Join 3,430 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


It's a great day for America, everybody
January 18, 2010 4:51 PM   Subscribe

After David Letterman signs off and the Worldwide Pants production logo fades, viewing audiences are oftentimes treated to a cold open of an empty talk show set... one that quickly becomes the impromptu dance floor for a shameless Scot making an absolute giddy fool of himself while lip-syncing pop songs alongside a menagerie of puppets (and a couple of scantily-costumed stagehands). Now on YouTube for your viewing pleasure, the complete collection of Craig Ferguson's Late Late Show musical numbers: "Say Hey (I Love You)" by Michael Franti and Spearhead - "White Lines" by Duran Duran - "Wonderful Night" by Fatboy Slim - "Istanbul" by They Might Be Giants - "Oops!...I Did It Again" by Britney Spears - "MMMBop" by Hanson - "In the Navy" by Village People - "Fireball" by Don Spencer - "I'm Yours" by Jason Mraz - "The Lonely Goatherd" from The Sound of Music - "She Taught Me How To Yodel" by Frank Ifield - "Fire" by The Prodigy - "Raindrops Keep Fallin' On My Head"

More (non-musical) Late Late Show puppet intros: Dragon (and the world's worst ventriloquist) - Shark - Giraffe - Pig - Unicorn - Snail - Craig (don't watch this one if you want to sleep tonight.)

See also "Wavy the Waving Alligator", the show's signature puppet: Accent - Joe Wilson - Wavy and Charles - Wavy and Lauren Graham (as Nadine the Kitten) - Interviewing Kristen Bell on the 1000th episode

Like the puppets? You can buy some of your own from Folkmanis Puppets (scroll down), the show's official supplier.

Other interesting moments: "If you don't vote, you're a moron." - The history of apartheid in South Africa (followed by an interview with Desmond Tutu [1, 2, 3] -- Ferguson's favorite guest) - Bastille Day - Bob Barker and his posse destroy the set - The show's full theme song (written and recorded by Ferguson himself)

Craig Ferguson previously on Mefi: Eulogizing his father - Discussing the poisonousness of celebrity voyeurism and his own battle with alcoholism - Hosting the 2008 White House Correspondents Dinner - Explaining the logic behind the Jonas Brothers - Calling out a Mefite for suggesting his audience was a laugh track (original video)

Lots more at the surprisingly comprehensive Craig Ferguson portal at the Huffington Post.
posted by Rhaomi (128 comments total) 289 users marked this as a favorite

 
WHITELINES!!!
posted by oddman at 4:56 PM on January 18, 2010 [4 favorites]


Every clip I've ever seen of him here leads me to conclude that Craig Ferguson is truly a genius, and the only person really doing worthwhile comedy on network television. If only I could stay up past 11:00pm, or owned a DVR, or got reliable reception of CBS, or had cable, or generally was in any way in the market for a late night talk show, I would definitely watch his show. Thanks for the post.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 5:02 PM on January 18, 2010 [11 favorites]


Craig Ferguson makes me happy. So does this awesome post.
posted by maudlin at 5:03 PM on January 18, 2010 [2 favorites]


Technically, it's a cover by Duran Duran of Grand Master Melle Mel's "White Lines".
posted by jdfan at 5:03 PM on January 18, 2010 [4 favorites]


I can never figure out what I think about this guy. He's pretty different. Sometimes I like it, sometimes it isn't for me. He seems to only interview young actresses.
posted by Ironmouth at 5:04 PM on January 18, 2010


Thank you Rhaomi. Blessing upon you!
posted by tkchrist at 5:13 PM on January 18, 2010


So charming. He always puts me in stitches.
posted by painquale at 5:16 PM on January 18, 2010


WHITE LINES W/ PUPPETS FOR THE WIN!

I give CF massive props for his alcoholism/celebrity toxicity monologue. That was such a stand-up thing to do to go on national television and say "I've been off track and I'm not gonna do that any more."

Also, even though Craig is a naturalized 'Murrican, he's still a Scot.
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey at 5:16 PM on January 18, 2010 [3 favorites]


And technically, the Melle Mel track was built around a sample from Liquid Liquid's "Optimo," which is so awesome it seems impossible that space and time should contain it.
posted by el_lupino at 5:16 PM on January 18, 2010 [7 favorites]


Seriously, I'd take any one of those Ferguson dance numbers over Jay Leno's entire career.
posted by You Should See the Other Guy at 5:17 PM on January 18, 2010 [24 favorites]


What really makes those numbers work is the magical combination of ironic comedy ("I'm the host of a network talk show and I'm wearing a funny wig and lip-syncing to MMMBop!") and completely unironic joy ("Holy shit, MMMBop might just be the most perfect pop song ever written, and if you don't love it you are dead inside. Dance, motherfucker, dance!")
posted by Horace Rumpole at 5:18 PM on January 18, 2010 [11 favorites]


I like the Ask Aquaman segment with Tim Gunn. Oh deary me, I've never laughed so hard.
posted by bitter-girl.com at 5:22 PM on January 18, 2010 [1 favorite]


