Craig Ferguson explains the Jonas Brothers.
July 23, 2009 8:06 AM   Subscribe

Craig Ferguson explains the Jonas Brothers.

For those who don't want to watch the 3 minute video, it's Craig Ferguson explaining how the advertising industry made youthfulness and inexperience more desirable than experience and maturity. With an entertainingly Scottish accent.

He slags facial piercing and hair dyeing in passing, and the network uses a cute "bleep" sound to prevent us from hearing the word "fucking".
posted by everichon (120 comments total) 22 users marked this as a favorite

 
I could be that funny too, with a laugh track like that.
posted by ardgedee at 8:10 AM on July 23, 2009


I wish I could stay up late enough to watch Ferguson. He's quite often the funniest thing on tv.
posted by Thorzdad at 8:14 AM on July 23, 2009


I love the animal puppet intros. Seriously, how can a guy get away with animal puppets on a latenight show... other than Mr. Henson, I guess.
posted by LD Feral at 8:16 AM on July 23, 2009


Laugh tracks are hideous on a really fundamental level. Why do they still use them?

Love Craig Ferguson though..
posted by Lord_Pall at 8:17 AM on July 23, 2009


Studio audience != laugh track.
posted by smackfu at 8:20 AM on July 23, 2009 [19 favorites]


I love the animal puppet intros. Seriously, how can a guy get away with animal puppets on a latenight show... other than Mr. Henson, I guess.

Or Robert Smigel.
posted by Spatch at 8:20 AM on July 23, 2009


Isn't Craig Ferguson taped in front of a live audience? I thought all those late night shows were done with a studio audience. I don't even think there was any sweetening done on the laughter. Those crowds are plenty warmed up by the time they start taping.

As far as Craig being on too late, um... time-shift? I did that with Letterman when I was in high school, back when Letterman was edgy and hip and throwing things off a roof to watch them splat in slow motion.

"Hep me! Hep me! I bee' hip-mo-tized!"
posted by hippybear at 8:23 AM on July 23, 2009 [3 favorites]


Is he drunk? Or is he always like that?
posted by the dief at 8:23 AM on July 23, 2009


"And the appeal of The Jonas Brothers, which passeth all understanding, shall confound the hearts and minds of anyone over thirteen."
posted by The Card Cheat at 8:25 AM on July 23, 2009 [5 favorites]


Is he drunk? Or is he always like that?

Yes!

(Actually, he's quite open about the fact that he used to drink quite a lot.)
posted by Sys Rq at 8:28 AM on July 23, 2009


Dude? Where's my car?
posted by humannaire at 8:28 AM on July 23, 2009


Is he drunk?

Probably not.
posted by davey_darling at 8:28 AM on July 23, 2009 [3 favorites]


here you go, dief
posted by klanawa at 8:28 AM on July 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


Also, yeah, that's a live studio audience.
posted by Sys Rq at 8:28 AM on July 23, 2009


damn, beaten to the punch
posted by klanawa at 8:29 AM on July 23, 2009


Oh yeah: wtf, laugh track?
posted by everichon at 8:29 AM on July 23, 2009


Weird, I never watch late night talk shows, but I actually caught this when it aired.

I really like how Ferguson deals with the camera, where he treats it like a person, getting right up next to it and (not in this clip) touching it. It feels like your having a personal conversation with an angry Scot at a party.

I'd be interested in finding out if there is any truth to his idea; that things like hair dying and other efforts to look younger could be tied to the focus on the 18-34 demographic (more specifically, how prevalent those things were prior to the focus on these age ranges).
posted by quin at 8:33 AM on July 23, 2009


i love Craig Ferguson. i can't watch his show without laughing like a maniac.
posted by gursky at 8:33 AM on July 23, 2009


Every now and again somebody posts something from Craig Ferguson and I think, that's smart and entertaining as hell. I have to start watching that show. And then I do, for about a week, and the meh piles up and it falls off my radar.
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 8:33 AM on July 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


Audience.
posted by Sys Rq at 8:33 AM on July 23, 2009


Time shift so you don't have to stay up late? That only works on the West coast. In the east one uses time-shifting to catch shows that one missed at their regular hour. Nothing but old-fashioned late-night recording with playback the next morning for us.
posted by cardboard at 8:37 AM on July 23, 2009


I was convinced it had to be a laugh track as well, until I found a clip that showed the audience. I don't know how they got a live audience to belly laugh for exactly 1.5 seconds and then all stop at the same time like that.
posted by scrowdid at 8:44 AM on July 23, 2009


I cannot believe that he has the gall to bring a bunch of people in to laugh at his jokes when he tapes his show! What an insult to the viewers at home!
posted by zsazsa at 8:45 AM on July 23, 2009 [4 favorites]


I don't know how they got a live audience to belly laugh for exactly 1.5 seconds and then all stop at the same time like that.

