The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson

The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson
The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson
The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson intertitle.jpg
Intertitle, used since the show began broadcasting in HD
Format Talk show
Variety show
Created by David Letterman
Written by Jonathan Morano
Ted Mulkerin
Lynn Ferguson
Philip McGrade
Joe O'Brien
Bob Oschack
John Reynolds
Ben Stout
Tom Straw
Joe Strazzulo
Craig Ferguson
Directed by Brian McAloon
Presented by Craig Ferguson
Narrated by Shadoe Stevens
Country of origin United States
No. of episodes 1,392 (List of episodes)
Executive producer(s) David Letterman
Peter Lassally
Producer(s) Michael Naidus
Location(s) CBS Television City
Studio 58
Los Angeles, California
Running time 39 to 40 minutes without commercials
Production company(s) Worldwide Pants Incorporated
Original channel CBS
Picture format 480i (SDTV)
1080i (HDTV)
Original run January 3, 2005 (2005-01-03) – present
Related shows The Late Late Show
External links

The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson is a Peabody Award-winning American late-night talk show hosted by Scottish American comedian Craig Ferguson. Ferguson, the third regular host of the Late Late Show franchise, follows Late Show with David Letterman in the CBS late-night lineup. While the majority of the episodes focus on humour, Ferguson has also addressed difficult subject matter, such as the deaths of his parents, and serious interviews with Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Stephen Fry. The show's main competition comes from Late Night with Jimmy Fallon and as of May 2010,[citation needed] the two shows were roughly tied in the ratings, with Ferguson's show drawing in 1.7 million viewers.


Show format

The show starts with a cold open which consists typically of a short monologue, acting with one of his hand puppets, interacting with a member of the studio audience, or occasionally a pre-taped bit; [1] this is followed by a commercial break and the opening credits.

Following the credits and his introduction, Ferguson begins with "Welcome to Los Angeles, California, welcome to the Late Late Show, I am your host, TV's Craig Ferguson"; this is soon followed by "It's a great day for America, everybody!" and a free-form, largely ad-libbed monologue. After another commercial break, Ferguson is typically seated behind his desk, where he usually reads and responds to viewer e-mail and (since February 2010[2]) Tweets; during this segment he occasionally will have a guest star with him. He calls his Twitter followers his "robot skeleton army."[3]

Before the interviews, The Late Late Show will sometimes include comedy sketches, which feature Ferguson in costume or performing in collaboration with any of a number of semi-regular guests including Betty White, Tim Gunn, Willie Nelson, Kristen Bell, and Ewan McGregor.[citation needed] Generally one or two celebrities are interviewed; Ferguson starts each by dramatically ripping up note cards written for the interview, "signalling to the audience, and to the guest, that this conversation need not be rigidly managed."[4] Sometimes a stand-up comedian or a musical guest performs, the latter of which is typically pre-taped.[5]

Ferguson has many running gags, introduced with colourful animated graphics. These have included themed weeks such as "Crab Week", "Magic Week" and "Shark Week",[6] "Dear Aquaman" (in which Ferguson dresses as the superhero and gives advice), a "photo of Paul McCartney" joke (wherein Ferguson will call for a photo of McCartney, which is actually a photo of actress Angela Lansbury and vice versa); the show often uses variations of this gag featuring other pairs of look-alike celebrities.[7] A sound effects machine installed at his desk is sometimes used to summon Secretariat, the pantomime horse.

The show ends with "What Did We Learn on the Show Tonight, Craig?", a segment that starts with an animation of a kitten; Ferguson "removes his tie, puts his feet on his desk, and summarizes the preceding hour of TV."[8]

Show elements

Cold open

Most nights, he introduces himself as "TV's Craig Ferguson", and pronounces it a "great day for America." After that, no one knows what might come next, not even the host himself.

—TV Critic Eric Deggans of the St Petersburg Times[5]

Ferguson starts with a cold open, which is a two-minute segment before the first commercials, theme song, and actual show. Originally it was a miniature monologue and to talk about the guests on the show. Over time, this segment has expanded to include short skits and musical sessions often involving puppets, and occasional interaction with members of the studio audience. In actual practice, the cold open is the second segment presented when the show is recorded at the CBS studios.

On November 22, 2010, Ferguson opened the show with evidence that a French talk show called Ce Soir Avec Arthur had stolen his show's opening sequence, as well as some of his puppet and song-and-dance concepts.[9] On November 30, 2010, Ferguson introduced Arthur in the cold opening of the show, they joked back and forth for about two minutes and then Arthur returned to help Ferguson answer viewer emails and again at the end of the show.[10]

Lip syncs

As part of the cold open, Ferguson has occasionally performed a themed lip sync in costume with other staff members and puppets, such as:

Theme song

When he was hired as the full-time replacement for Craig Kilborn, Ferguson co-wrote and recorded a new theme song.