"Stand-up thing to do" as in "<NEWYORK>That Ferguson is a stand-up guy </NEWYORK>" not, stand-up comedian, which he has been.
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey at 5:24 PM on January 18, 2010


The puppet show with Lauren Graham is my favorite thing all day.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 5:25 PM on January 18, 2010 [1 favorite]


I wept during the They Might Be Giants one.
posted by 8dot3 at 5:26 PM on January 18, 2010 [2 favorites]


Craig makes the world safe for the rest of us rhythmically-challenged white boys, and I think it's just wonderful watching him feel comfortable enough with his white boy doofiness to dance on national television the way the rest of us do at home when nobody's looking.
posted by Spatch at 5:28 PM on January 18, 2010



Rangers or Celtic, Craig?
posted by Zambrano at 5:34 PM on January 18, 2010


Craig Fergusen is a comedic genius. I love his show and although it's on a bit late at night for me it is available through torrent channels if you know where to look ;)
posted by Poet_Lariat at 5:37 PM on January 18, 2010


This completely made my day!
posted by lunasol at 5:38 PM on January 18, 2010


That CF puppet has got to be the most disturbing and yet laugh inducing thing I have ever seen. My god. Its fully of puppets.
posted by strixus at 5:40 PM on January 18, 2010


Not to poop on the parade, but Conan was doing this a long long time ago. They did a thing early on at 12:30 where he and Andy and the band just decided to be Led Zeppelin- so great.

Ferguson can be funny- I enjoy his "funny" a lot more than when he assumes that paternal vibe and lectures the audience like a grizzled old guy at an A.A. meeting.
posted by drjimmy11 at 5:42 PM on January 18, 2010


The MMBop had me in stitches, I'm wiping away tears from laughing so hard. CF has always been a favorite of mine, but I hadn't seen some of these. Thanks.
posted by gemmy at 5:45 PM on January 18, 2010


Seriously, I'd take any one of those Ferguson dance numbers over Jay Leno's entire career.

Lord yes. Leno at one point was a great stand-up. But he was never meant for the talk-show or even skit format — frankly Leno is not sharp nor quick enough. He isn't a student of people and doesn't seem to know shit about his guests other than they are there to promote some bullshit. The guy is thoroughly unlikeable. His monologues? I realize that doing that shit night in and night out is tough. You're always gonna hit and miss. But for fuck sake Leno relies completely on the laziest out-of-the-headlines formula and you can tell he couldn't give shit. There is no life to those bits anymore. And when it bombs he comes off as abrasive and almost hostile. Abysmal.

While Ferguson is personable, sincere, intelligent, compassionate, and charming. Even when he's off you like him. His life experience itself is interesting. You can tell they guy is having fun and he want's YOU to have fun.

His time slot is kind of a ghetto (though becuase of that he gets away with some edgier shit). He get's stuck with some stinker guests sometimes. But even so he manages to make the best of those interviews without seeming like an asshole — like Letterman and especially Leno can.

Mostly Ferguson reminds me of people I know. It's like an evening down at my local pub laughing my ass off, talking to strangers, and sharing bullshit with ftriends. Which is the essence of life in my opinion.
posted by tkchrist at 5:46 PM on January 18, 2010 [16 favorites]


Yes, this makes my day. Thank you.
posted by slackdog at 5:48 PM on January 18, 2010


Who's the hot guy in the lederhosen? Woof!
posted by ursus_comiter at 5:50 PM on January 18, 2010


Conan was kinda funny early on. But that poor guy, and I've run into him here in town a couple of times, while a very nice guy, seems so uncomfortable in his own skin and self conscious. His inner awkwardness is probably what makes him such a great creative and writer, but for me he's painful to watch. He seems like he just does not want to be there in front of the camera at all. He seems embarrassed by his own jokes. I haven't watch him in years.
posted by tkchrist at 5:50 PM on January 18, 2010


I absolutely loved this. I've never stayed up to watch his show but now I will.
posted by white_devil at 5:51 PM on January 18, 2010


"Fire" by The Prodigy

No, that's "Fire!" by The Crazy World of Arthur Brown. Prodigy did Firestarter, which I always suspected had a secret guest vocal by Rik Mayall.

TEWWWIFIC FIAWSTAWTER!
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 5:54 PM on January 18, 2010 [1 favorite]


Technically, it's a cover by Duran Duran of Grand Master Melle Mel's "White Lines".

I started to correct this as being Grandmaster Flash and Melle Mel, but it turns out my old record lied to me (sort of) - from wiki:

"When originally released, the record was credited to Grandmaster + Melle Mel. This was done to mislead the public into believing that Grandmaster Flash participated on the record,[1] when in fact he played no part and had already left the Sugar Hill Records label the previous year."

Damn, all this time...
posted by hypersloth at 5:55 PM on January 18, 2010


I like Craig Ferguson because unlike the other late night guys he's completely unafraid of the silly and also unafraid of the serious. (Great clip that made the rounds last week where he talks about Haiti.)