They hold up signs telling them. Laugh now. Stop!

and if they don't they get called out in MetaLateShow
posted by srboisvert at 8:46 AM on July 23, 2009 [3 favorites]


Of course, what he's saying is right, but it's not the whole story. What's also happening is that this is driving clever and intelligent adults away from things like music and movies, and perpetuating the cycle.
posted by scrowdid at 8:48 AM on July 23, 2009


I thought Jonas Brothers et al were explained nicely when Lisa Simpson was shown reading Unthreatening Boys Magazine. Teenybopper boys are fantasy boys who aren't covered in backhair and pimples, who don't make disgusting comments when you walk past, don't tell you long stories about their epic bowel movements*, and who won't try to grope you or worse on a date.

And he's talented enough to make up songs and dances to tell you how much he loves you! To a girl stuck in the awkward and painful hormonal swamp that is middle school, that's pretty damn attractive.

*yes, I did have a boy tell me this. On the first date. With pride.
posted by emjaybee at 8:49 AM on July 23, 2009 [16 favorites]


I don't really find him to be very funny, but that is a pretty interesting idea he has there.
posted by orme at 8:50 AM on July 23, 2009


> Audience.

Sweetening.
posted by ardgedee at 8:53 AM on July 23, 2009


They hold up signs telling them. Laugh now. Stop!

This.

Also, a live studio audience doesn't prevent the producers from enhancing or cutting off the laughter "in post". So essentially a studio audience enhanced by a laugh track if a big joke doesn't go over well or if they laugh at the wrong part.
posted by muddgirl at 8:53 AM on July 23, 2009


He slags facial piercing

I think he was talking about facelifts and botox and whatnot.
posted by uncleozzy at 8:53 AM on July 23, 2009 [4 favorites]


how the advertising industry made youthfulness and inexperience more desirable than experience and maturity.

"the advertising industry?" Yeah. For the first ~20 million years of human history, people found old-ass, arthritic, phlegm-coughing, about-to-die people incredibly attractive. Then that damn "advertising industry" came and screwed it all up.

Ferguson seems like a nice and sometimes insightful guy. But this is shooting at fish in a barrel, and it doesn't stand up to even a little bit of critical thinking. Aim higher, Craig.
posted by drjimmy11 at 8:56 AM on July 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


It's true, here's a Newsweek cover from the mid 60s that illustrates the new fascination with teenagers ("What they're really like!")

Of course the girl is Bailey from WKRP in Cincinnati.
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 8:57 AM on July 23, 2009 [2 favorites]


23skidoo explains the Jonas Brothers: 1) They're cute boys peddling their songs to preteen girls. 2) They're BROTHERS. 3) They're all about being big ole virgins (I think), so parents are on board, too.
posted by 23skidoo at 9:01 AM on July 23, 2009


The last ten seconds made it worth it, but I mostly spent the whole thing feeling like he was just really poorly (and possibly drunkenly, at a party) retelling all of the Adam Curtis documentary on individualism, The Century of Self.
posted by opsin at 9:02 AM on July 23, 2009


I think the appeal of the Jonas Brothers was best wrapped up in the links of this hilarious and slightly disturbing previous MeFi post.
posted by molecicco at 9:05 AM on July 23, 2009


The audience is miked into a separate channel from Ferguson, so even without the "LAUGH!" "STOP!" signs, the director, who's up in the booth with Ferguson's script, can signal the TD when to raise and lower the laugh levels (if it's going out live like SNL) or else just do a quick and dirty mix in post, or a little of both.

This, incidentally, is what went so wrong with Howard Dean's crazy-scream moment that ended his chances. I have a number of friends who were there and can attest that nobody present really noticed it, because the room was so crazy loud and filled with energy and it just felt natural, but the news feeds were just getting sound from Dean's mic, and so it seemed really out of context and forced.
posted by Navelgazer at 9:07 AM on July 23, 2009 [10 favorites]


For the first ~20 million years of human history, people found old-ass, arthritic, phlegm-coughing, about-to-die people incredibly attractive.

I think he noted the difference between fuckability and venerability--he alluded to the Greeks idealizing beauty, but not youth per se.

That said, it's a late night talk show, revisiting a well-worn theme. If you want chewier material, I bet you already know where to find it.

Hint: it's not on late-night tv
posted by everichon at 9:07 AM on July 23, 2009 [3 favorites]


I like Ferguson. This is a good post, but doesn't the title (and first sentence) kind of ruin the punch line?

It's like when my mother tries to tell a joke or describe a movie.

"Oh, you'll love this one where Bruce Willis is dead!"
posted by rokusan at 9:08 AM on July 23, 2009 [17 favorites]


He slags facial piercing...

I must have missed that part?
posted by rokusan at 9:09 AM on July 23, 2009


"the advertising industry?" Yeah. For the first ~20 million years of human history, people found old-ass, arthritic, phlegm-coughing, about-to-die people incredibly attractive. Then that damn "advertising industry" came and screwed it all up.

He's not talking about attractiveness. He's talking about role models.

