Goodnight Dad
February 4, 2006 5:53 PM   Subscribe

Late Late Show host Craig Ferguson says goodbye to his father. [near the bottom of the right column]
posted by LarryC (68 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
That's one of the best, kindest, most human things I've seen on television in a long time.
posted by stenseng at 6:12 PM on February 4, 2006

Oh my God that was beautiful.

posted by moonbird at 6:35 PM on February 4, 2006

Watch it until the last line.
posted by kjell at 6:49 PM on February 4, 2006

That was the most honest and sincere goodbye I've ever seen, on TV or off. Wow.
posted by travosaurus at 6:59 PM on February 4, 2006

Anyone have a different source for that? I'm getting tunnel robo-speak with square block video.
posted by ryanhealy at 6:59 PM on February 4, 2006

Craig Ferguson is by far the most underrated late night TV guy around. The show was a little shaky when he first started, but then again so was Conan (some cringeworthy early moments when Conan and Andy would just sorta look lost, like they wished someone would rescue them), and it didn't take him long to hit his stride. It's a well done program. (Plus one night Drew Carey basically got him to reveal that he's a Rangers man, so that's a point in his favor :)

One thing I like about it is how relaxed and candid Craig always seems to be. He does real monologues, going beyond the normal joke-telling stage and just, well, standing up there and talking to you, in a manner that often seems disarmingly personal, and very charming. Sometimes it can be very moving too, as is the case here.

posted by First Post at 7:00 PM on February 4, 2006

I love love LOVE Craig Ferguson. Conan may have the best sketches, but Ferguson knows the interview.

And this was beautiful.

Well played, sir.

posted by Sticherbeast at 7:04 PM on February 4, 2006

I wish I could have been this eloquent about my father when he died in June. I wrote something for my grandmother's funeral two weeks before, but for his, I couldn't say anything.

Thanks, Mr. Ferguson.
posted by JeremyT at 7:12 PM on February 4, 2006

Thanks for the post.
posted by callmejay at 7:13 PM on February 4, 2006

That was really, really nice.
posted by kbanas at 7:15 PM on February 4, 2006

I didn't know you could be your self one TV anymore. I thought there was a sort of checks and balance system to prevent that sort of honest. Cuz you know, it would out shine other "honest" events.
posted by dylanSnow at 7:36 PM on February 4, 2006

Wow. What stenseng and travosaurus said.

Anyone have a different source for that? I'm getting tunnel robo-speak with square block video.

I had to install RealPlayer to make it work.
posted by Cyrano at 7:37 PM on February 4, 2006

Just the other day I posted a list of underappreciated things on my blog. Craig Ferguson was on it. And for what it's worth, I have a real hard time with Conan. The endless mugging is too much for me.
posted by davebush at 7:41 PM on February 4, 2006

Listen, I don't wanna be a negative Nancy, but I felt pretty misled by all the glowing reviews of this clip, which is too long and not very interesting.
posted by thirteenkiller at 7:50 PM on February 4, 2006

Much like your comment.
posted by Optamystic at 7:52 PM on February 4, 2006

Wow, that was amazing. The love and respect were palpable, and the honesty and openness was refreshing. Makes me wish I had television to watch this guy. I always liked Conan, but Ferguson seems to have a different sort of appeal.

Also got me thinking about my dad, who's getting on in years, and whether I could say something like that for him. Thinking is good.
posted by Fontbone at 7:53 PM on February 4, 2006

O burn
posted by thirteenkiller at 7:53 PM on February 4, 2006

I just assumed Ferguson was a disaster, because, you know, he's the successor to the awe-inspiringly, embarassingly terrible Craig Kilbourne.

But then again, the last person to inherit a show from Kilbourne was Jon Stewart.

Thanks for this.
posted by Simon! at 8:10 PM on February 4, 2006

thirteenkiller, have you ever lost a close family member? You've probably earned yourself a mini-pile-on ('cause a lot of us will be too busy eating chili con carne and watching the Steelers and Seahawks tomorrow to give you the one you really deserve.)

Because your little "O burn" comment does make it seem like you're playing the obligatory What You Care About Sucks curmudgeon in this thread.

I find it hard to understand how anyone who has ever had to stand up in front of a group of people and explain how someone who is never going the be there again meant so much to them could not, in some small way, appreciate the the raw honesty of this clip. And to complain that it went on too long? Please send me the bill for whatever you think you got bilked for hearing seventy-five years of caring summed up in a few minutes.

