The writers set-up the bit right up-front: Corden opened the episode by apologizing that Gyllenhaal wouldn’t be appearing on the show due to a scheduling conflict — and the host kept accidentally calling their venue, Central Hall Westminster, “Gyllenhaal Westminster.” After opening the “British Dogs in Sunglasses” segment, Corden slipped into a melancholy reverie, narrating, “I can’t stop thinking about Jake Gyllenhaal. He’s such a good actor. He’d be an amazing guest too. I really wish he was here tonight.”
The daydream suddenly billowed into real-life, with the band striking up the opening piano chords of Houston’s 1985 ballad. “I believe that Gyllenhaal’s the future — a movie star who also does Broadway,” he sang. “Really wish that Jake was here with us tonight/He’s got such kind blue eyes and the perfect smile/Bringing joy and laughter to everyone with his movies.”
The Spider-Man: Far From Home star then emerged from a swirl of fog, emoting about his love of the late-night program. “Every night I watch the Late Late Show/People need a host to look up to,” he sang. “I really wish I could be on your balcony/One day I hope to see my face on Carpool Karaoke.”
After some back-and-forth compliments (“No matter what is on TV,” Corden sang, “I watch Donnie Darko on repeat”) and determining that Gyllenhaal’s sister Maggie is actually “the greatest Gyllenhaal,” the actor blew the host a kiss and slipped through the exit.
Spider-Man: Far From Home, a sequel to 2017’s Spider-Man: Homecoming, hits theaters July 2nd.