Basically, his point: If young people have young role models, and those young role models are a product of market research focus groups, then it's just a big feedback loop of mediocrity. People--the public and advertisers alike--desperately cling to youthfulness in order to maintain what is perceived to be relevance.

He's right.
posted by Sys Rq at 9:09 AM on July 23, 2009 [14 favorites]


Just because the show has a live audience doesn't mean there isn't also a laugh track. A laugh track composed of canned, 40 year old laughter of an audience who has long since died. Zombie laughter, if you will. Ha ha ha ha!
posted by Nelson at 9:12 AM on July 23, 2009


drjimmy11 - that's not what he said. He said that people used to value experience and judgment (well, cleverness - see Odysseus!) much more. He never said that people found really old people attractive.

And yes, the "advertising industry" has done a phenomenal amount of harm to our culture. That's because advertisers exert cultural control to steer the culture in such a way that people will buy more of what they are selling. Previously, people exerted cultural control to either promote a more stable or enriched culture or to maintain power. Advertisers often promote cultural trends that set our short term and long term interests in opposition. Like, hey, why not buy a super big gulp and 2 for 1 candy bar - they taste great! If an advertiser can increase his portion of the pie, it will do so even if it means the entire pie shrinks by a little bit.
posted by taliaferro at 9:12 AM on July 23, 2009 [2 favorites]


He slags facial piercing...

Having given it more than 3 seconds of thought, I agree with uncleozzy; I think he is alluding to plastic surgery, not the piercing of the face.
posted by everichon at 9:14 AM on July 23, 2009


I thought Jonas Brothers et al were explained nicely when Lisa Simpson was shown reading Unthreatening Boys Magazine. Teenybopper boys are fantasy boys who aren't covered in backhair and pimples, who don't make disgusting comments when you walk past, don't tell you long stories about their epic bowel movements*, and who won't try to grope you or worse on a date.

He will, however, pull out his giant hose and drench you.
posted by The World Famous at 9:33 AM on July 23, 2009


I have been to a taping of Craig Ferguson (I was actually shown on camera as one of his bits used a guy sitting behind me), and like all shows with a studio audience, they use a warm up guy (or girl), and he gets the audience into a mood that encourages them to laugh at damn near anything. So during the taping we are all laughing along, having a good time. Later that night I was watching the broadcast (Yes they tape it), and I was amazed at how many laughs there were for things that weren't all that funny, but they encourage you to laugh, and it seems pretty funny at the time. A few observations were that the stage is really small on that show. As in they move the desk and chairs in during the commercial break (while the show is taped, they try to shoot is in as close to real time as possible). And the band performance was taped earlier sans audience, probably so they could get all the sound levels right without keeping the audience sitting in the stands. It was a fun time, and this has nothing to do with the original post.
posted by Badgermann at 9:33 AM on July 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


shakespeherian demands a transcript.
posted by shakespeherian at 9:36 AM on July 23, 2009 [2 favorites]


I was surprised and delighted to find out that Ferguson was the Bing Hitler I remembered fondly from a single appearance in the early/mid 1980s. Say what you like about the tenets of national socialism, it's a name you remember.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 9:38 AM on July 23, 2009


Ferguson's like Clarissa in that old Nickelodeon show... he Explains It All... kinda. For those of you who grow weary of TV's Greatest Scot (with apologies to James Doohan) I recommend watching only the first segment with the puppet opening and monologue. If there's a guest you already know and like on an episode, record and fastforward past any segment where Craig wears any kind of costume (MY least favorite part).
posted by wendell at 9:46 AM on July 23, 2009 [2 favorites]


I like Craig Ferguson. He did a pretty funny bit explaining Bastille Day the other night. He would have been a great history teacher.
posted by Sailormom at 9:54 AM on July 23, 2009


Shorter Criag Ferguson: "Get off my Lawn!"
posted by delmoi at 9:55 AM on July 23, 2009


OH MY GOODNESS! YOUNG HOT GUYS! PEOPLE LIKE THEM! THIS IS TOTALLY NEW! WE ARE ONLY SUPPOSED TO BE OBJECTIFYING AND MAKING BEER ADS WITH YOUNG WOMEN! AND TALKING ABOUT THE SUPPOSED VIRGINITY OF BRITNEY SPEARS! NOT THE VIRGINITY OF YOUNG SEXY BARELY LEGAL MEN! BUT IT TURNS OUT THAT FEMALES ALSO HAVE SEXUAL DESIRES! BIG MYSTERY! WORLD TURNED ON ITS HEAD! I MEAN THE JONAS BROTHERS?!
posted by kathrineg at 9:56 AM on July 23, 2009


There are males who find them attractive too, sorry for the heteronormativity of that comment.
posted by kathrineg at 9:57 AM on July 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


I could be that funny too, with a laugh track like that.

