It’s only a segment of a late night talk show, but thanks to YouTube and the whole viral video thing – not to mention ratings hungry “news” and entertainment programs and content-starved celebrity driven Web sites of all kinds – the Carpool Karaoke segments on CBS’ The Late Late Show with James Corden have become a formidable franchise of their own. They are the most reliably engaging part of Corden’s show, in much the same way that the Tea Time Movie, Karnak the Magnificent and Aunt Blabby segments always delivered on NBC’s The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson. Or to look at it in streaming terms, Karaoke is to Late Late Show what Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee is to Crackle – its best feature. What is it about famous people letting loose in automobiles that enthralls us so?

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