I don't care how rich and famous you are, but "My heart's broken... My Father's dead" doesn't care about the balance in your bank account.
posted by Cyrano at 8:18 PM on February 4, 2006

Thank you so much LarryC. If we were a better society, there'd be more things like this on TV.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 8:19 PM on February 4, 2006

That was wonderfully heartbreaking. Thanks for the link, LarryC.
posted by youcancallmeal at 8:22 PM on February 4, 2006

Agreed. Not to get all Hallmark-y, but Ferguson reminds us that TV can be moving and worthwhile. How many other TV personalities would have done that? Or could have done it so well?
posted by davy321 at 8:24 PM on February 4, 2006

I hadn't ever heard of this guy before, but the clip made me crryyyyyyyy.
posted by Hildegarde at 8:28 PM on February 4, 2006

This show is the shiznat for an insomniac like me. Watching Craig is like spending the night with a buddy. Last one to laugh and fall asleep wins... When Craig did this eulogy/goodby for his pops the other night it was uncomfortable to watch for a moment since I'm used to laughs not tears when watching/drifting off to sleep.. However I couldn't look away, and indeed it was touching and human (unlike most TV today). I'll take an honest moment from a 'funny' guy any day over yet another manufactured Harpo Productions moment.
posted by HyperBlue at 8:32 PM on February 4, 2006

Cyrano, the o burn was in regards to Optamystic's response to my first comment. Optamystic's response was stupid, so I made mocked it.

I stand by my original assessment of the clip. It didn't hold my interest. It was sorta like being forced to watch slides of someone's vacation to Branson. I watched the whole thing because all the comments in the thread were so positive and one said to wait for the end. I kept looking for some big moment that would make it interesting. It never came.

I'm glad you enjoyed it. I didn't insult you for enjoying it. SO GET OFF MY BACK.
posted by thirteenkiller at 8:33 PM on February 4, 2006

That's right, I made mocked it.
posted by thirteenkiller at 8:36 PM on February 4, 2006

The American late night television would be a much better place if Letterman and Leno were replaced by Conan and Ferguson. I prefer comedians who make me laugh, but that's just me.
posted by spock at 8:41 PM on February 4, 2006

And then he still didn't then come back from the commercial and pretend it was all happy fun.

He skipped his usual bits, went straight to a guest (Drew Pinsky) and just talked. He said he didn't feel like being funny and would get back to it "tomorrow" (tomorrow ended up being a rerun, maybe he still didn't feel like it).

I just started watching his show a couple months ago and was an instant convert. His monologues at the beginning are wonderful. Not always great, but wonderful since he really talks rather than joke, joke, joke, joke. He did an entire monologue about Oprah the night she was on Letterman and it was great, funny, and ended on an interesting serious note that I would never expect from a late night talker.

I tuned in late on the night of the monologue here so I had only seen the last minute. Glad to get the rest.
posted by obfusciatrist at 8:47 PM on February 4, 2006 [1 favorite]

By the way, I hadn't seen Ferguson before the other night but if he's as funny as he was in his monologue of 1/31 every night (about how he spent a weekend in a Glasgow jail) then I'm tuning in. He was pretty great with Jim Belushi, too.

And a sympathy card to Craig : your dad is proud of you.
posted by spock at 8:47 PM on February 4, 2006

"Listen, I don't wanna be a negative Nancy..." Then, please, just sit on your hands or something. Damn.
posted by theperfectcrime at 8:47 PM on February 4, 2006

kjell's comment (perhaps inadvertently) led me to suspect it was a shaggy dog story setup for a punchline. I'm glad it wasn't. I'm of an age where parental mortality is, shall we say, palpable. I'm also having a bit of a hard time with my own dad at the moment. So this really hit home.
posted by dhartung at 8:49 PM on February 4, 2006

I'm glad you enjoyed it. I didn't insult you for enjoying it. SO GET OFF MY BACK.

I'm not on your back. I'm a sarcastic SOB by nature, so I'm sorry if it came off that way. But you made a comment, and since this is "weblog as conversation" or whatever-the-fuck we used to call it, to expect that you can make a comment in a vacuum and not have someone ask you to clarify it a bit is a tad... Something that I won't give much thought to since it would probably end up as another SOB comment.

My core question to you was A) have you gone through something similar? and B) have you ever tried to articulate to someone who didn't know the person you lost what they meant to you?

Because I would in no way try to diminish you if your answer was "yes" to both questions. I would, however, be interesting in knowing how you didn't hear a least a few echoes of your own voice if you can answer yes to Question B.
posted by Cyrano at 8:49 PM on February 4, 2006

Never heard of the guy. Thanks for the link.
posted by You Should See the Other Guy at 8:53 PM on February 4, 2006

Cyrano, that's not any of your business. Sorry.
posted by thirteenkiller at 8:55 PM on February 4, 2006

dhartung - I didn't mean to make it sound like that, but the last line made the 5 or so minutes that much more worth it to me. One of the most heartfelt things I've seen in awhile.
posted by kjell at 8:59 PM on February 4, 2006

that's not any of your business. Sorry.

Fair enough.
posted by Cyrano at 9:05 PM on February 4, 2006

The American late night television would be a much better place if Letterman and Leno were replaced by Conan and Ferguson.

Half of your wish will come true in a few years.
posted by Gator at 9:09 PM on February 4, 2006

I saw the show when it aired too. Craig has an intimate, disarming style anyway, and to see him take it up another notch in tribute to his dad was moving.

I didn't know you could be yourself on TV anymore. I thought there was a sort of checks and balance system to prevent that sort of honest. - dylanSnow

Apparently he found a way to subvert the system.
posted by Tubes at 9:09 PM on February 4, 2006

But then again, the last person to inherit a show from Kilbourne was Jon Stewart.

If only Kilborn could go around and screw more things up, so more guys like Ferguson and Stewart can come along and fix them.
posted by frogan at 9:11 PM on February 4, 2006

This makes me love Craig Ferguson even more. I'd be lying if I said I didn't well up a little thinking about my own dad.

And ditto on the comments re: his monologues. I saw a taping of his show back in October, and he really made the us, the audience, feel like he was talking to us and not just reading off cue cards. And you can't tell on TV, but in reality, the studio is incredibly small, seating only a few dozen people, so it's quite intimate. I can imagine there wasn't a dry eye in the house that night.
posted by Robot Johnny at 9:11 PM on February 4, 2006

Jesus, that was heartbreakingly beautiful. It takes a lot of love, guts and confidence to be able to do something like that on live tv. Especially these days. Nothing short of outstanding.
posted by codeofconduct at 9:28 PM on February 4, 2006

I watched this Monday and got all teared up, especially where he talks about how he loved it when he was a boy and his dad would put his hand on his head. For a middle-aged guy like me, I got to thinking about my six-year-old son, and how might remember me one day. The next day as he got ready for school I tousled his hair and said "C'mon, my cheeky little monkey!" He looked up at me with a big smile.
posted by LarryC at 9:37 PM on February 4, 2006 [1 favorite]

I heard about this show too late to catch it, but it was one of the few of his shows that I've missed. Between Ferguson's accent and the loose, natural rapport with the camera, the audience and more and more guests, he beats Conan and his mannered self-loathing hands down. Yeah, Conan has some funny skits, but he can't consistently connect with people during interviews. I'll take the Scottish mensch when I'm up late and will download the funny bits of Conan when I need to.

So is the full cap of Ferguson's January 30 show available anywhere?
posted by rosemere at 10:07 PM on February 4, 2006

thirteenkiller - I love how you deem the clip "too long." A man was opening up and being entertaining at the same time (how often do you see that?) - and poor little you got bored.

Pal, y'all got some growing up to do.
posted by davebush at 11:01 PM on February 4, 2006

why are people annoyed at thirteenkiller? For him, the clip was too long & unmoving. For many others, it was heartfelt & wonderful. Why, when we're praising honesty & truth in this very thread do some feel the need to attack someone who made an honest statement, that this clip didn't connect with them emotionally. Thirteenkiller didn't insult you, cyrano, nor you, davebush. Why then do you have to challenge his maturity, refer to him as "poor little you", etc. Seriously, between the two groups, it's clear that at least one side does have some growing up to do...
posted by jonson at 11:17 PM on February 4, 2006

It was beautiful. It was real. A defining moment for a rare television personality with Personality. (And his father must have been a very good man.)

I missed that night and didn't realize what it was until MetaChat brought it to my attention, but his regular monologues the rest of the week just seemed even better than usual, from the Glasgow Jail to the Razzie Awards to the selective burglary of his car...

And he made a comment about his 'favorite website':

Yes, CBS has definately upgraded its late night Craig.
posted by wendell at 11:46 PM on February 4, 2006

My Dad's about the same age but still living. Mr. Ferguson has reminded me to appreciate him. I'll go out of my way to let him know I do later today when we watch the Superbowl together.
posted by Carbolic at 12:32 AM on February 5, 2006

I believe this is a direct link to the RealMedia file.

Thank you for posting this. It was incredibly touching, and I would have missed it altogether if you hadn't put it up here.
posted by WCityMike at 1:00 AM on February 5, 2006

When I first saw this link, I read it as "Late Late Show host Craig Kilbourne says goodbye to his father."

I'm glad I was mistaken. I figured if it were a clip of Kilbourne, the thread would get trashed. I thought it was a wonderful monologue and I'm glad that the thread was (with a minor exception) praising and not a "It's too long and boring" -fest.
posted by piratebowling at 1:35 AM on February 5, 2006


Wow. This was lovely. Thank you for the post.
posted by greycap at 2:18 AM on February 5, 2006

That was classy and touching. Not 30 minutes ago I was wondering if I should scrape the nickels together for a short-notice flight to visit my folks on Wednesday. Dad's lymph cancer (lymphoma? lymphomatic? whatever it's called) is in remission and he's in his 70s regardless. He and I get along like oil and water. Mom had a tiny stroke last month and missed grand total of one work day because of it (mostly to get tested to make sure she hadn't sprung another brainleak anywhere else).

And there I was--wondering if I should visit them for a week or stay back to help out the new hires I brought on board. Then I stumbled across this link.

posted by Tacodog at 2:36 AM on February 5, 2006

A .wmv file of the entire show is available for download here. It's super slow right now though.
posted by Optamystic at 3:49 AM on February 5, 2006

That was amazingly touching, thanks for the link.
posted by TheDonF at 6:21 AM on February 5, 2006

Optamystic's link worked for me, but people should know it's the entire show, not just the monologue, and is a 150MB download.
posted by briank at 7:48 AM on February 5, 2006

(whoops, I see Optamystic noted that, too. nemmind)
posted by briank at 7:49 AM on February 5, 2006

Wow. As someone who hears eulogies every single day, I have to agree--that's one of the most moving tributes I've ever heard.
posted by ColdChef at 8:01 AM on February 5, 2006

Good for him and nicely done. It's a marvelous piece of storytelling and a marvelous moment of respect he showed his dad.

Three cheers for the send off, and for executing it with grace.

Thanks for the post.
posted by fluffycreature at 8:07 AM on February 5, 2006

er..i'm not able to view these things at all , nothing comes up , anyone able to help ??
posted by sgt.serenity at 9:47 AM on February 5, 2006

Awesome clip, thanks. Totally worth downloading RealPlayer again for this work computer, then having it lock up, rebooting and having to start the download/install all over again. I am reminded that I need to watch Craig's show more often.
posted by ktoad at 10:19 AM on February 5, 2006

i'm still crying.
posted by ab3 at 11:25 AM on February 5, 2006

This was really moving, especially to anyone who has lost a parent. I must say I wasn't a fan of Ferguson at first, but he's really grown on me. The "bush drunk" sketch was one of the best sketches on late night in years, and he has proven to be one of the best interviewers on tv. Thirteen was dumb to give a review based on it's entertainment value, not the point. You opened yourself up to ridiclue with the "O burn" comment. If you don't want to be a "negative nancy" go away and stink up some other thread. It is exceedlinly rare for someone to open themselves up in such an honest way on television. Craig, you are a class act all the way, and you did good by your dad.
posted by Blingo at 1:10 PM on February 5, 2006

Lemme pile on the "this is great" bandwagon, late as usual.

Though most of you seem to despise Letterman and Leno, I've got to say that Letterman has had plenty of serious moments on his show and carries them well. (See his Sept 11 comments and his heart surgery comments.) I even liked Craig Kilborn's self-conscious cheesiness. Can't stand the Leno, though.

Plus: Gee. Ferguson is eight days younger than I am. Wow.
posted by booth at 2:18 PM on February 5, 2006

Ferguson's father was only four years older than my own dad, who was also a WW2 evacuee (Dad's from the north of England). He's in bed, so it's too late to call home - but then the test is whether they're in your heart the next morning, right? When the guilt isn't so present.

I scrawled my mother's eulogy on a spare sheet of paper sitting in the church; it wasn't untrue, just unworthy. I hope it's not irremediably coarse to say that when the time comes, I hope I can do justice to my own Dad as Ferguson did for his. They're so similar; I understand him a tiny bit better tonight, if only by being reminded that he's not the only one of his kind.

Good on you, mate.
posted by waxbanks at 8:05 PM on February 5, 2006

For those of you running "weird" browsers or operating systems or who refuse to install whatever plugin was required for that embedded video, YouTube has it. Flash video may suck but it always works.
posted by intermod at 8:07 PM on February 5, 2006

Just a couple excerpts, it turns out.

Looks like I need to start paying some more attention to the Late Late Show.
posted by intermod at 8:10 PM on February 5, 2006

This was great. Thank you, LarryC. My dad died 31/2 years ago, and I still think of him every day.

Ferguson also did a very serious "Good luck in rehab" monologue directed to Courtney Love. That was remarkabley moving, too.
posted by MrMoonPie at 8:35 PM on February 5, 2006

MrMoonPie would you know of a link to that monologue? I'm searching the LLS site & googling too but not having any success.
posted by zarah at 9:17 PM on February 5, 2006

Very moved by Ferguson's monologue. To Letterman's credit, he devoted a whole show to his friend Warren Zevon when Zevon died, and it was moving and well-done and appropriately ironic for the Zevon-ites.
posted by AuntLisa at 9:50 AM on February 6, 2006

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