The year is 2066. Your grandson bounces on your knee. “Grandparent,” he asks, “was there ever a time when news stories were not about ‘Carpool Karaoke,’ the popular late-night segment handed down to us by the immortal god-emperor James I?” You smile gently. Yes, that is true, you tell him, but things are much better now that every headline is about “Carpool Karaoke.” News in the old days was so depressing. Today we are lulled to sleep by the happy sounds of recognizable faces singing recognizable songs, while driving. Isn’t that nice?
Your grandson’s face crinkles into a scowl. “But when did things change?” You search your memory. Suddenly, it comes to you: Things changed on Tuesday, July 26, 2016, the day “Carpool Karaoke” signed “an exclusive first-window licensing agreement” with Apple Music. You can even remember the press release announcing the news, which replaced the Pledge of Allegiance in 2019. The deal brought 16 new digital episodes of “Carpool Karaoke” to Apple Music subscribers, in which “celebrities will ride along and sing along with the host,” you tell your grandson, your hand unintentionally drifting over your heart, “as they visit places meaningful to the celebrity, sing tunes from their personal playlists, and surprise fans who don’t expect to see big stars belting out tunes one lane over.” You also remember that the host was not yet announced at the time, and the terrible chaos that erupted when it was. But that, you tell him, is a story for another time. Now it is time for bed, with the image of Michelle Obama doing the “Single Ladies” dance sure to fill your dreams.