James Corden said it had been a “surreal day” ahead of the airing of his final episode as host of The Late Late Show.
The British comedian was joined by Tom Cruise and Adele for an hour-long primetime special ahead of the main show on US network CBS.
The special opened with Corden on the roof of the CBS studios in Los Angeles singing an ode to the city, the show and its various segments, while flanked by disco dancers.
After taking his seat behind his desk in the studio, Corden said “Do you know what, I’ve changed my mind. I’m back-pedalling … is that ok?
“We just needed a way to get Adele back in the car.”
Corden joked that after the conclusion of the show, the set would be dismantled and placed in the Smithsonian museum in Washington DC.
He later thanked everyone involved in the production of The Late Late Show and looked back on highlights of the past eight years.
“This is a surreal day for all of us here, it’s crazy to me what we’ve done. We’ve done 1200 Late Late Show’s in the last eight years and we are reaching the end,” he said.
“I want to take this minute right now in primetime to thank everybody who has worked here on the show with this family, this team, I love you so much. I will miss you.”
“I want to thank every single person who has watched our show over the last eight years – it’s meant more to me and everyone that works here than you will ever, ever know,” Corden added.
The first sketch of the special saw him challenge Hollywood star Cruise to participate in a stage performance of the Lion King, as payback for years of “life-threatening” scenarios.
Cruise was seen mid-skydive when he received his “mission” from Corden.
Meeting later in the theatre Corden told him: “In the eight years I’ve hosted The Late Late Show, we’ve been skydiving, you flew me upside down … and tonight, you are going to enter my world.”
“No thank you,” Cruise replied, before trying to run out of the theatre.
The pair later appeared onstage as Timon and Pumba to shrieks of delight from the unexpecting audience.
But following the show’s conclusion tensions appeared to rise, with Corden telling Cruise: “You don’t have to pretend anymore Tom. I know how this works.
“You’re a big movie star, you’re gonna have more projects to promote and when that happens, you’re just going to find yourself another late night host.”
Cruise retorted: “I’m not the one turning my back on everything that we have, everything that we’ve created. This is your last show. You did this to us!”
But after a rendition of Can You Feel The Love Tonight, punctuated by clips of Cruise’s appearances on the show, the pair made up on a helipad.
“Thank you for everything you’ve done for my show,” Corden told him.
Imitating one of his famous lines from film Jerry Maguire, Cruise replied: “Shut up. You had me at hello.”
In the final Carpool Karaoke segment, previously released online, global megastar Adele returned to the car, this time “driving” Corden to work.
Adele arrived at Corden’s home, waking him up with cymbals, before starting the trip, during which they sang several of her hits and a musical number, and reminisced about the past eight years of his tenure on The Late Late Show.
The pair later became emotional while singing a rendition of Adele’s I Drink Wine – with the singer explaining that the lyrics to the song had partly been inspired by a conversation they had once had.
The main show will feature appearances from former One Direction star Harry Styles as well as US comedian and actor Will Ferrell.