James Corden said ‘hakuna matata’ with a familiar face for the primetime special ahead of his final The Late Late Show episode.
The 44-year-old chat show host was joined by Tom Cruise in their final stunt for the popular CBS show together as they hit the live theater stage to perform in The Lion King.
It all began on The Last Last Late Late Show: Primetime Special that aired Thursday in primetime with James saying he sent Cruise, 60, a message to see if he would do one last mission with him.
Then he played a clip that showed James and Tom from a year ago in a fighter plane together over the Mojave desert.
‘Somewhere, before it’s all done we’ve got to do a musical together,’ Tom said. ‘Take a year and just study and do a musical like that.’
One last ride: James Corden was joined by Tom Cruise in their final stunt for the popular CBS show together as they hit the live theater stage to perform in The Lion King
‘This is too bizarre for me,’ James said. ‘I have to take a minute and realize I’m in a fighter jet flying over the mountains while talking to Tom Cruise about doing a musical.’
Then the clip jumped to two weeks ago and showed Tom jumping out of plane pulling out his phone with James on the line while the Mission Impossible theme played. James said it was time for their last adventure and invited him to lunch with him on Hollywood Boulevard.
Tom then joined James at the Pantages Theater on Hollywood Blvd.
‘You boy are in the theater,’ James said. ‘Have I got a treat for you? In the eight years, I’ve been hosting the show. We’ve been skydiving, you’ve flown me upside down and today you are going to enter my world. You and I are going to enter the cast of the biggest show in Broadway history. We will perform live in The Lion King. What do you say?’
‘I say no,’ Tom said.
James hugged him and said he was going to love it. James then introduced Tom to the cast.
‘Limited or no theatrical experience,’ James said as he described Tom’s theatrical background.
James said they were going to perform live in the evening in front of an audience. Tom bolted with James running after him. James had him spin around and dance with him backstage. They played around with the show’s puppets.
Bond: It all began on The Last Last Late Late Show: Primetime Special that aired Thursday in primetime with James saying he sent Cruise, 60, a message to see if he would do one last mission with him
Getting ready: James and Tom practiced some dance moves before the performance
At the night’s performance, James and Tom waited backstage in their costumes. James wore a green suit while Tom wore a giant black wig. Tom got into a wild warthog costume while James in a green costume stood before a lion puppet moving it around.
They both got on the stage and sang Hakuna Matata. The crowd cheered for them. Tom and James came back on stage, bowed for the crowd and accepted rose bouquets.
Later, Tom told James he was going out with some of the cast. James told Tom that he wasn’t going.
‘You don’t have to pretend anymore, Tom,’ James said. ‘I know how this works. You’re a big movie star and you are going to have more projects to promote and when that happens you are just going to find yourself another late night host.’
‘You tell me I’m wrong,’ James continued. ‘When Mission Impossible 12 comes out, you are not going to think of me.’
‘This is your last show, you did this to us,’ Tom said.
The two then sang Elton John’s song Can You Feel The Love Tonight and ran into each other’s arms as clips of their previous skits played. A helicopter landed on the roof, Tom got into it and flew away.
Also on the special was Corden’s highly-anticipated last Carpool Karaoke with Adele.
Killed it: Tom got into a wild warthog costume while James in a green costume stood before a lion puppet moving it around as they sang Hakuna Matata
Drinking alone: Tom drank alone without James who was worried the star would find a new talk show host
On roof: A helicopter landed on the roof, Tom got into it and flew away
Big surprise: Adele surprised James by waking him up with cymbals before giving him a ride to work
The 34-year-old singer broke down in tears discussing her divorce from Simon Konecki in the emotional video that was released on Monday.
While things started jovial, the mood soon turned somber when the Grammy winner revealed that James – who was also holding back tears – had helped her through the split by going on holiday together.
She then revealed for the first time that a verse in her song I Drink Wine was inspired by James when he turned to the singer for advice as he was having his own tough time in life.
‘[The verse] was inspired by a conversation that you and I had, and it was the 4th of January, 2020 or something, and we’d been on vacation together with the kids…’ Adele began.
Adele – who finalized her divorce with Simon in March 2021, two years after announcing their split – revealed that she went on a family vacation with James, his wife Julia Carey, their three children, and her son Angelo, 10.
‘And we were on our way home and my mood had changed and it was like the first year that I felt like I had to hold myself accountable, for just being an adult, whereas the year before that I left Simon, you and Jules and the kids were so integral in looking after me and Angelo,’ she said breaking down in tears.
Emotions running high: Adele broke down in tears discussing her divorce from Simon Konecki as she filmed the final Carpool Karaoke with James Corden in an emotional video that was released on Monday
Confessional: Adele reveals a verse in her song I Drink Wine was inspired by James, 44, when he later turned to her for advice as he was having his own tough time in life
Saying her goodbyes: Adele admitted to James that she doesn’t feel ‘ready’ to return to home to the UK, otherwise she would be considering coming with him
‘You used to do it with humour as well, you used to be like, ‘good luck with that one!’ with any sort of thing that I was pursuing, and you were always so, you were like an adult with me, you and Julia would always give me this advice.’
However, Adele explained that when it was James’ turn to ask her for advice – hinting that he wasn’t happy with his life in America – the singer admitted it made her feel ‘unsafe.’