If any of you get a chance to see his stand up show when he's on tour - you should go. He gets much deeper into his past, past adventures, overcoming his past, etc.
posted by fluffy battle kitten at 5:56 PM on January 18, 2010


I only recently started being up late enough to catch bits of the show "live" (or, er, as aired), and it's really warm, funny, endearing stuff.

When did he start doing his monologue with that crazy wide angle lens? Or has it always been that way? I think it's a bit too stylistic but I think it works and it makes him stand out from the other shows in a very effective way.
posted by cavalier at 5:58 PM on January 18, 2010


I forgot to mention that the laugh track rumors are complete B.S. of course.

Anyone who's ever attended a Ferguson taping knows that what he does is record actual audience laughter from the first day's taping and use that for the other 4 days.
posted by Poet_Lariat at 5:58 PM on January 18, 2010


Conan does have a history of bizarre, loosey-goosey skits and pieces, but I never totally feel comfortable with him as an interviewer. It's not that he's doing anything really bad, and he can bounce stuff back and forth with guests pretty well sometimes, but he doesn't seem as comfortable in his own skin as Ferguson seems to be. I can't see Conan getting a skittish Fiona Apple to relax, make eye contact and talk as Ferguson does here.
posted by maudlin at 6:01 PM on January 18, 2010 [14 favorites]


this is amazing. as is the guy inside the toucan.
posted by janepanic at 6:02 PM on January 18, 2010


I DVR Craig religiously and watch him in the morning with my tea, which leads to a fair amount of spit-takes. There just aren't that many places on TV where you can see someone ask Julie Andrews the hard-hitting questions, like "Do you like oysters?" and "Do you know any poems about Nantucket?" The recent all-puppet 1000th episode was a thing of beauty, especially since we learned that Wavy's full name is Wavy Rancheros [wave, wave].

Speaking of which, I'm hungry for some albondigas y cacahuetes, but they give me a rash in the sobaco.
posted by FelliniBlank at 6:10 PM on January 18, 2010 [2 favorites]


ah kent his faither and he's nae better than he should be
posted by scruss at 6:17 PM on January 18, 2010 [1 favorite]


Rhaomi, you've made the kids at ONTD so happy.
posted by Partario at 6:18 PM on January 18, 2010


The only boo point I must mention is the switching of Craig's special censor.

Normally when Craig (and ONLY Craig) swears, he gets the French flag over his mouth with "Ooh-la-la!" instead of pixels and beeps (which everyone else get, including his puppets).

Because of his resolution to learn Spanish, Craig's censor got replaced with "Ay carumba!" and a Mexico flag.

I like "Ooh-la-la" better. :(

ALSO: Do yourselves a favor and get the audiobook version of American on Purpose. The book itself is AWESOME, but exponentially moreso to hear Craig himself narrate it. :D
posted by Yoshi Ayarane at 6:23 PM on January 18, 2010 [2 favorites]


I work behind a Front Desk, and would dearly love to open my shift with myself in Puppet Form to greet our guests . . . if only! *sigh*
posted by caseymichael at 6:23 PM on January 18, 2010


Oh man, there are few things I love more than Craig Ferguson (cheese comes to mind) and he's on way past my old-man bedtime, thanks for this!
posted by grapefruitmoon at 6:25 PM on January 18, 2010


That one guy sure likes his leather shorts.
posted by Evilspork at 6:29 PM on January 18, 2010


"Fire" is by Arthur Brown.
posted by kenko at 6:36 PM on January 18, 2010


Wow, I knew people really liked this dude and I was sure they had a good reason, but I never got around to him, but these are really funny and charming. Thanks.
posted by Divine_Wino at 6:43 PM on January 18, 2010


The beginning of Wonderful Night was pretty freaking funny.
posted by Richat at 6:45 PM on January 18, 2010 [1 favorite]


We Tivo Furguson and watch him with great glee. He is brilliant.

And, Yoshi Ayarane, my wife has gotten in the habit of saying "ooh-la-la" instead of cursing. Now she stops herself, rewinds, and says "ay-caramba!" instead.
posted by mmahaffie at 6:48 PM on January 18, 2010


PS: Craig, if your staff is googling you, may I suggest that you do a puppet rendition of Lady Gaga's "Bad Romance." THNX.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 6:49 PM on January 18, 2010 [8 favorites]


OK, OK, nothing actually happens at the end of Conan's show anyway. I guess I can lose it in order to catch Ferguson.

If NBC doesn't blink, I may end up a Ferguson fan...I wonder if the whole foofaraw over bringing back Leno isn't an attempt to put Conan back where he can compete with Ferguson?
posted by Jimmy Havok at 6:50 PM on January 18, 2010


Holy cats! You win at posting.
posted by EatTheWeak at 6:53 PM on January 18, 2010 [1 favorite]


These are great! Thank you.
posted by Fuzzy Monster at 7:05 PM on January 18, 2010


As a recent convert I love this thread so much. Craig Ferguson is the perfect mix of conviction and not giving a shit. Awesome.
posted by slapshot57 at 7:13 PM on January 18, 2010


I doesn't have puppets, but the clip from the show right after he got his U.S. citizenship and plays with the Wicked Tinkers to prove he's still Scottish is one of my favorites and a must see for any converts this thread spawns.

