corden and Late Late Show executive producer Ben Winston, each of whom described it on Twitter as a career highlight.
Last night’s Carpool Karaoke segment did not feature any integrations, though for previous segments, CBS has partnered with brands like McDonald’s, Coca-Cola and, most recently, Porsche for previous segments. However, BMW’s Mini USA did have a digital and social partnership for several of The Late Late Show’s London promos, which included Thursday’s preview of the episode featuring McCartney’s Carpool Karaoke.