Ferguson declares war on Fallon ... with Paris Hilton?!?
by Danny Gallagher, posted Feb 25th 2009 10:02AM
The late night war is officially back on, folks, and it's about to get nasty because Paris Hilton has become CBS' weapon of choice.
Craig Ferguson and his Late Late Show crew plan to turn the tables on Jimmy Fallon's first foray into his late night territory by launching a cluster of MOABs at NBC that are packed to the brim with Paris.
And no, we don't mean Ferguson literally plans to launch Paris into the Late Night offices where she will unleash her demon whore spawn and turn Fallon's staff into a grisly smorgasbord of bloody flesh and gnarled bones. Let's be realistic. Paris would just hire someone to do that for her.
CBS has recruited Paris for an evening of promoting and slumming before she sits down with Ferguson on his show. She will also pop up throughout Monday's prime-time lineup to promote her upcoming appearance.
CBS hopes that giving their viewers a face-full of Paris will convince them not to watch Fallon and stick with America's favorite Scotsman, second if you count Groundskeeper Willie from The Simpsons.
And when the dust settles, it doesn't matter who will rise from the ashes because the loser in this battle will be Ferguson. I don't mean any disrespect. I enjoy his show and comedy, maybe not as much as Conan O'Brien, but he adds a very personal charm and wit to his little corner of late night television. And he did so by standing his ground.
Maybe Ferguson actually finds Paris an interesting conversation starter to some degree we haven't seen yet. But the move seems to suggest that CBS, not Ferguson, has control of the Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson.
He stopped doing monologue jokes after the first year or so. He told hilarious stories about his family and personal life. He also didn't interview people just because they were famous. He told NPR's Wait, Wait...Don't Tell Me that he "instituted a policy of no one gets on the show unless I'm remotely interested in talking to them." These tweaks gave the show a meaningful touch. People weren't just coming on the show to plug their latest book or newest movie before it becomes another resident of the Wal-Mart discount bin morgue.
He and his guests were on the show to entertain and enlighten you, and not always for the sake of comedy. His show featured a whole range of emotions from funny to sad and heartfelt. It felt like that fun weekend dinner at your friend's house where everyone is telling stories and roasting each other. It's also the one weekend that you actually remember because you weren't drunk.