With Kristen Bell on that night too. She's his Ed McMahon it seems.
posted by Cyrano at 7:19 PM on January 18, 2010 [2 favorites]


Oh my, I do love me some Craig Ferguson. I only started watching his show regularly a few months ago, so seeing some of these older clips is great - and for anyone who can't stay up late to watch his show, CBS does post the last week's worth of shows online. Now you have no excuse!
posted by andeles at 7:22 PM on January 18, 2010


I am warming to this guy. (Though, the prophecy that eventually "every white man in America will have his own talk show" rings true)
posted by jcruelty at 7:28 PM on January 18, 2010


Rhaomi, you've made the kids at ONTD so happy.

Hey! Some of us are dual citizens of Mefi and ONTD I'll have you know. It was actually thanks to ONTD that I cottoned onto the genius of Ferguson. Great post too, this is bookmarked for a miserable day.
posted by saturnine at 7:29 PM on January 18, 2010 [2 favorites]


I think this post deserves the tag "ComprehensiveYoutubeAnthology", a tag reserved for only the best of the best of the web.
posted by kiltedtaco at 7:38 PM on January 18, 2010


I had seen some of his stuff, and generally liked him, but he's much more compelling than I had thought. I agree that he seems to have a real warmth and joy to him. Thanks!
posted by Solon and Thanks at 7:40 PM on January 18, 2010


Oh yes! I actually remember that Britney Spears comment of his - a really stand-up thing to do. He reminds me of Jon Stewart, except that he's perhaps more comfortable with seriousness than Jon seems to be (the latter always has to crack a joke to relieve tension.) It's a shame he doesn't have a wider audience.
posted by Solon and Thanks at 7:43 PM on January 18, 2010 [1 favorite]


Hey! Some of us are dual citizens of Mefi and ONTD I'll have you know.

Hello, fellow stan.
posted by Partario at 7:44 PM on January 18, 2010 [4 favorites]


If you want to watch Craig, but can't (no TiVo, too late at night, poor tv reception, etc.), Malinky2Stoatir's YouTube account is updated daily with the previous evening's episode. Each full segment has its own clip (A=cold open; B=monologue; C=usually emails; D=first guest; etc.). Malinky started uploading in January of 2009, and hasn't stopped yet. Ferguson's people are aware of it, and being of the "all publicity is good publicity" mindset instead of the "stop putting our show on YouTube so that people who don't know about it can find it and might tune in" mindset, are quite happy to see it keep going.

Because Craig can be so charming and easygoing and a terrific conversationalist, people who are ostensibly on to promote a film/show/etc. oftentimes get so wrapped up in just having a good time that they forget to do so, and Craig has to remind them. Or they get to the end of their time and he says "Well, you didn't talk about your movie at all. Nice to see you!"

Someone upthread said that Craig seems only to interview young women--you need to tune in more often. His interviews with Ewan McGregor, Hugh Laurie, Eddie Izzard, have been some of the comedy highlights of the century (so far), and he doesn't just talk to tv/movie people--he also has authors, politicians, etc. on, and can get serious as well as silly (as others have said here already).

So, as long as you have internet access, you can watch The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, and it will always be a great day for America. (Even if you're not American.)
posted by tzikeh at 7:45 PM on January 18, 2010 [15 favorites]


Just for fun, the original "White Lines" bass line: Liquid Liquid. Surprisingly difficult to play fluidly.
posted by Mei's lost sandal at 7:46 PM on January 18, 2010


Craig (don't watch this one if you want to sleep tonight.)

Nice to see the door-to-door salesman from Pee-Wee's Playhouse has found work after all these years.
posted by Servo5678 at 7:50 PM on January 18, 2010


Craig is wonderful and Makes me happy and this is an awesome post. As that nice person maudlin , said up top.

And it is good day for America with Ferguson in it...
posted by Skygazer at 7:51 PM on January 18, 2010


Oh man, best post ever. How I love Craig Ferguson.
posted by elizardbits at 7:56 PM on January 18, 2010


grapefruitmoon: "PS: Craig, if your staff is googling you, may I suggest that you do a puppet rendition of Lady Gaga's "Bad Romance." THNX."

I kind of want to email him and request they do "Prisencolinensinainciusol" -- it's the perfect fit in tone and spirit to these other vids. Horace Rumple's comment:

Horace Rumple: "What really makes those numbers work is the magical combination of ironic comedy ("I'm the host of a network talk show and I'm wearing a funny wig and lip-syncing to MMMBop!") and completely unironic joy ("Holy shit, MMMBop might just be the most perfect pop song ever written, and if you don't love it you are dead inside. Dance, motherfucker, dance!")"