Beginning July 7, 2006, the show's theme featured only the ending of the original song, though by January 2, 2008, the full theme had returned, sans one line ("you can always sleep through work tomorrow, okay"). The theme tune was re-recorded for the show's switch to HD, premiering on August 31, 2009 and produced by Andy "Stoker" Growcott.[citation needed] The song features the full lyrics yet again in addition to a drum intro by Ferguson himself and tighter instrumentation. During his week in Paris, Craig used a slower, quieter, jazz arrangement for the show in which he sang along side a piano and a string bass.

Geoff Peterson, robot skeleton sidekick

On April 5, 2010, Ferguson began featuring a robot skeleton sidekick, Geoff Peterson. It was created by Grant Imahara, from the popular television show Mythbusters. This was in response to a wager by Imahara that Ferguson could get his followers on Twitter to get Imahara 100,000 followers of his own.[11][12] With this character, The Late Late Show is the first and only late night show with a sidekick that is not a human being or a living thing.[citation needed] Ferguson has said that the robot is "my metaphor for deconstructing the dead art form of the late night talk show", and that he selected the name because of its commonness.[13] Ferguson has jokingly referred to Geoff as an "appliance" who is being used because the show's small budget does not permit a typical/living sidekick or band.[11] Geoff has a running "feud" with recurrent guest Kristen Bell, who claims that she had wanted to be Craig's sidekick and was upset when Geoff was selected.[14] Geoff typically gives her a lukewarm, sometimes nasty greeting, and she feels very uncomfortable around him. [15]

Three people are often given screen credit at the end of the show as being responsible for Geoff: Imahara, writer Tom Straw (currently Bob Oschack), and voice actor Josh Robert Thompson.[16]

Impersonations and characters

I think my show is probably closer to Pee-wee's Playhouse than anything else I’ve seen, and that is an aspiration.

—Craig Ferguson (August 2009)[17]

Impersonations and skit characters frequently done by Ferguson on the show include Prince Charles (usually hosting "The Rather Late Programme"), Sean Connery, Queen Elizabeth II, Andy Rooney, Aquaman, Michael Caine, Elton John, and Bono. He claims that he developed his imitation of Caine after an eight hour long plane ride, in which he sat behind Caine who "gabbed" with his wife the entire trip.[citation needed]

Less frequent impersonations include Dr Phil, Simon Cowell, Kim Jong Il, Mick Jagger, Regis Philbin, Angela Lansbury (as "Jessica Fletcher" on Murder, She Wrote), Jay Leno, Larry King ("of the Jungle"), Bill Clinton, and J.K. Rowling.[citation needed]


Beginning in 2008, the show began incorporating puppets in the cold open; many were given to Ferguson by Folkmanis Puppets.[18] They include:

  • Sid: A cute, yet vulgar white rabbit with a North London accent. Sid often interacts with audience members in the show's cold open. As of March 1, 2011, he was revealed to be part robot.
  • Wavy Rancheros: A crocodile with a Cajun accent, Wavy "hosted" the show's 1,000th episode. He opens his comments with the phrase "What it do, everybody?"
  • The Pig/Gustave Flaubert: Used during the initial outbreak of swine flu, a pig with sideburns and a tuft of hair who has a "contempt for the bourgeoisie".
  • Kronos: A monkey who wears regal robes and claims to be from another planet. He opens his comments with "People of Earth!"
  • Brian: A lovable shark that supposedly caused the leaky roof in the studio and has a wonderful singing voice.
  • Punxsutawney Phil: A groundhog that speaks in a German accent.
  • Sebastian Trousers: A wolf objecting to the portrayals of wolves in the movies like "Red Hiding Hood".
  • George: A slow talking French snail. He was born in France and had an identity crisis because he thought he looked like a kangaroo.
  • Evangeline: A female ferret with a deep, male voice who is on a very vigorous dose of steroids in preparation for the Olympics.

In one episode, Lauren Graham operated Nadine, a cat puppet, which appeared to have a romantic relationship with Wavy.[19]

Secretariat, a pantomime horse who debuted during the first run of Disney's Secretariat film, was not used during cold opens but often enters during the email/Tweet segment, by a "doorbell" ringing and/or Ferguson asking "Who's that at the door?!" Secretariat will then come out to a bouncy pop track, dance across the stage, do a Rockettes-style kick and dance out the way he came. He has been featured in several skits as well.