No, ardgedee, you couldn't. And tens of millions of CBS' dollars agree with me, along with 60-90 million viewers.
posted by IAmBroom at 10:00 AM on July 23, 2009 [5 favorites]


With an entertainingly Scottish accent.
It's weird when he drops in American pronounciations, though, like "stoopid".
posted by fightorflight at 10:01 AM on July 23, 2009


James Doohan != Scotsman

(but he played one on tv)
posted by hippybear at 10:06 AM on July 23, 2009


>Also, a live studio audience doesn't prevent the producers from enhancing or cutting off the laughter "in post".

It doesn't prevent it, but they don't normally bother. As mentioned above, they have people to warm the audience up, and any good comedian will play off the jokes that go flat (Conan and, indeed, Craig, are masters of the recovery.)
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 10:15 AM on July 23, 2009


It's fascinating and horrifying to watch advertisers and the big dogs of the culture industry target younger and younger demographics. Is it because the youth of today have more spending money than their predecessors? That's what created the teenager-focused ads of earlier decades. Or is it that they just grew a little more shameless?
posted by Harvey Jerkwater at 10:21 AM on July 23, 2009


This is a brilliant rant. That said, I just want to make an audio loop of Ferguson saying "and that GREW and that GREW and that GREW" (2:20 in the video) and then maybe take some of them drugs that all of those dumb young worshipped youth are always nattering on about while listening to the loop for maybe four hours or more. Oh wait, I have to go to work tomorrow... never mind.

(P.S. when The Jonas Brothers are the featured musical act on Saturday Night Live, it's definitely time to stop watching Saturday Night Live.)
posted by spoobnooble at 10:24 AM on July 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


That's most likely a live audience. An incredibly warmed up live audience. Who love Craig.

They give him thunder (and then he tells them to get off his lawn).
posted by zennie at 10:31 AM on July 23, 2009


As has been said upthread, it is basically a re-hashing of an Adam Curtis documentary, The Century of the Self, into a rather tedious monologue.

It's no surprise that he is re-hashing here because he was considered to be a bit of a thief among UK comedians before he buggered off Stateside.
posted by ClanvidHorse at 10:32 AM on July 23, 2009


spoobnooble: That said, I just want to make an audio loop of Ferguson saying "and that GREW and that GREW and that GREW" (2:20 in the video) and then maybe take some of them drugs that all of those dumb young worshipped youth are always nattering on about while listening to the loop for maybe four hours or more.

Jeez. This sounds so much like one of Lilly's experiments back when he was playing with LSD. He'd get a very short sound loop, often just a word or two, and loop them over and over and over. Even without the chemical assist, the sounds quickly lose their meaning. Continue beyond that, and your brain starts to make up new things out of the sounds. Do this while tripping, and well, everyone's milaghttp://mefi.us/images/mefi/bold.gife WILL vary, but them's the nature of the game. It's great fun to try, however, even sober.

ClanvidHorse: It's no surprise that he is re-hashing here because he was considered to be a bit of a thief among UK comedians before he buggered off Stateside.

I've not heard this before. Do you have any links saying this about him? They'd have to go back a while -- he's been in the states since The Drew Carey Show went on the air. But I'd be curious to read them, if they exist.
posted by hippybear at 11:23 AM on July 23, 2009


Wow, this is shitty laptop I'm using ever fuck with that posting.

"everyone's milage WILL vary"

posted by hippybear at 11:24 AM on July 23, 2009


ACK! ACK! I'm not even going to correct that one. I'm calling the AARC now to find out what is up with my in-the-shop Mac.
posted by hippybear at 11:25 AM on July 23, 2009


Ha ha ha ha! -- posted by Nelson

Double-eponysterical?
posted by rokusan at 11:33 AM on July 23, 2009 [2 favorites]


For those who don't want to watch the 3 minute video, it's Craig Ferguson explaining how the advertising industry made youthfulness and inexperience more desirable than experience and maturity.

Listen, we got rid of George W.! We're better now! Oh, that's the Jonas Brothers you're talking about. I was going to question what role the advertising industry had in the 2000 and 2004 elections.
posted by filthy light thief at 11:46 AM on July 23, 2009


As mentioned above, they have people to warm the audience up, and any good comedian will play off the jokes that go flat (Conan and, indeed, Craig, are masters of the recovery.)

Oh yeah. I can't speak for Ferguson's situation, but O'Brian hired a brilliant stand-up comedian to warm the crowd: Jimmy Pardo. Since he started at The Tonight Show in May, he's told some great stories about working there on his podcast "Never Not Funny." (Only the first 20 mins are free, but if you like the first 20 I highly recommend the 'premium' 1,5h podcasts. Very funny, and with some great alternative comedy guests: Paul F Tompkins, Jen Kirkman, Todd Glass, Jimmy Dore, Maria Bamford, Patton Oswalt, Chris Fairbanks, etc.)
posted by Glee at 12:22 PM on July 23, 2009 [2 favorites]


As far as Craig being on too late, um... time-shift?