...really reminded me of how people had characterized that video when it was last posted on the blue. But in light of the kerfluffle with argedee last summer, maybe it would be more productive to ask him here?
ATTN: Late Late Show staff

Please do a hilarious puppet recreation of "Prisencolinensinainciusol" by Adriano Celentano.

Kind regards,

--Somebody who just helped bump tonight's ratings, like, one one-hundredth of a share
Speaking of which...

tzikeh: "If you want to watch Craig, but can't (no TiVo, too late at night, poor tv reception, etc.), Malinky2Stoatir's YouTube account is updated daily with the previous evening's episode. Each full segment has its own clip (A=cold open; B=monologue; C=usually emails; D=first guest; etc.). Malinky started uploading in January of 2009, and hasn't stopped yet. Ferguson's people are aware of it, and being of the "all publicity is good publicity" mindset instead of the "stop putting our show on YouTube so that people who don't know about it can find it and might tune in" mindset, are quite happy to see it keep going."

Check out this CNN piece that I found via Wikipedia:
The strongest evidence: An experimental "brand channel" YouTube launched in mid-October for CBS (Charts) in the hopes that it would become the model for other old media partnerships. The press mostly ignored the deal's announcement at the time, most likely because it fell on the same day that Google bought YouTube.

It's worth circling back now. As part of the deal, CBS agreed to offer free video clips for downloading. In return, the media company gets to sniff around YouTube for any content bearing its copyright. CBS can then choose between removing the offending clips or getting a cut of the revenue YouTube generates from any advertising linked to the clip.

The result? By Thanksgiving, CBS had uploaded 300 clips that caught the attention of nearly 30 million pairs of eyeballs. More than 35,000 consumers have subscribed to the free channel. More importantly, the shows that CBS was pushing online suddenly became bigger hits on regular old television too.

Take David Letterman. The late-night talk show host gained an extra 200,000 viewers shortly after his YouTube debut. Craig Ferguson, host of The Late Late Show, saw his audience increase by seven percent - all in a little over a month.

Given that the month was November, a "sweeps" month in which audience ratings determine how much a network charges for ads until May, YouTube gave CBS an early holiday gift. CBS, with a strong overall lineup, finished the month as the most watched network among all age groups and tied for second in the most coveted demographic, 18 to 49 year-olds.
Hooray for TV executives not being dicks about online video!
posted by Rhaomi at 8:00 PM on January 18, 2010 [10 favorites]


Ooh la la!
posted by geekyguy at 8:13 PM on January 18, 2010


To be honest, I don't watch any of the late night shows. An hour every day to watch celebrity interviews? No thanks. But if I did watch one, it would be Craig Ferguson's.
posted by smackfu at 8:16 PM on January 18, 2010


Ah el_lupino, I really should read the entire thread before posting; you already brought up the Liquid Liquid reference. Here's my chance though to say great post! Wasn't acquainted with Ferguson afore this.
posted by Mei's lost sandal at 8:25 PM on January 18, 2010


I did not know such a thing existed, because I am an old man and go to bed early. Thank you.
posted by AzraelBrown at 8:30 PM on January 18, 2010


Wow. I'm surprised not only by the quality of the post but the outpouring of positive feeling. When I try to explain to people why Ferguson's monologues are so personal, so original I get blank stares back. Deeply impressive work here Rhaomi.
posted by jeffen at 8:32 PM on January 18, 2010


Awwww... this is great.
posted by Kloryne at 8:58 PM on January 18, 2010


Crap, I was going to go to bed. And I already wasted Saturday afternoon after discovering YouTube clips of Craig Ferguson.
posted by beowulf573 at 9:01 PM on January 18, 2010


grapefruitmoon: I kind of want to email him and request they do "Prisencolinensinainciusol " -- it's the perfect fit in tone and spirit to these other vids. Horace Rumple's comment:

That amount of awesomeness could not possibly be contained by broadcast bandwidths!
posted by Poet_Lariat at 9:13 PM on January 18, 2010


Oh man, just when I thought the musical clips were going to kill me with laughter, after reading the thread I youtubed Craig's interviews with Ewan McGregor. I think I laughed my lungs out at the Dirk Weems clip. Highly recommend it.
posted by aclevername at 9:16 PM on January 18, 2010


That was bloody fantastic Rhaomi. I've only caught Craig Ferguson's show once or twice, and never from the beginning, so had no idea he opened with the musical numbers...I'm laughing like hell now at all of these. His Monsieur Hulot style dancing in the "I'm Yours" clip is totally endearing.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 9:19 PM on January 18, 2010


Argh - I meant to put this in my comment and flaked -

Malinky2Stoatir's YouTube account is updated daily with the previous evening's episode, and every episode since he started uploading is still there. It isn't just "last night's episode" on the account, but an archive of the past year's shows.
posted by tzikeh at 9:23 PM on January 18, 2010 [1 favorite]


Anyone with such a visceral dislike of Twilight is an immediate friend of mine.

