Stay Tuned: Catch up with Craig Ferguson
Published: Sunday, September 9, 2012
Updated: Sunday, September 9, 2012 23:09
Craig Ferguson has quickly become a rising star within the realm of late night TV. While his program “The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson,” which airs Mon-Fri at 12:35 a.m. on CBS, got off to a bit of a rocky start. However, time has been very good to the comedy program and numerous recurring segments of the show have become wildly popular. In recognition of this, CBS recently moved the show from its original studio to a much larger one. For the uninitiated, I thought now would be as good a time as any to talk about just what makes this nightly comedic jewel such a treat to watch.
Born in Scotland and known for battling alcohol and substance abuse when he was younger, Ferguson has held pretty much every job in show business one could imagine. An accomplished actor, author, comic and drummer, Ferguson was best known as “Mr. Wick” from the popular 90s sitcom “The Drew Carey Show.” In 2005, he was given the opportunity to follow late night legend David Letterman’s “Late Show” as the host of “The Late Late Show” following the departure of Craig Kilborn.
When Ferguson took over “The Late Late Show” in 2005, the program was notable for two reasons. Not only was there was no “sidekick” or other regular performer on the show with Ferguson, there was also no “house band” to provide music.
Suffice to say, with such a small budget it took some time for Ferguson to get started. But eventually the comic found his voice.
He eventually stopped scripting the majority of his nightly monologue and comedy bits in favor of simply improvising on the spot. No one, not even Ferguson knows what he will say on each night’s show.
Ferguson also began to use puppets on his show, the most notable of which is Sid, a cute, furry and foul-mouthed rabbit who enjoys cussing out the audience.
Another notable element to the show includes “Secretariat,” where two guys in a horse suit run onto the stage randomly and deliver a rockette-style kick before departing. This is typically done when Ferguson gets bored. Less frequently used are actual comedy skits such as “The Rather Late Programe” with Prince Charles, played by Ferguson.
Unlike other talk shows, Ferguson offers to end guest interviews in one of three ways: with a “Big Cash Prize” (now $7.50 in nickels), playing the “Mouth Organ” (harmonica), or an awkward pause.
However, the single biggest factor to the show’s newfound success is the addition of Geoff Peterson, a robot skeleton voiced and operated by comedian Josh Robert Thompson. Geoff Peterson has served as Craig’s sidekick since 2010. From providing hilarious banter with Ferguson during the “Tweets and Email” segment, which ranges from coming up with Dirty Las Vegas Casino names to doing a Morgan Freeman impression.
With so many people enjoying the comedy of “The Late Late Show” you owe it to yourself to give it a try. It may be cheap, cheesy and unrehearsed but that is precisely what makes it so great.