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Steve Carell just opened The Kelly Clarkson Show with the most iconic throwback

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Christobel Hastings
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Kelly Clarkson had a dream of Steve Carell appearing as the show’s announcer on her new chat show, and the actor proved there was no better person for the job when he recreated an iconic line from The 40-Year-Old Virgin.

After much anticipation, Kelly Clarkson finally hit our TV screens yesterday with the launch of her new primetime chat show, The Kelly Clarkson Show. With celebrity interviews, good news segments, and Clarkson’s powerhouse vocals, the American Idol star’s debut show was filled with memorable moments. But, as the singer, proved, things are always better with a little help from your friends.

As the debut episode of the show began, much-loved actor Steve Carell appeared to welcome the new TV host to the floor. But this was no ordinary introduction, as Carell gave a nod to an iconic movie moment from his hit comedy The 40-Year-Old Virgin.

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Stepping up to the microphone, Carell recreated a famous line from a scene in the 2005 film where his character screams Clarkson’s name in pain during an excruciating chest wax.

“Live on tape from Universal Studios in Hollywood, ladies and gentleman, ahhhhh, Kelly Clarkson,” Carell screamed, in a pitch-perfect imitation.

After Carell’s hilarious kick-off, Clarkson revealed that she’d been hoping to snag The Office star as a cameo from the very beginning of her new career venture. 

“A very special thank you to my guest announcer Steve Carell. When I signed on to this show, I was like, ‘Is it possible to get him to shout my name on the very first episode?’ and it happened! Like, what is my life? Yeah, he’s really nice,” she said.

The pair didn’t actually meet until 13 years after The 40-Year-Old Virgin hit cinemas, but when their paths crossed at the 2018 Golden Globes, they made sure to take full advantage of the photo opportunity.

There were plenty of other iconic moments for the Grammy-winning pop star in the premiere episode. After performing a rendition of Dolly Parton’s anthem 9 to 5 complete with real female firefighters, mechanics, utility workers and policewomen, Clarkson interviewed celebrity guest Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson about gratitude journals and staying grounded. In the “Rad Human” segment, designed to bring a daily dose of good news, the singer interviewed the founder of the Sunshine Pantry, a family-run food bank in Beaverton, Oregon, that provides food and amenities to the local community.

“Each of us has the power to make a profound impact on another person,” said Clarkson, explaining that she hopes her show will foster a “spirit of community, connection, and fellowship.”

Clarkson’s debut show also received a warm show of support from her new network, NBC, who kickstarted an epic thread on Twitter welcoming The Kelly Clarkson Show to the fold.

The flagship NBC Twitter account started off the thread with a gif from Friends and a line from Clarkson’s 2004 hit, Since U Been Gone. From there, The Office, World Of Dance, The Voice and other shows joined in on the action, adding more iconic lyrics from the song to the mix with a lyrically appropriate gif. 

It’s definitely worth scrolling through the tweets to view the spectacular thread in its entirety. And though we thought it was impossible to love Clarkson any more than we do already, something tells us that our love for the star is about to get a whole lot stronger.

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Christobel Hastings

Christobel Hastings is a London-based journalist covering pop culture, feminism, LGBTQ and lore.