Talking about a six-hour conversation the pair had when times were tough, James explained: ‘It was work stuff, and the Internet, and all those things.’
Despite his popular show, James has been no stranger to controversy – with his alleged rude behavior called out last year by restaurant owner Keith McNally.
Adele then responded: ‘It got me thinking, I felt so unsafe, with you feeling unsafe, because you’ve always been like [the adult] you have, since I was like 21.’
‘And then I went to the studio a couple of weeks later, and I wrote this and I sang it into my phone and I sent it to you and I do remember you saying, ‘That’s exactly how I was feeling.”
James interjected, saying: ‘It was everything that I was feeling that day. I was floored by how you’d managed to take everything that I was feeling myself, and… life, and just put it in a verse.
Memories: The pair both reminisced about their friendship – with Adele revealing that they’ve known one another since the beginning of her career
Tears and laughter: The pair both laughed as well as cried while talking about James’ decision to leave the US
Comforting: Several times James was seen comforting Adele as she got emotional
Some of the lyrics they sang along to included the lines: ‘How come we’ve both become a version of a person we don’t even like? We’re in love with the world, but the world just wants to bring us down, by putting ideas in our heads, that corrupt our hearts somehow.’
Holding back tears, James it called it a ‘privilege’ that Adele had managed to capture how he was feeling and put it into one of her songs.
However, the segment was kicked off in a much lighter tone, when the Someone Like You singer played a prank on James by turning up at his home in LA.
Sneaking into his bedroom, Adele gave James a rude awakening with crash cymbals as she told that she would be driving him into work.
As they began their journey to CBS studios, James was seen in the passenger seat for a change as the two pals got ready to sing together.
However, things get off to a shaky start as the Tottenham-born megastar told James she is ‘s****ting herself being behind the wheel, adding: ‘I’m actually not a brilliant driver.’
Then and now: Adele with first husband Simon Konecki at 2013 Grammys, and right with current boyfriend Rich Paul at the 2023 Grammys
Emotional: At one point, Adele teared up as she spoke to James about his show ending
Adele is switching things up for host James Corden on the final Carpool Karaoke series – as the Grammy winner gets behind the driver’s seat for a change
After launching into a rendition of her hit Rolling in the Deep, Adele has James in hysterics as she starts asking him questions about Carpool Karaoke saying: ‘There’s been some bloody brilliant ones, and some s*** ones too.’
Talking about it being his very last carpool, James admitted that he was ‘excited’ and ‘scared’ with Adele agreeing: ‘Yeah I bet.’
‘I don’t know – it’s been a crazy eight years, in one sense it feels like it’s gone like that (clicks fingers) and in another I feel like I don’t remember what life was like before being here,’ a teary-eyed James said.
Adele then revealed how James leaving is personally affecting her. ‘I’ve never lived in LA without you guys so I’m like a bit nervous about it.
Prank: The video starts with Adele pranking James Corden at his home in LA
Surprise! Adele is filmed as she plans to wake up James before driving him into work
Rude awakening: James is woken up by Adele crashing cymbals above him in bed
Fun and games: The old pals flipped between laughter and tears throughout the drive
The pair also reveal a story about how James had tried to set up an elaborate prank to fool Adele into thinking that a wild bear was on the loose in Beverly Hills.
But things got off to a rocky start when Adele arrived early and her assistant spotted that there were secret cameras in the room.
Despite going to great lengths to pull it off – including getting Gayle King to record a spoof news report on the bear – James cut it short when he could see Adele was getting uncomfortable.
Later, James addressed Adele’s ‘EGO’ status now that she has won an Emmy, Grammy and an Oscar – and would just need a Tony Award to earn the prestigious ‘EGOT’ status.
‘I really don’t think that is ever going to happen,’ Adele laughed.
‘I would never write a musical or anything like that… because I f***ing hate musicals. I also think the EGO suits me better’
However, that doesn’t stop Adele from singing along to Barbra Streisand’s Don’t Rain On My Parade from the musical Funny Girl.
After yet another emotional sing-song to Adele’s Hometown Glory, the pair started to tear up again as Adele told him: ‘You’re one of my best friends in the whole world.’
Wiping away her tears Adele added: ‘I’m just not ready to come back [to the UK] yet. Otherwise I would come back with you.’
James ended the show saying he had done 1,200 late shows over the last eight years.
‘I want to take this minute right now in primetime to thank everybody who has worked here on the show,’ James said. ‘This family, this team, I love you so much. I will miss you. And I hope you are feeling as proud as I do at the show that we created.’
James then played his favorite clips from over the years including clips of his very first show, having tea with Prince Harry, playing basketball with Michelle Obama, eating food with Cher, and doing carpool Karaoke with Lady Gaga, Paul McCartney and Michelle Obama.
Favorite clips: Harry Styles was shown in a clip of show highlights
Giving thanks: ‘I want to take this minute right now in primetime to thank everybody who has worked here on the show,’ James said. ‘This family, this team, I love you so much. I will miss you. And I hope you are feeling as proud as I do at the show that we created’
James also thanked everyone who ever watched the show.
‘Thank you for watching,’ James said.
He then walked out and greeted the audience.
James was back on CBS a short time later for the final episode of The Late Late Show that featured Harry Styles and Will Ferrell as his last guests.