Example, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6...
posted by gimonca at 9:32 PM on January 18, 2010 [2 favorites]


First of all, there is not love in the actual word love that can contain the love I feel for this post. Thanks Rhaomi! Well done. Especially getting the full theme to the show. I love that song.

Secondly, Craig Ferguson is such a breath of fresh air in Late Night. I remember when he wound up winning the slot and thinking "What the hell is CBS thinking?" Shows what I know. Its the right blend of silliness, sincereity and "winding down the day" that is called for at that time in the evening.

As a matter of fact, his show just started. Steve Jones is on tonight! Yay for me!
posted by KingEdRa at 9:47 PM on January 18, 2010


Best thing since Soupy Sales!
posted by carping demon at 9:50 PM on January 18, 2010 [1 favorite]


The puppet special is pure genius. I could watch an all puppet version of his show every night.
posted by juv3nal at 9:59 PM on January 18, 2010


What I love about him is that his monologues feel like he's talking to you, as opposed to just repeating a bunch of rehearsed jokes. It's a real routine, with flow and personality and goofiness, as opposed to just scripted punch-lines. It feels so good.

My only real complaint is that the puppeteering is horrendous. So bad!
posted by Ms. Saint at 10:16 PM on January 18, 2010 [1 favorite]


IMO, the whole laugh track controversy exists because the audience laughter is annoying. They need to seriously cut down the volume and move the audience mics further away. It impairs the show's humor, although it's still the best in late night by an order of magnitude (Jimmy Fallon laughing at his own jokes does not make for a good show).
posted by amuseDetachment at 10:26 PM on January 18, 2010


My only real complaint is that the puppeteering is horrendous. So bad!

It's supposed to be. That's the joy of it. This isn't The Jim Henson Company--this is "Hey, we can get puppets for twenty bucks each! Let's put on a show!"
posted by tzikeh at 10:31 PM on January 18, 2010 [2 favorites]


As mentioned earlier, "Fire" is The Crazy World of Arthur Brown. However Liam did sample it for one of their rave-era tracks
posted by bruzie at 10:48 PM on January 18, 2010


I love the show so much. It's so goofy & conversational! And Friday's Mythbuster night!
posted by Pronoiac at 12:46 AM on January 19, 2010


Brilliant. Finally some nice, clean fun on the blue.
posted by ouke at 1:05 AM on January 19, 2010


I have tickets to see him live...now I'm even extra more excited!

Great post. Thanks for these.
posted by Salmonberry at 2:12 AM on January 19, 2010


Craig Ferguson is a surprising guy. I remember him from his UK career as being unutterably shit, but from what I've seen of him as a US talk show host I've really enjoyed watching.

Talking of surprising and unutterably shit, The Crazy World of Arthur Brown was known as The Surprising World of Arthur Brown the last time I saw him. He's still at it, he still only has the one song and he still sets his head on fire halfway through live performances of it. He was supporting Hawkwind in Manchester at the beginning of December. Hawkwind were shit too.
posted by vbfg at 2:28 AM on January 19, 2010


Ye gods. I shriek-laughed out loud when Craig began dancing to MMMbop. They all just commit.

That's by far the highlight of my day, and you do yourselves a disservice if you don't watch it.
posted by pseudonymph at 3:34 AM on January 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


Craig interviews his ex
posted by Tenuki at 4:38 AM on January 19, 2010 [4 favorites]


Can you explain it to an non-American never seen it person? This is the intro to the show or something untransmitted for the audience?
posted by A189Nut at 5:04 AM on January 19, 2010


Well, yes, prisencolsomethingsomething is totally awesome in every way, but I have occasionally been able to get it out of my head. Bad Romance is both easier to lip synch and totally addictive in that no, I can not EVER stop singing it in my mind.

RAH RAH RO MA MA RAH RAH RO MA MA GA GA OOH LA LA.

(See, oohlala! There's a theme!)
posted by grapefruitmoon at 5:13 AM on January 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


This is the intro to the show or something untransmitted for the audience?

It's the intro. He doesn't always do puppets, but yes, this would be done as the intro. A cold open, I believe it's called in the biz.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 5:15 AM on January 19, 2010


Is he the only late night host that does a cold open? Most of them kick right into the credits, then the monologue.
posted by smackfu at 5:51 AM on January 19, 2010


Is this the place where I can say I absolutely loved him as Mr. Wick in the Drew Carey show?
posted by bitteroldman at 6:47 AM on January 19, 2010


Favorite line: he's impersonating Michael Caine, and he says," also, kangaroos are terrible poker players, not because they're kangaroos but because they're Australian. What? What's wrong with that?"

Beyond being an excellent interviewer, especially of the self absorbed (if you want to see Robert Downey Jr. squirm...) who manages to make all interviews about himself, he's also great at breaking the fourth wall and playing with the conventions of "talk show" and "late night."

A running joke is "wasn't Letterman great tonight? Because, of course, we're live." The show is not only taped in the afternoon, but he sometimes tapes two shows on the same day. Before Christmas, he actually taped multiple shows in one day-- wearing the same suit "every night"-- and trying to pass it off.