Picture cues

During the show, Ferguson will often make a joke that involves a cutaway to a photo:

  • "A picture of Craig Ferguson": a picture of Liza Minnelli
  • "A picture of Paul McCartney": a picture of Angela Lansbury (this is sometimes reversed; a picture of McCartney is shown when asked for a picture of Lansbury)
  • "A picture of Cher": a picture of Marilyn Manson
  • "A picture of Queen Elizabeth II (or other female nobility)": A picture of Elton John in drag
  • "A picture of Ann Coulter": a picture of Tom Petty
  • "Kenny Rogers": a picture of Jocelyn Wildenstein, a woman with extensive plastic surgery (in reference to Rogers' cosmetic surgery)
  • When Ferguson strokes one cheek and says "Oooooh", a picture of Salvador Dalí appears on screen. Stroking both cheeks causes a giraffe to appear.
  • If he rubs his chin and goes "Mmmnh", a photo of Andy Warhol appears.
  • "Do we have a picture of me and my ferrets?": A doctored image of Ferguson surrounded by ferrets accompanied by a smooth jazz interlude.
  • "Do we have a picture of an angry lesbian?": An image of Kim Jong Il.
  • "Do we have a picture of one of the women from Lord of the rings?": An image of Orlando Bloom from Lord of the rings.
  • "Do we have a picture of a skeleton from Pirates of the Caribbean?": An image of Keira Knightley.


When Ferguson (and guests) swear on the show, rather than seeing pixelization over his lips and hearing a bleep, the viewers will sometimes see a flag appear over his lips and hear a corresponding phrase, such as:

  • Australia: "Dingo ate my baby", "Crikey!", or "Crikey dingo!"
  • France: "Ooh la la!", "Croissant", or "Baguette"
  • Gay flag.svg (Rainbow Flag): "Uh oh!", "Hmmm!", or "Ohhh!"
  • Germany: "Ausfahrt!", "Auf Wiedersehen", or "Achtung!"
  • Italy: "Tutsi fruitsi!" or "Wassacominago!" (pronounced in a mock Italian accent in tribute to Chico Marx, with "Tutsi fruitsi" being a reference to a sketch in the Marx Brothers film A Day at the Races)
  • Flag of Nova Scotia.svg: "Donair!"
  • Spain: "¡Ay, caramba!"
  • Sweden: "Girl with the dragon tattoo" said without any spaces between words.

The bleeping effect is still used when Ferguson swears as one of his puppet characters, most notably Sid.

Musical performances

The Late Late Show tapes musical performances separately from the rest of the show. For example, the noise rock band No Age was videotaped on October 2, 2008 for an appearance scheduled to air October 27. That performance was also the subject of an equal-time rule controversy in which guitarist Randy Randall was not allowed to wear a pro-Barack Obama T-shirt. Randall, not wanting to cancel the appearance, chose instead to turn the T-shirt inside out.[20]

Bob Barker

A running gag during the summer of 2006[citation needed] involved Ferguson going out of his way to pick on CBS game show host Bob Barker who, Ferguson eventually concluded, was a vampire.

The climax was reached on July 15, 2006, when Bob, flanked by the rest of The Price Is Right's staff, including announcer Rich Fields and some of Barker's Beauties, staged a "surprise" visit. This was the last show before a long-planned replacement of the set. Although Barker did not injure Ferguson, he did do some serious damage to his desk with a single blow. The desk was later totally destroyed by the models, and Ferguson returned, after the commercial break, with a card table covered by a checkered picnic cloth. The episode ended with Ferguson helping the episode's musical guests, Family Force 5, completely trash the set. Even after this appearance, Ferguson has occasionally continued with his jokes on Barker.

Barker re-appeared on The Late Late Show a few months later, after announcing his retirement, and presented a portrait of himself as a vampire to Ferguson as a gift. Ferguson re-aired the interview segment as a tribute on June 15, 2007, the same day that Barker's last episode of The Price Is Right aired.

Barker returned to the show three more times, on April 22, 2009 to promote his book Priceless Memories, on December 16, 2009, a few days after his 86th birthday, and on February 14, 2011.

Celebrities Read Excerpts from Craig's Book

Starting in summer 2009, a recurring sketch appeared, usually after the second commercial break, consisting of various celebrities reading supposed excerpts from his book American on Purpose.[21] Most of the excerpts deal with Ferguson's sex life, bedwetting, or addictions. The celebrities have included Dame Edna Everage, Betty White, Danny DeVito, Neil Patrick Harris, Marg Helgenberger, Kristen Bell, Drew Carey, Reba McEntire and Gerard Butler. At the end, announcer Shadoe Stevens says, "American on Purpose is available at all finer bookstores. If you experience an erection lasting more than four hours, please call a doctor or Craig Ferguson."[22]

Interview ending activities

Ferguson ends most interviews by offering the guest a choice of activities. In September 2011 the choices were:[23]

  • Mouth organ: Ferguson and the guest play the mouth organ (harmonica) briefly. Guests that can play the instrument properly are awarded the Golden Mouth Organ. During a November 16, 2010, interview with Matt Smith, Ferguson explained the mouth organ option was due to the show having no in-house band to "play out" the guest.
  • Awkward pause: Ferguson and the guest act out an awkward pause together. Variants of the awkward pause include "sexual undertones" and "smell my finger."
  • Touch my glittery ball: An option which Ferguson either encourages guests not to take (he explains this by saying that he had not thought this option through) or does not offer, it involves the guest (usually in an awkward way) touching a small glittery ball sitting on Ferguson's desk. By mid-October 2011 Ferguson was no longer offering this option at all, having replaced it with the cash prize (see below).
  • Big cash prize: Ferguson will offer the guest $50 in $1 bills if they can successfully answer one trivia question. The question almost invariably begins by mentioning Reykjavik, the capital city of Iceland, no matter what the actual question is (e.g., "Iceland is a country in the North Atlantic. Its capital is Reykjavik. How tall is Regis Philbin?"). The guests usually receive the $50 regardless, even if they answer the question wrong.


In 2006, clips of The Late Late Show began appearing on the video sharing website YouTube. Subsequently, Ferguson's ratings "grew seven percent (or by 100,000 viewers)."[24]

During the week ending March 31, 2006, The Late Late Show attracted an average of 1.9 million total viewers,[25] a number that increased to 2.0 million a year later.[26]

During the week ending April 4, 2008, The Late Late Show attracted an average of 1.88 million total viewers; that week, for the first time since Ferguson began hosting, the show's "five-night week of original head-to-head broadcasts", which was later discovered to actually be four nights due to a difference in title,[27] drew a larger audience than Late Night with Conan O'Brien.[28] Reuters noted that "Ferguson's bigger accomplishment seems to be that he has merely lost fewer viewers this season, with his total audience slipping 12% from a year ago, compared with a 24% drop for O'Brien"; the year-to-year decline in viewership was attributed[who?] to the 2007–2008 Writers Guild of America strike.[28]

The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson encountered new competition in March 2009, the first night of Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. During Fallon's first week, the new show averaged 2.4 million viewers, a half million more viewers than Ferguson's show.[29] Fallon maintained his lead over Ferguson during the show's second week, but by March 16, The Late Late Show had attracted a larger audience.[30] In July 2009, Ferguson led Late Night in total viewers by a 25% margin.[31] On September 22, 2009, the night Ferguson followed the Letterman interview of President Obama, his audience reached 3.24 million, the show's biggest ever; Ferguson attracted two million viewers more than Jimmy Fallon and almost a million more than Conan O'Brien attracted an hour earlier.[32] By the end of 2009, The Late Late Show topped Late Night With Jimmy Fallon in the ratings with a 1.8 rating/6 share and 1.6 rating/6 share, respectively.[33] By May 2010, the two shows were roughly tied in the ratings, with Ferguson leading in total viewers (1.7 million compared to 1.6 million for Fallon) and Fallon having a narrow edge in ratings.[34]

Production milestones

Intertitle from the show's original opening credits.

Ferguson's first show as host was on January 3, 2005. For approximately the first two months, he continued his predecessor's monologue format, reading 5-10 jokes from cue cards.[5] He would ad-lib between the jokes, and soon noticed that the "stuff in-between" got the most reaction from his audience; after that realization, he decided he and his writers would stop writing jokes.[5]

By May 2006, Studio 58, the CBS Television City venue from which the show is taped, had been updated with a digital broadcast Solid State Logic mixing console, needed for 5.1 Channel Surround.[35][36]

A new set debuted on the July 24, 2006 episode. It included a miniature CBS dirigible that floated along over the backdrop depicting Los Angeles. In the week starting with March 17, 2008, The Late Late Show debuted a new set featuring a desk/interview area on a raised platform. The backdrop was also changed to a detailed representation of Los Angeles.

When the 2007-08 Writers Guild of America strike began, the show went into reruns. It resumed production on January 2, 2008 after Worldwide Pants and the WGA came to an agreement.[37][38]

In 2008, Worldwide Pants Incorporated signed a product placement deal with Ford to promote the Ford Flex during The Late Late Show. Eight episodes ("with one repeat") of the show included custom-written skits in which Ferguson played the leader of a Scottish rap band called The Highlanderz (consisting of Angus "Big Ginger" Ferguson, Philip "The Howler" McGrade, and Shannon "Bubbles" McGee), riding in a Flex as they traveled from Los Angeles International Airport to the CBS Studio.[39] The skits were shown on successive Thursdays starting on September 4.[40]

On August 31, 2009, the show began broadcasting in high definition, featuring a refitted studio and production facilities, along with a new show logo, eighteen new lights (an unimpressed Ferguson was originally told the number was only two), an opening title sequence that "features Ferguson in iconic Los Angeles locations", and a new arrangement of the show's theme song.[41] In preparation for this refit, Ferguson taped two weeks of episodes over a month in advance. New shows that aired in the first half of August, as his set was being updated, had actually been taped in late June and early July, something Ferguson playfully hinted at each night. The remainder of August 2009 was filled out with repeats.

Ferguson's initial contract as host was for six years, until the end of 2010; as of August 2007 he was telling television critics he might not be interested in a contract renewal,[5] though by February 2008, he was publicly professing his loyalty to David Letterman, saying "I will sit behind Dave as long as he sits there."[42] Ferguson is nearing a contract extension with CBS that will keep him host of the show through the 2011–12 season.[43]

December 15, 2009 marked his 1,000th episode as host. For the occasion puppets took over the show;[18] Ferguson conducted the entire show as his puppet Wavy Ranchero, and recurring sketches also featured puppet replacements. Guests, which were not puppets, included Kristen Bell, Maria Bello, and Jason Schwartzman. Jason Segel also made an appearance as his muppet Dracula, performing a musical number with band The Broken West.[44][45]

On March 31, 2010, the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication of the University of Georgia announced that the Late Late Show had won the Peabody Award for Excellence in Television for its "Evening with Archbishop Desmond Tutu" episode.[46] According to the Peabody Board, "the Scottish-born Ferguson has made late-night television safe again for ideas."[47]

Notable episodes

  • On January 30, 2006, Ferguson eulogized his father,[48] who had died the day before. He was nominated for his first Emmy Award for the episode.
  • From 2006–present, he has remembered the 9/11 anniversary, stating: "It [9/11] will never again be a great day for America." In 2009, he said: "Even people that do not like the United States of America will see this show...So if you are watching, first of all, [bleep]!" And went on to describe the USA as "More than a country" and finished by saying "We are the United States of America. And we're not going anywhere!"
  • On February 19, 2007, Ferguson announced he would do "no Britney Spears jokes", saying "comedy should have a certain amount of joy in it" and that it shouldn't include "attacking the vulnerable." He referenced his 15 years of sobriety and the struggle he had with addiction, almost ending in suicide.[49]
  • On February 4, 2008, Ferguson celebrated his first show following his swearing in as a U.S citizen. The show featured video footage of the ceremony, his unofficial announcement of being chosen to perform at the White House Correspondent's Dinner, an interview with Kristen Bell, and a special performance by the Scottish drum band The Wicked Tinkers, who also performed on the tribute to his father two years earlier.
  • On September 10, 2008, he described his excitement about voting in his first U.S. Presidential election and ranted against American voter fatigue, stating, "If you don't vote, you're a moron!"[50]
  • On December 8, 2008, Ferguson remembered his mother who died December 1, while his show was on break. He told stories about his mother and how he felt after he had returned from his mother's funeral in Scotland. During the monologue, as he recounted his father's death nearly three years previously and spoke of his parents being back together in death, he became emotional to the verge of tears and cut to commercial. Prior to the break, he mentioned that his mother wanted the hymn called "Jesus Loves Me" sung at her funeral because that was the only hymn to which everyone knew the words. After the break, he showed a clip from a 2005 interview with his mother and a second clip with his mother and RZA from the Wu-Tang Clan. Finally, he played his mother's favorite song to end the show, which was "Rivers of Babylon" by Boney M.
  • On March 4, 2009, he dedicated the entire show to his guest, Archbishop Desmond Tutu. The cold open and monologue featured a brief history of South Africa and apartheid. The show was during a week of change in late night, with the premiere of Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, a show competing with The Late Late Show, occurring two days earlier. The interview received critical praise from NPR's TV critic, David Bianculli, who called the episode's monologue "nothing less than an entertaining, understandable, shockingly thorough history of South African politics and colonization" and its interview "inspirational ... almost beyond measure."[4] This show was given a Peabody Award March 31, 2010 for broadcasting excellence in news and entertainment.[51]
  • On April 28, 2009, after the U.S. Supreme Court decision upholding Federal Communications Commission rules imposing fines for indecent language,[52] Ferguson said in his monologue that he "agree[d] with the Supreme Court ruling today", but then commented in the monologue and throughout the show about swearing on TV, CBS pixelating his mouth and hands, permissible and impermissible language describing sex, and whether he would be personally responsible for the FCC fines.
  • On October 5, 2009, he addressed David Letterman's extortion scandal in the cold open and made a few jokes about how it was difficult for him to make fun of his own boss, even though "my job is to take the number one news story of the day and have a little fun with it." He called Letterman "the king of late night", and expressed humorous concern over getting fired were he to say the wrong thing. He commented, "I don't think I kept a secret from you that I've had a few incidents in my past. But I made the smart move. I wrote them down in a book", which led to a comical plug for his then-recently published book American on Purpose.[53]
  • On October 27, 2009 during an interview with Alicia Silverstone, CBS lost power due to abnormally high gusts of wind in the area,[54] with Ferguson joking that "We've gone to radio, everybody!" before going to a commercial break. The power "returned" before the interview with Salman Rushdie (the interview was pretaped), only to "go out" again during the "What did we learn on the show tonight, Craig?" segment.[55] The next night, he commented in the cold opening that Wolf Blitzer reported on CNN that the lights went out on the show, "but how can that be news?"[56]
  • December 15, 2009 was the 1,000th episode of Ferguson's tenure as host,[57] and to mark the occasion, the entire show was done with puppets.[58] "Wavy Ranchero" "filled in" as host, delivering a brief monologue and interviewing the celebrity guests, the shark puppet was used for the "Dear Aquaman" skits, and "Connery the Bull" appeared in the "A Sean Connery Holiday Memory" skits. The only time Ferguson himself appeared on camera (aside from the opening title sequence and the "Dear Aquaman" intro) was during the closing segment in which he was on stage in his Prince Charles costume, along with many of his puppets and crew members, while Wavy "performed" James Taylor's "You've Got a Friend". Ferguson was also seen during the closing credits which showed various captioned shots of behind-the-scenes action that took place during the episode's production.
  • On January 14, 2010, Ferguson said in the cold open that he would not talk about "the trouble at late night" at NBC, because there was an actual news story about the earthquake in Haiti. Commenting on Rush Limbaugh's statement "We already donated to Haiti, it's called U.S. Income Tax", he said "Rush Limbaugh has to fill a lot of air time with saying things and occasionally saying garbage, and God knows I do that every night here." He told Limbaugh that the way to take the sting out of his statement was to donate a million dollars of his money to the Red Cross "and we'll say no more about it."[59]
  • On February 23, 2010, Ferguson did a show with a single guest and without a studio audience, a format in part inspired by Tom Snyder, who had hosted Tomorrow and the first five years of The Late Late Show in such a format.[58] According to Ferguson, the Tonight Show host and time slot conflict got him to reflect on the "late-night traditions started by Steve Allen, Jack Paar, Johnny Carson, and 'lovingly deconstructed' by David Letterman" and prompted him to try such an experiment.[60] Ferguson's guest for the hour was Stephen Fry.[60]
  • On November 16, 2010, Ferguson dedicated an entire episode to the British science fiction program Doctor Who, complete with Dalek and guest Matt Smith. The cold open was marred when a rehearsed dance number was forced to be scrapped due to CBS not receiving legal clearance to play the Doctor Who theme song five minutes before air, much to the anger of Ferguson. The dance number later leaked on Youtube on December 1.[61] Ferguson announced on January 3, 2011 that the dance number had finally been cleared to be shown and that it would air on the upcoming show which Alex Kingston (who plays "River Song" on Doctor Who) would guest on.
  • On January 7, 2011, The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson was broadcast on Australian free-to-air digital channel 11 for the first time, albeit on a time delay. Ferguson made reference to this, sarcastically saying that 11 was 'his favorite channel' and doing the majority of the pre-show monologue in a broad Australian accent. One of the running gags of the night involved a set of kangaroo testicles that Ferguson had received from Carrie Fisher, who had purchased them during her tour of Australia. Another running gag was the use of the misquote 'A dingo ate my baby', and various people including guest Mila Kunis saying it in a broad Australian accent. The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson was in fact the first show on Channel 11 at its 11:00am launch.[citation needed]
  • On February 1, 2011, the show was dedicated to an examination of African-American history and culture in honor of February being Black History Month in the United States. Ferguson stated at the top of the show that as a recent immigrant to the country he was not very knowledgeable about the topic and would use that night's episode to educate himself. He also declared at the top of the show that there would be "no skeleton" and "no horse" during that night's taping (in reference to Geoff Petersen and Secretariat). His guests that night were Cornel West and George Clinton, who also performed "One Nation Under A Groove" with his band Parliament-Funkadelic.[62]
  • In June 2011 Ferguson filmed an entire week of shows in Paris, France, featuring Kristen Bell as co-host. The episodes aired during the week of August 1st.[63] Ferguson joked, "It's the first time in the history of this show that we've been allowed outside." For this week of shows, the program was temporarily re-titled Le Late Late Show avec Craig Ferguson à Paris, and Ferguson sang the show's theme song on-camera with help from two Parisian musicians: one playing a piano, the other a double bass.[64] One YouTube video shows Ferguson recording the theme at a faster pace than what was aired.[65]
  • On August 23, 2011, Ferguson received a white substance in the mail that was feared to be anthrax. Many people were held in isolation after being exposed to the substance, but they were released after the police discovered that the powdery substance was benign. Ferguson joked about the incident on his show, explaining, "Today someone sent an envelope packed with white powder to the show. I offered to taste it, but they said 'no'". [66]

See also


  1. ^
  2. ^ "With @CraigyFerg, Craig Ferguson leaps into the Twitter fray". Christian Science Monitor. February 9, 2010. Retrieved 2010-02-12. 
  3. ^ Mary Weilage (February 12, 2010). "Video: Craig Ferguson's Twitter followers and his robot-skeleton army". TechRepublic. Retrieved same date. 
  4. ^ a b Bianculli, David (March 2009). "Late-Night TV Chess: Thanks to a Bishop, Craig Ferguson Is King". TV Worth Watching. Retrieved 2009-09-01. 
  5. ^ a b c d e "Craig Ferguson a standout at standup". St. Petersburg Times. August 16, 2007. Retrieved 2009-09-01. 
  6. ^ Shark Week was apparently a reference to Shark Week on the Discovery Channel, and that channel, saying that Ferguson has always loved Shark Week, scheduled him for an appearance on August 4, 2010. "Happy SHARK WEEK, SHARK BITES: ADVENTURES IN SHARK WEEK" (Press release). Retrieved 2010-07-30. 
  7. ^ e.g. "Do we have a picture of Cher?", or The Police and The Golden Girls;
  8. ^ Bianculli, David (March 2009). "Late-Night TV Chess: Thanks to a Bishop, Craig Ferguson Is King". TV Worth Watching. Retrieved 2009-09-01. "The show actually ended, as usual these days, with "What Did We Learn on the Show Tonight, Craig?", a segment in which the host removes his tie, puts his feet on his desk, and summarizes the preceding hour of TV." 
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^ a b Erin McCarthy. "Craig Ferguson's New Mythbuster Robot Sidekick: Exclusive Pics". Popular Mechanics. Retrieved 2010-04-09. 
  12. ^ Jeremy A. Kaplan (2010-04-05). "TV's Newest Talking Head Actually Talking Robot Skeleton". Fox News. 
  13. ^ Craig Ferguson, "The Late Late Show" July 09, 2010
  14. ^
  15. ^
  16. ^
  17. ^ Rodman, Sarah (August 8, 2009). "Craig Ferguson tries to keep it fresh". The Boston Globe. Retrieved August 9, 2009. 
  18. ^ a b "Craig Ferguson and the Folkmanis Puppets who love him". Folkmanis Puppets. December 11, 2009. Retrieved 2011-06-11. "For more than a year, Ferguson has been using an array of fantastic Folkmanis® Puppets in comedy skits. On Tuesday, December 15, to celebrate the milestone 1,000th episode, specially created puppets and old favorites will take over the entire show!" 
  19. ^
  20. ^ "No Age's Randy Randall asked to take off Obama T-shirt for The Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson". Soundboard: L.A. Times Music Blog. 2008-10-09. Retrieved 2008-10-10. 
  21. ^ ISBN 978-0061719547
  22. ^ "Craig Ferguson News & Updates". WordPress. Retrieved September 20, 2009. 
  23. ^ "'The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson' Episode #7.193". The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson. CBS. 28 June 2011. No. 193, season 7. 36 minutes in. Retrieved on 30 June 2011.
  24. ^ For Google, the YouTube litigation threat was overblown. - Dec. 8, 2006 from CNN Money
  25. ^ Jay and Conan Collect Week 28 Wins, an NBC Universal press release
  26. ^ Jay and Conan dominate the Week of April 2-6, an NBC Universal press release
  27. ^ Craig Ferguson Takes The Lead In Late Late Night Ratings from The Huffington Post
  28. ^ a b Craig Ferguson claims rare win on late-night TV from Reuters
  29. ^ March 13, 2009 review of Late Night with Jimmy Fallon from The Huffington Post
  30. ^ Late Night Ratings: Craig Ferguson Tops Jimmy Fallon, a March 19, 2009 article from Broadcasting & Cable
  31. ^
  32. ^ Carter, Bill (September 22, 2009). "Obama Leads Letterman to Ratings Win". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-09-30. "Mr. Obama's appearance also helped deliver viewers to the program that follows Mr. Letterman, "The Late Late Show," hosted by Craig Ferguson. Mr. Ferguson attracted his biggest audience ever, with 3.24 million viewers. He beat his NBC competitor, Jimmy Fallon, by more than two million viewers, and outdrew him in every audience category. (He even topped Mr. O’Brien in viewers by almost a million.)" 
  33. ^
  34. ^ ‘The Tonight Show With Jay Leno’ & ‘Late Night With Jimmy Fallon’ Deliver May Sweep Wins Over all Cable And Broadcast Competition. NBC press release (2010-06-04) via Retrieved 2010-06-15.
  35. ^ "SSL Console Installed in CBS Studio 58". Mix (magazine). May 17, 2006. Retrieved 2009-09-01. "First and foremost, we were looking for a digital console that was 5.1-capable....[and one that would] interface with the rest of the building digitally through our digital routers and digital tape machines. We also wanted a lot of inputs without a tremendous footprint for the console." 
  36. ^ SSL's C100, Broadcast Engineering, August 2006,, retrieved 2011-04-03 
  37. ^ Finke, Nikki (2007-12-28). "WGA Agrees To Allow Dave's Late Night Shows To Return With Writers Jan. 2; Will This Divide The Guild?". Deadline Hollywood Daily (LA Weekly). 
  38. ^ "Letterman to return with writers". BBC. 2007-12-29. Retrieved 2007-12-29. 
  39. ^ "The Late Late Show - The Highlanderz New Music Video". CBS. 2008-10-31. Retrieved 2010-01-21. [dead link]
  40. ^ "Innovative Marketing Campaign Puts Ford Flex in Front of Millions of Potential Customers". Ford press release (Reuters). 2008-09-03. Retrieved 2008-10-10. 
  41. ^ Hibberd, James (August 2, 2009). "Ferguson gets HD upgrade; 'Guiding' spot filled". The Live Feed. Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2009-09-01. "Craig Ferguson's "Late Late Show" is getting a high-def upgrade. The show will be broadcast in HD for the first time starting August 31. The evening will also mark the debut of a new show credit sequence that features Ferguson in iconic Los Angeles locations scored to an updated version of the current theme song." 
  42. ^ Grossman, Ben (February 9, 2008). "Left Coast Bias: Ferguson Backs Stewart for Letterman's Seat". Broadcasting & Cable. Retrieved 2009-09-01. 
  43. ^ Littleton, Cynthia (2009-09-10). "Ferguson close to new 'Late' deal". Retrieved 2009-12-17. 
  44. ^ "The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson: Jason Schwartzman/Maria Bello/Kristen Bell/Jason Segel and The Broken West episode on". 2009-12-15.;title;1. Retrieved 2009-12-23. 
  45. ^ "TCraig Ferguson's 1000th Episode: Kristen Bell, Jason Segel, Puppets, And 3 Musical Numbers! (VIDEO, PHOTOS)". The Huffington Post. 2009-12-16. Retrieved 2009-12-23. 
  46. ^ Itzkoff, Dave (March 31, 2010). "‘Glee’ and Craig Ferguson Win Peabody Awards". New York Times. Retrieved May 25, 2010. 
  47. ^ "Complete List of Recipients of the 69th Annual Peabody Awards". Press release. University of Georgia. March 31, 2010. Retrieved 2010-04-01. 
  48. ^ Craig Ferguson gives a eulogy to father (UNCUT) part 1 from YouTube
  49. ^ Craig Ferguson Refuses to Do Spears Jokes, Talk Show Host Who Battled Alcoholism Takes Heat Off of "Vulnerable" Pop Star from the CBS News website
  50. ^ My fellow Americans: Craig Ferguson tells viewers, "If you don't vote you're a moron"; read his monologue from
  51. ^ Complete List Of 2009 Peabody Award Winners
  52. ^ Federal Communications Commission v. Fox Television Stations, Inc.
  53. ^ "The Late Late Show - 10/5/2009 Episode 956". CBS. 
  54. ^ "Craig Ferguson Finishes Taping Via Flashlight During Power Outage". Access Hollywood. Retrieved 2009-12-03. 
  55. ^ E! online article
  56. ^ "The Late Late Show - 10/28/2009". CBS. Retrieved 2009-11-03. [dead link]
  57. ^ "Craig Ferguson and Friends Celebrate 1,000th Episode of 'Late Late Show'". CBS Studios Inc. Retrieved 2009-12-16. [dead link]
  58. ^ a b "Craig Ferguson ditches his audience, makes them love him more". USA Today. February 24, 2010. Retrieved 2010-02-25. 
  59. ^ Sklar, Rachel (January 15, 2010). "Craig Ferguson Skips Late-Night Wars For Haiti, Slams "Dumb, Mean" Rush Limbaugh". Mediaite. 
  60. ^ a b Ken Tucker (February 24, 2010). "Craig Ferguson last night: no audience, one guest, a great hour of TV". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2010-02-25. 
  61. ^
  62. ^ Linda Holmes (2 February 2011). "Dr. Cornel West's Extraordinary Conversation With Craig Ferguson". NPR Monkey See blog. Retrieved 8 September 2011. 
  63. ^ Ken Tucker (1 August 2011). "Craig Ferguson's first show from Paris: A whimsical triumph, a potential classic". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 28 August 2011. 
  64. ^ Craig Ferguson 2011 Le Late Late Show a Paris theme
  65. ^ Craig Ferguson Theme Live in Paris
  66. ^ Tony Hicks (24 August 2011). "People: Craig Ferguson receives white powder, threat, in mail". San Jose Mercury News. Retrieved 8 September 2011. 

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