Host Carr, who recently hit the headlines for tax avoidance, boosted the panel show to 2.18m (11.1%) and 360k (2.8%) on +1 - rising 1.2m week-on-week.
Featuring a bizarre political outcry from Louie Spence as well as jokes aimed at Carr from regular guests Sean Lock and Jon Richardson, the rating is 8 Out of 10 Cats's best since 2010.
The Million Pound Drop Live, which preceded 8 Out of 10 Cats, attracted 1.36m (5.9%) from 8.30pm (+1: 125k), pipping Channel 5's Big Brother eviction, which had 1.31m (5.6%) and 102k (0.5%) on timeshift.
Big Brother's Bit on the Side logged 735k (3.8%) at 10pm, beating BBC Two's Episodes, which amused 641k (3.2%).
Gardeners' World was BBC Two's most-watched programme with 2.19m (9.8%) at 8.30pm.
Coverage of Euro 2012's second quarter-final match - Germany v Greece - averaged 7.24m (31.9%) for ITV1 between 7.20pm and 10pm.
Over on BBC One, The Graham Norton Show entertained 3.74m (22.7%) at 10.35pm, prior to which 2.61m (11.4%) watched Would I Lie To You? an hour earlier.
Overall, ITV1 dominated primetime with 26.1% (+1: 0.3%), beating BBC One's 19.2%. Channel 4 claimed third place with 5.8% (+1: 0.7%), just ahead of BBC Two's 5.5%. Channel 5 finished last with 4% (+1: 0.2%).
BARB ratings data supplied by Attentional