The "cold open" (the lead in after Letterman) is taped after the interviews; the interviews are rearranged in the week ("we were going to have X in today, but he will have been great next Tuesday"); you can see multiple audiences in one show (because it was taped different days)-- he cleverly hints at these things, like easter eggs, they're there if you want to find them.
posted by TheLastPsychiatrist at 7:09 AM on January 19, 2010 [3 favorites]


RAH RAH RO MA MA RAH RAH RO MA MA AH AH AH GA GA OOH LA LA.

FTFY
posted by painquale at 7:10 AM on January 19, 2010


Oh wait, I screwed it up too.
posted by painquale at 7:11 AM on January 19, 2010


RAH RAH RO MA MA RAH RAH RO MA MA GA GA OOH LA LA.

raraahahahromaromamagagaoohlala
posted by inigo2 at 7:24 AM on January 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


Oh yay -- more stuff to feed my raging crush on Craig Ferguson!
posted by sarcasticah at 8:16 AM on January 19, 2010


I can't stop watching that "White Lines" clip. I've never seen an episode of the show before. I need to start.
posted by Lucinda at 8:16 AM on January 19, 2010


What makes the dance numbers great is the sense of total abandon to the moment. This is how people dance when they're at home alone...not in front of an audience when cameras are rolling.

Thanks for these, and for taking my crush on Lauren Graham to another level.
posted by rocket88 at 8:39 AM on January 19, 2010


MMMmbop is just awesome. I love how it starts out silly and then just goes completely over-the-top hilarious.
posted by misha at 9:32 AM on January 19, 2010


raraahahahromaromamagagaoohlala

SEIZURE WARNING NEXT TIME PLZ AND THNK U.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 9:50 AM on January 19, 2010


Tkchrist: Conan was kinda funny early on. But that poor guy, and I've run into him here in town a couple of times, while a very nice guy, seems so uncomfortable in his own skin and self conscious.

He is a little uncomfortable in his skin but, Conan's an absurdist comedic genius, and most nights his show was a blast. He's smart, knows his shit, quick on his feet and once the show hits it stride he's capable of generating a comedic hysteria that was amazing. But it's more like Brit humor, you have to know the precedence and there's a slow build, but the laughter pay off is usually gold.
posted by Skygazer at 10:32 AM on January 19, 2010


I am speaking, of course, of his old "Late Night" show. (The new show never was given an opportunity to find its footing, until recently actually when they've just said F. it and played up this weirdness for all it's worth and finally gotten the ratings they were supposed to get.
posted by Skygazer at 10:38 AM on January 19, 2010


Ferguson's show is simply awesome
posted by geez at 11:08 AM on January 19, 2010


Jimmy Fallon only game in town.
posted by painquale at 1:27 PM on January 19, 2010


My 70 year-old father and I were at the bar and got around to talking about the whole Leno-Conan thing. He surprised me when he said he thought Conan was funnier and then surprised me even further when he said he preferred that Scottish guy that's on later.
posted by Mick at 2:48 PM on January 19, 2010


Oh yay -- more stuff to feed my raging crush on Craig Ferguson!

Join the club.
posted by FelliniBlank at 2:51 PM on January 19, 2010


I can't link to YouTube from work, but do yourselves a favor and search "When Harry met Sally" and Ferguson. I think it's my all time favorite sketch.
posted by Carmody'sPrize at 3:49 PM on January 19, 2010


But it's more like Brit humor, you have to know the precedence and there's a slow build, but the laughter pay off is usually gold.

Having spent my formative years in the UK I love Brit humor. I agree I think creatively Conan is pretty brilliant. His work as a writer is amazing.

In my opinion, as a performer, about half the time he isn't as good as his material. He's not really a trained stand-up comic (or actor) and as a talks how host he's not very personable. Though oddly likable and human (unlike Leno who seems like a prick) in his gawkiness I find he often fakes his way through bits in ways that draw attention to his awkwardness — and this is merely my own issue — when he gets embarrassed or awkward I feel embarrassed and awkward for him. Some forms of humor, where humiliation is the essence of the situation, make my skin crawl. But that's just me.
posted by tkchrist at 6:09 PM on January 19, 2010


But it's more like Brit humor

This makes me giggle, that someone would say Conan's humor is more like British humor, while Ferguson is... actually British.

<CraigFerguson>WHAAAAAAAAT?</CraigFerguson>
posted by tzikeh at 6:35 PM on January 19, 2010


This makes me giggle, that someone would say Conan's humor is more like British humor, while Ferguson is... actually British.

Fer fucks sake you want the man to start drinking again!!