Meh. Got no Tivo. No VCR. Don't want either. I never said Ferguson was on too late, merely that I wished I could stay awake to watch him. More a statement about me, rather than tv scheduling. TV is transitory entertainment for me. If I miss it, I miss it. No loss.
posted by Thorzdad at 12:26 PM on July 23, 2009 [3 favorites]


I like the fact that Craig Ferguson can open one show with some as goofy as lip-syncing to to TMBG's "Istanbul" or making weird faces at the camera and then pull off an intelligent and thought provoking diatribe the next. He's quickly becoming one of my favorite TV personalities and has recently become the only late-night talk show that I Tivo. I like people that are as comfortable being cerebral as they are ridiculous, and he excels at both.

He seems to revel in stepping outside of the conventional late-night TV bounds and doesn't mind getting too close to the edge. He's sort of a talk-show Ernie Kovacs in that respect. Although he's not the smoothest interviewer, his enthusiasm and curiosity always come out, which make me want to watch all of the segments on his show, even with guests I have absolutely no interest in.
posted by Slack-a-gogo at 12:32 PM on July 23, 2009 [3 favorites]


hippybear- I've had a look and I can't see much (anything) online that would support my point. Anyway, back in the late 80s early 90s he played a character called Bing Hitler famed for outlandish behaviour and statements. Except, a lot of his stuff is eerily reminiscent of Jerry Sadowitz. Only not as funny.
posted by ClanvidHorse at 12:34 PM on July 23, 2009


OH MY GOODNESS! YOUNG HOT GUYS! PEOPLE LIKE THEM! THIS IS TOTALLY NEW! WE ARE ONLY SUPPOSED TO BE OBJECTIFYING AND MAKING BEER ADS WITH YOUNG WOMEN! AND TALKING ABOUT THE SUPPOSED VIRGINITY OF BRITNEY SPEARS! NOT THE VIRGINITY OF YOUNG SEXY BARELY LEGAL MEN! BUT IT TURNS OUT THAT FEMALES ALSO HAVE SEXUAL DESIRES! BIG MYSTERY! WORLD TURNED ON ITS HEAD! I MEAN THE JONAS BROTHERS?!

I'm going to assume you didn't even watch the clip, but figured it would be a good time to whip out one of your favorite personal rants, even though it has pretty much nothing to do with the post.

If not, well... then... what now?
posted by papercake at 12:38 PM on July 23, 2009 [2 favorites]


I was amazed at how many laughs there were for things that weren't all that funny, but they encourage you to laugh, and it seems pretty funny at the time.

Laughter is intrinsically social. Under anything other than extraordinarily unfunny circumstances - for example, if you're me at a screening of There's Something About Mary - it's very hard not to laugh in a room full of laughing people.

I think Ferguson's the best host working network late-night today - and easily the best interviewer - and I would invite the haters herein to partake in some sucking of it. And those of you making allusions to in-depth long-form documentary as evidence of Ferguson's failures as a late-night talk show host doing a three-minute comedic monologue, you people must be a fuckin' treat at stand-up comedy shows.

You: "That Dave Chapelle routine's no back-to-back viewing of Roots and Eyes on the Prize. FAIL!"

Me: "Doesn't anyone want to switch seats?"
posted by gompa at 12:38 PM on July 23, 2009 [5 favorites]


This is pretty neat, even if I disagree. That thing about his alcoholism and making fun of victims is pretty strong too. He's really good as a talk show host, much better than the stand up I just hunted down on youtube. And that was a list of things that are obvious you're welcome.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 12:59 PM on July 23, 2009


I love Craig Ferguson. I agree with those in the thread who have mentioned how different he is from other late-night hosts, in that he can be hilariously funny in one monologue, deadly serious in another, silly and embarrassing in another, and thoughtful and insightful in another.

If you want to see a host and a guest having a GREAT time, check out Craig's 2008 interview with Ewan McGregor. I seriously hurt myself laughing.

For an example of how he can be quite serious and still keep the room with him by injecting jokes, watch his opening monologue from the time when Britney Spears had her breakdown, where he talks about how he won't make fun of her because he knows, from his years and years of drinking (sober 15 years now) what it's like to be that out of control. He mocks himself very well, and does it to make a point.

If you want to see an example of the occasional lunacy that opens the show, here's a cold-open where Craig, his usual back-up guys (they're pretty much always in the opening bit if he does a cold-open lip sync), his puppet corps, and a belly dancer lip sync to They Might Be Giants's "Istanbul (Not Constantinople)."

For a recent bit where Craig casually deals with a lighting issue by turning it into a complete plus for the interview, here he is with guest Jim Parsons.

He's the only late night host I TiVo, and has been for some time.
posted by tzikeh at 1:25 PM on July 23, 2009 [11 favorites]


I was really hesitant to watch Craig Ferguson when he first came on the air, but I've slowly discovered that he's probably the best thing on late night. He's not always funny but he's got great rapport with the camera and, it seems, his guests - as far as I'm concerned, he's the best interviewer. He's especially entertaining to watch when he has other Scots on, see Ewan McGregor and Billy Connolly.
posted by Partario at 1:27 PM on July 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


Just sos I'm not useless: Yodeling Compilation
posted by Potomac Avenue at 1:27 PM on July 23, 2009


I've never actually watched his show, only watched the monologue when someone links to it on the internet, and I'm pretty sure he's my favorite late-night host. He's so real.
posted by roll truck roll at 1:54 PM on July 23, 2009


That YouTube channel just amazes me. Some guy goes to the trouble of uploading the whole show, split into sections, every day, in HD, with the network logo blurred out.

Actually, I'm amazed CBS hasn't shut him down. Go CBS!
posted by smackfu at 2:09 PM on July 23, 2009


How I love Craig Ferguson...I highly recommend the film "Saving Grace" for those of you that also appreciate his sense of humor and his wit.
posted by nonmerci at 2:09 PM on July 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


Eh, it was pretty good right up until the Jonas Brothers part, because as much as I may loathe that whole slice of music industry, those kids are really no worse than 99% of the other tripe that gets squeezed out year after year. Where was he when N-Sync or New Kids were stinking up the airwaves?
posted by 2sheets at 3:20 PM on July 23, 2009


Where was he when N-Sync or New Kids were stinking up the airwaves?

On the Drew Carey show, making fun of the large woman.
posted by Partario at 3:51 PM on July 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


The Bastille Day Monologue.
posted by Sailormom at 7:13 PM on July 23, 2009 [3 favorites]


Every now and again somebody posts something from Craig Ferguson and I think, that's smart and entertaining as hell. I have to start watching that show. And then I do, for about a week, and the meh piles up and it falls off my radar.

My experience exactly.

Also, this: This is a good post, but doesn't the title (and first sentence) kind of ruin the punch line?
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 9:37 PM on July 23, 2009


I'm watching Craig Ferguson's monologue on TV right now, and he's talking about "rumors on the internet" that his audience laughter isn't real.

Maybe we should amend this post to say Mefi's own Craig Ferguson.
posted by painquale at 9:41 PM on July 23, 2009


Yeah, it sure seems like he (or his staff) read this thread. Hi, Craig! I love you!
posted by Pater Aletheias at 9:47 PM on July 23, 2009


I know! I had to come check this thread after seeing his commentary! Very weird.
Craig is great.
posted by mdn at 9:48 PM on July 23, 2009


In fact, I'm pretty sure that ardgedee is being called out on national TV right now. I wish that would happen to me!
posted by Pater Aletheias at 9:48 PM on July 23, 2009


"rumors on the internet" that his audience laughter isn't real.

I believe it's real, but that's one hair-trigger audience, that's for sure. I mean, those people are laughing at the drop of a fucking hat.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 9:50 PM on July 23, 2009


"Yes, they're an audience machine operated by a teamster backstage. There are two things we can be sure of: I'm not funny and they're not an audience machine! Don't you ever call my friends an audience machine again."

And the rest of his monologue is about Comicon geeks. Yup, this is definitely directed at Metafilter.
posted by painquale at 9:53 PM on July 23, 2009


*squeeee!*
posted by Sys Rq at 9:55 PM on July 23, 2009


Guys, I heard a rumor on the internet that Craig Ferguson's accent isn't real either. He's actually from Yuma. And his nose? Solid silver, like Tycho Brahe's. They paint it in makeup before every show. Pass it on.

/Hopes to get called out on national TV
posted by painquale at 10:07 PM on July 23, 2009


I heard he's worn the same pair of pink socks every day since 1992.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 10:19 PM on July 23, 2009


I heard he's a squid with elbows.
posted by dirigibleman at 10:44 PM on July 23, 2009 [3 favorites]


I heard he ages in reverse like Benjamin Button.
posted by painquale at 11:02 PM on July 23, 2009


I don't watch the show so maybe I'm missing something (like the beard fad a while back) but isn't that Jon Stewart's haircut?
posted by Evilspork at 11:04 PM on July 23, 2009


this from a man who totally wanted to give conor oberst a hug that one time? please!
posted by es_de_bah at 11:10 PM on July 23, 2009


Everyone needs a hug.
posted by painquale at 11:39 PM on July 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


Of course the girl is Bailey from WKRP in Cincinnati.

I remember that magazine cover!! Holy beejezus! Wowowooo! I'm achieving dirt-old velocity! Ef YES! It's like I was there in the '60's or something but it was the '70's!
posted by humannaire at 5:54 AM on July 24, 2009


All right guys, you caught me, I'm actually Craig Ferguson.



And yes, I'm a squid with elbows.
posted by shakespeherian at 7:45 AM on July 24, 2009


Way to step on the punch line.
posted by sixpack at 8:06 AM on July 24, 2009 [1 favorite]


I've always liked whatever I've seen of him, but who has time for a late night show?
That said, after watching that brilliant Constantinople clip three times, I'm adding him to the Tivo.
posted by CunningLinguist at 2:32 PM on July 24, 2009


Things are, always, funnier with people around. Go rent the movie "Funny Face", a musical from the 50s with Fred Astaire and Audrey Hepburn. There's a scene near the end where they sing a love song to each other and dance around outside near a pond, and there's nothing funny about it, absolutely nothing. But when I saw it at Navy Pier during an outdoor screening with tons of other people, one person noticed that the same goose kept wandering into almost every shot of the scene, and started laughing, and it snowballed into one of the funniest things I've ever seen, audience absolutely howling.

Sometimes I think that's why so many old movies seem so boring now; we only see them in the comfort of our own homes, but they were designed to be part of a shared public experience. This is also, I suspect, why I'm part of a big group of friends that regularly gathers for "horror movie parties" at a friend's house, where we watch the worst movies ever made and find them unstoppably hilarious.
posted by davejay at 2:32 PM on July 24, 2009 [2 favorites]


OH MY GOODNESS! YOUNG HOT GUYS! PEOPLE LIKE THEM! THIS IS TOTALLY NEW! WE ARE ONLY SUPPOSED TO BE OBJECTIFYING AND MAKING BEER ADS WITH YOUNG WOMEN! AND TALKING ABOUT THE SUPPOSED VIRGINITY OF BRITNEY SPEARS! NOT THE VIRGINITY OF YOUNG SEXY BARELY LEGAL MEN! BUT IT TURNS OUT THAT FEMALES ALSO HAVE SEXUAL DESIRES! BIG MYSTERY! WORLD TURNED ON ITS HEAD! I MEAN THE JONAS BROTHERS?!

There are males who find them attractive too, sorry for the heteronormativity of that comment.

How very, very dull... and very, very cliche. Did you even watch the clip?
posted by modernnomad at 5:39 PM on July 24, 2009


but it's pretty unlikely that some other internet rumor started on the same day from some other place

It is?
posted by juiceCake at 8:54 PM on July 24, 2009 [2 favorites]


MeTa on Craig Ferguson addressing "rumors on the Internet ".
posted by Lush at 1:50 AM on July 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


Craig playing with the Wicked Tinkers the day he became an American citizen.
posted by Tenuki at 2:11 AM on July 25, 2009


How very, very dull... and very, very cliche. Did you even watch the clip?

Someone already said that. I did watch the clip, twice. People can experience the same media and have different reactions.

Anyone who talks about how society has "turned on its head" since the 50's and 60's lacks so much perspective that I cannot take them seriously. Since this isn't funny, either, I don't see a lot of value it it.

I usually don't comment on FPPs that I don't like, and should have taken a more thoughtful tack with this one, but I stand by my point.
posted by kathrineg at 7:12 AM on July 25, 2009


His "White Lines" is priceless!
posted by geekyguy at 7:46 AM on July 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


For the first ~20 million years of human history, people found old-ass, arthritic, phlegm-coughing, about-to-die people incredibly attractive.

I do like Quaker Oats.
posted by rokusan at 9:29 AM on July 25, 2009


NOT THE VIRGINITY OF YOUNG SEXY BARELY LEGAL MEN! BUT IT TURNS OUT THAT FEMALES ALSO HAVE SEXUAL DESIRES! BIG MYSTERY! WORLD TURNED ON ITS HEAD!

That is what you got from that video? A sexy-men vs. sexy-women message???

I mean, I'll take you at your word that you watched the clip. I'll even accept that you watched the same clip the rest of us did... though I have to stretch credulity to get there.

But, like... were you really really high? Because I can't find any sane way to get the above out of that video content without being on some serious mind-altering substances. That's, like, some kind of Andrea-Dworkin-on-crystal-meth, high-speed victimization complex reading.

(Also, hook me up?)
posted by rokusan at 12:07 PM on July 25, 2009 [3 favorites]


kathrineg said: NOT THE VIRGINITY OF YOUNG SEXY BARELY LEGAL MEN!

Yeah...I think you've missed the point here. I don't see how you could have watched the same clip we did and come away with that. The fact is that from a historical standpoint, he's correct. There was no such thing as a "youth culture" before the 1950s. The leisure class and the rise of the middle class radically changed society. For the first time, an entire demographic of kids had spending money. That is just history, it's not opinion. The fact is that the advertising and media culture has become more and more youth oriented over the last 50 years, and again, that's demonstrable fact.

Sure, one could make the argument that the concept of youth culture started around prohibition, but I think you would be hard pressed to find any examples of popular media endorsing, selling or promoting the concept that 16 year old kids were examples to be followed.

When children and teenagers were shown in popular media, for example in the 50's and 60's, they were not little adults making little adult decisions. They were kids going through the type of experiences that it was assumed kids were going through; pimples, first dates, learning to drive, troubles at school, telling a white lie, etc.

Now marketing to adults is using kids. Did anyone try to get adult women to buy a dress by putting it on a teenage model in the 1950s? No...because it would have been an absurdity to assume that a grown woman would dress the same way as her teenage daughter.

What you don't seem to get is that the Jonas Bros reference was a throw-away, a toss-off to get a quick laugh as he moves to his chair. You missed the meat of what he said in order to gnaw on the least important bit of fat in the entire monologue.
posted by dejah420 at 7:18 PM on July 25, 2009


But, like... were you really really high? Because I can't find any sane way to get the above out of that video content without being on some serious mind-altering substances. That's, like, some kind of Andrea-Dworkin-on-crystal-meth, high-speed victimization complex reading.

Well, thanks for adding so much to the conversation!
posted by kathrineg at 10:14 PM on July 25, 2009


What you don't seem to get is that the Jonas Bros reference was a throw-away, a toss-off to get a quick laugh as he moves to his chair. You missed the meat of what he said in order to gnaw on the least important bit of fat in the entire monologue.

He's implying that everything sucks because our values have changed, right? We used to value old smart people, and now we don't, and it, like, totally sucks! And women dye their hair, oh my God!

It's shallow and it lacks perspective. The 50s sucked.
posted by kathrineg at 10:18 PM on July 25, 2009


Again...you're missing the point. He's not saying that the 50s rocked. He's talking about how everyone is afraid to be a grown up. How childhood has been commoditized into adult objects for sale. What he was saying is that we, as a culture, have allowed ourselves to get sucked into believing that only youth has value.
posted by dejah420 at 12:11 AM on July 26, 2009


kathrineg: OH MY GOODNESS! YOUNG HOT GUYS! PEOPLE LIKE THEM! THIS IS TOTALLY NEW! WE ARE ONLY SUPPOSED TO BE OBJECTIFYING AND MAKING BEER ADS WITH YOUNG WOMEN! AND TALKING ABOUT THE SUPPOSED VIRGINITY OF BRITNEY SPEARS! NOT THE VIRGINITY OF YOUNG SEXY BARELY LEGAL MEN! BUT IT TURNS OUT THAT FEMALES ALSO HAVE SEXUAL DESIRES! BIG MYSTERY! WORLD TURNED ON ITS HEAD! I MEAN THE JONAS BROTHERS?!

I haven't even watched this clip, and I can tell you:

You're being ridiculous. Are you saying objectifying and/or hypersexualizing people is okay because men do it to women? That seems like a really weird thing to say.

Or…are you saying that objectifying and/or hypersexualizing males is okay because it's fair to turn the tables and get some revenge?

Well, I think it's obvious that that's not healthy. Or correct.

So what is it about this phenomenon that seems good to you? And, no, you can't define the goodness or badness of anything in society purely in relationship to everything else. “Oh, so I killed a guy! Big deal—the army kills guys all the time, and I only killed one. Plus, this guy was an asshole!”

It's wrong no matter who does it.
posted by koeselitz at 12:41 AM on July 26, 2009


Yeah. You might want to watch the video, kathrineg.
posted by roll truck roll at 9:24 AM on July 26, 2009


Wow. I can't believe that's Craig Ferguson. I remember him doing stand-up/TV in the UK 10 or 15 years ago, and he used to look slightly pissed, chain smoking, leather-jacket wearing, floppy fringed - just kind of cool and rough around the edges. Now he looks like someone's put him through the "Make me look like an American chat show host" machine. Shiny suit? Check. Tie tied right up to the neck and ironed within an inch of its life? Check. Short back and sides? Check. Face scrubbed? Check.

Wow.
posted by penguin pie at 10:47 AM on July 26, 2009


Having gone to the Boston meet-up and left via the T at the same time that the Jonas Brothers concert got out... I can agree that they are indeed emblematic of everything that is wrong with America.

The Jonas Brothers and the Cheesecake Factory. I'd like to see Craig Ferguson take on the history of our problems with portion size and kitschy design.

PS: I should not have watched this in Starbucks. I want to LOL, but I'm holding it in like when you have to sneeze and your face just all crumples up.

PPS: I love the Scottish. They're men in skirts and instead of being all "Hm, maybe we should wear pants" they're all "YEAH, we're wearing skirts! You got a PROBLEM with that?" (This in reference to the Wicked Tinkers clip, not the original clip, in which no one wears a skirt.)
posted by grapefruitmoon at 11:35 AM on July 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


Bing Hitler.
posted by Sys Rq at 11:45 AM on July 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


Bing Hitler.

Wow. He looks like the evil Robert Smith.

(Um... the good Robert Smith? The Earth-216 Robert Smith?)
posted by rokusan at 5:26 PM on July 26, 2009


I'd like to say that I am thoroughly addicted to Craig now, through the YouTube channel. I can not remember the last time I was so thoroughly entertained so consistently for so long.
posted by five fresh fish at 12:51 AM on August 15, 2009


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