James Corden is reminiscing about the one that got away -- from "Carpool Karaoke."
As the late-night host wraps up his eight-season run on The Late Late Show, he's opening up about the one guest he wishes he'd gotten on his wildly popular "Carpool Karaoke" segment, which has featured A-list superstars including Adele, Stevie Wonder, Mariah Carey, Elton John and Celine Dion, among others.
In an interview on Wednesday's episode of SiriusXM's The Howard Stern Show, Corden shared that he wishes he could have welcomed Paul Simon to ride shotgun on the show.
"I adore him," Corden gushed. "He’s got a lyric where he says, 'You don’t feel you could love me, but I feel you could,' which I think sums up how any sort of stereotypically unattractive boy at the age of 14 or 15 feels about every girl at their school at the time."
"It's so optimistic," he added.
Corden said that his father would play Simon's 1986 album, Graceland, on their family road trips, which turned into some of his most "joyous memories."
"My mom would just be asleep and the four of us would just sing every single word … that album, I think, might be perfect," he said, noting that he'd hoped to include his family in the fun if Simon ever agreed to appear on his show.
"I had this idea where I would try to surprise my mum and my dad and sisters and that we’d all get in this car and sing the song but," Corden said, "he’s hard to get, as he should be."
The comedian spoke with ET ahead of Thursday's final show and shared that, in addition to Simon, he also wished that he could have booked Beyoncé or Bruce Springsteen for "Carpool Karaoke."
"There's a lot," he admitted.
Corden went on to explain why he felt "compelled" to organize a departure from his popular talker now.
"You don't want to be making a mistake but I just feel compelled to do it," Corden told ET's Nischelle Turner. "I feel like I've got to, I feel like if I don't leave now, I never will...or it will be me just being pushed out the door."
Corden first announced plans to leave The Late Late Show in April 2022. He remained host for a final season before his official departure this week.
Corden told ET that his goodbye to the show is one of many changes for his family this year -- he is now prepping for a move back to London with his wife, Lisa, and their three children.
"Change in your life comes with a huge amount of fear, professional, personal," he said. "We're going to move back to London, we're going to put three kids into a new school. That in itself would be a lot to do, and then to walk away from what just has been the most magical experience I could have ever wished for...to, with intention, turn everything upside down comes with a lot of fear."
To Corden, though, the fear signals that he's doing something right. "I just think how things end is important," he said. "How you close things off is really, really important. I think that it matters, and I think I've done 1,200 shows by the time we finish -- that is a lot of TV. We have done things on the show that far exceeded anything I thought we were capable of."
Corden added that his most treasured memories will always be the people. "It's a magical environment, there's been so much growth," he said. "In the truest sense it feels like a found family, and we've been through a lot as a team."
In his interview with Stern, however, Corden confessed that thinking about the financial implications of this change "makes my chest tight."
"My family has walked to the beat of my drum for like 12 or 13 years now," he said, explaining that he wanted to return to the United Kingdom before his children had created meaningful lives of their own. "If not now, when? That’s really what it came down to," he added.
"To be able to call my dad on Thursday and say, ‘What are you doing today? … Do you want to go for lunch?’ That is a feeling that I’ll just never ever get back [because one day] the phone is going to ring, and that option is not going to be there anymore," he continued. "To have missed out on those moments in exchange for money doesn’t feel like a good decision."