Craig Ferguson is SCOTTISH!
posted by Skygazer at 6:57 PM on January 19, 2010 [2 favorites]


oh man, i love Craig Ferguson! he is hilarious! i should start DVR'ing his show, or at least watch it more often on YouTube.

thank you for the excellent post, Rhaomi.
posted by gursky at 7:38 PM on January 19, 2010


The "White Lines" link up above is no longer working - I'd recommend this one.
posted by Lucinda at 8:01 PM on January 19, 2010


I would like to thank you for this post and say that it should be the start of a movement for Craig to bring back the puppets (since he said he's not going to use them anymore). I think they're one of the best parts of the show.
posted by eleanna at 8:52 PM on January 19, 2010


Man he's an amazing interviewer.
posted by Allan Gordon at 10:12 PM on January 19, 2010


I've been hitting youtube compulsively since watching some (MOST) of the links above and can now honestly say that I have yet another addiction. Thanks, Rhaomi!
posted by h00py at 10:39 PM on January 19, 2010


Craig's the best of the Late Night crowd, hands down. In fact, I'm watching him RIGHT NOW!
posted by sharpener at 1:02 AM on January 20, 2010


Wow, yeah. That Fiona Apple interview shows what a great interviewer he is.
posted by Eideteker at 9:09 AM on January 23, 2010


Well, it looks like Ferguson now has th place of honor on my DVR.

I'm kind of discombobulated by the claims that Conan doesn't give good interview. I admit that toward the end of his Late Night run he was getting kind of pro forma, but I thought the move to Tonight really energized him (I blame Andy). More significantly, I have seen him pull some completely awful guests out of the toilet. He has an instinctual kindness that has allowed him to get a good interview out of some very non-professional guests. It's kind of the flip side of the instinctual cruelty that's the major facet of Letterman's humor.

I guess after a watch a few Ferguson interviews I'll be able to compare him with Conan.
posted by Jimmy Havok at 9:54 AM on January 23, 2010


I'm kind of discombobulated by the claims that Conan doesn't give good interview.

Agreed, Conan is a great interviewer that has extracted fantastic comedy from the most unlikeliest of guests. When the person he's interviewing is already off the wall or has a peculiar perception or his/her own comedic sensibility pure surreal bedlam and piss your pants interviews happen. Case in point is this Canadian comedian, who name I always forget, but who would frequently come on and he and Conan would literally trip out, way out into the deep end of semi-psychedelic insane weirdness.

I guess after a watch a few Ferguson interviews I'll be able to compare him with Conan.

Careful, I began to watch him when Conan was a repeat and Craig is the real deal. As evidenced by this thread, he's hilarious and endearing bugger...actually don't be careful, Ferguson's teh awesome.

/fanboy gushing
posted by Skygazer at 11:35 AM on January 23, 2010


Case in point is this Canadian comedian, who name I always forget, but who would frequently come on and he and Conan would literally trip out, way out into the deep end of semi-psychedelic insane weirdness.

Harland Williams on the old Conan show.
posted by Skygazer at 2:15 PM on January 23, 2010


Harland Williams is out of control. He's beyond funny, it's like having the Dalai Lama come to your frat house and beat you at beer pong. I'm afraid to drive for a couple of hours after seeing him.
posted by Jimmy Havok at 5:30 PM on January 23, 2010 [1 favorite]


Thanks for a really great post.
posted by theora55 at 2:01 PM on January 27, 2010


New singalong! With PUPPETS!

Addicted to Love
posted by Lucinda at 7:31 AM on January 29, 2010


Well, I've watched three shows, and Ferguson is definitely a talent. It's interesting how it's essentially a one-man show, and he apparently just gets up there and extemporizes on a theme (while making sure he gets around to whatever bits he's worked out, like the Canadian polar bear that was stalking him on Monday). I can already see that he has his standard bits, just like any other performer, but there also seems to be an extremely large random element in there, which is the essence of his comic genius.

I think Andy Richter was important to Conan because he supplied that random element from his place on the couch, little asides that could drive the set-up interview off the rails. The best part of Conan getting the Tonight Show was getting Andy back on the couch, even though it took a few months.

I think I may actually love Andy more than I love Conan....
posted by Jimmy Havok at 2:48 PM on January 29, 2010


Craig's on The Tweety!

@craigyferg:
I have 3 dogs. I like 2 of them The one I dont like takes a shite on the kitchen floor every morning. It's French. The dog, not the shite.
about 10 hours ago from web

Watching the who @ the superbowl made me sad. Like watching my grampa play the spoons
about 9 hours ago from mobile web

The fact that i am on twitter probably means its on the way out.
about 8 hours ago from web

More rain comin to LA.it's starting to look like Scotland with teeth
about 1 hour ago from mobile web

I'm concerned I watch too much Mythbusters. I may need geek rehab
about 1 hour ago from mobile web

Join me followers. Join my robot skeleton army hargggggharggetc.
6 minutes ago from mobile web

Can I say fuck on this thing?
5 minutes ago from mobile web

Oh this is too awesome. Fuckity fuckity heck. (don't want to go too far)
2 minutes ago from mobile web
posted by Rhaomi at 9:53 PM on February 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


« Older ASCIImeo, Videos in text....  |  In 1933 Newfoundland was a res... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments