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Craig Ferguson finally getting a little HD respect from CBS

by Jason Hughes, posted Aug 3rd 2009 11:02AM
Late Late Show With Craig FergusonWhen the late night musical chairs began, I dipped my toes into their waters for the first time in many, many years. The only three shows remaining on my DVR are The Tonight Show, Late Night and The Late Late Show, and only Craig Ferguson is a must watch from beginning to end (I've actually cut Tonight twice and put it back since Conan took over).

The real hook for me is Ferguson's monologue. While everyone's doing, "Hey let's look at the news. Setup. Punchline. Setup. Punchline. Setup. Punch me in the face I can't take it anymore!," Ferguson is doing a short stand-up routine every night. It's smart, it's clever, and it all flows so much more nicely.

I've also enjoyed his constant rants about how terrible his show is, what a horrible host he is, and how incredibly cheap CBS is when it comes to anything to do with The Late Late Show. But now, long after all of his competitors got the upgrade, we're finally getting Craig Ferguson in HD starting August 31, 2009. So he'll have one less thing to bitch about, at least.

He's also getting a fancy new intro sequence and updated theme song, but still no band and a promise of no change to that monologue format that hooked me in the first place. The strength of Ferguson is that he's so entertaining and funny in his own right, he makes interviews with people I could care less about worth watching. And it'll be great to not have those annoying flashing white lines at the top of the screen during the show.

I actually enjoyed a recent interview with Paris Hilton, and not once did I fantasize about driving a railroad spike through her skull. Okay, maybe once, when she was walking on the set. And every other time she opened her mouth, but every other part was sheer entertainment.

On a side note, I don't care who the pig slept with, nor do I care that Craig is clearly shilling for the shark. I say let the pig back in the contest and let the true choice of the people win. Or is this another Iran, Craig Ferguson?

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It's about time CBS gives some respect to Craig Ferguson! Ferguson is the funniest host in late night! Give him a bigger budget and let him control the show! No one will lose!

August 10 2009 at 6:47 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

CBS should rename Craig's show to "The Best Late Night Show." He is genuinely smart and funny. Maybe his humor does not attract the right demographics, but here's an idea, maybe there should be something for everybody. All my friends love him. He makes me laugh everyday. By the way, if you've ever gone to see him do his show, you'll know they are trying to kill his audience by the long trek and endless stairs to get into the studio. I think it used to be a prop room. Insane.

August 04 2009 at 4:44 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I think CBS should get rid of that nasty, snotty, snob Letterman. Craig is the next best thing as far as monologue and characters since Carson. Letterman is so superior and and condesending to his audience(why I can't fathom) as he is only able to make mean jokes about others. He really is in love with himself. Not a nice nor funny man at all. I miss Leno at least he made fun of both sides of the aisle and didn't use his show as a political biased bully pulpit.

August 04 2009 at 1:04 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I won't knock someone for not enjoying Conan enough to record and watch him every night (I have to remind myself to watch just about every late night show I record, though I swear I love them), but you really removed him twice in the last two months while Late Night stayed? I assume Late Night stayed, since you didn't comment on removing it.

I like Fallon in general, but I don't see how someone could watch him every night but not Conan. They have a similar enough comedic sensibility that I don't think it can be a matter of "getting" one more than the other, but Conan's just more confident in that sensibility, so a vote for Fallon with your DVR space strikes me as basically saying he's a better host and crafts a better show than Conan. Maybe I'm mistaking you entirely.

August 03 2009 at 9:58 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Big John

Jason, this may be the first thing we've ever agreed on.

The cold open, not topical humor and "this can go anywhere" interview style are what makes it a can't miss show.

August 03 2009 at 1:42 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply


The cold open is the best - Late Late is the only show I laughh the whole time - even if I'm watching it recorded in the middle of the day.

August 03 2009 at 1:28 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Did somebody cut the budget and fire all the writers? Ferguson's constant mugging into the camera has worn out its welcome. How about booking one more guest instead of the vamping and lame character pieces? The guy's got talent, but is too cute by about a half.

August 03 2009 at 12:30 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to ColinInLA's comment

Totally agree about the character pieces, that's what turned me off from the show, I used to watch it instead of Conan, but hated the Prince Charles bits and their like. I will say some of his opening bits are inspired though, like the Constantinople lipsynch.

August 03 2009 at 1:03 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

If someone did fire all the writers, and Craig is carrying it all by himself, more power to him...because it works. If half of what happens on the show isn't adlibbed, I'd be surprised. The great thing about this is it works! Craig is the best thing that's happened to late night TV since Johnny Carson. I never miss his show, and if I think I'm going to, I record it and watch it the next day. Sometimes I record it just to show my husband who is almost as great a Craig Ferguson fan as I.

August 03 2009 at 8:49 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
David D

There is no other show on television -- maybe EVER -- that makes me laugh out loud within the first FIVE SECONDS.

August 03 2009 at 12:22 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The first half of the show always feels like CBS accidentally left some cameras running on a set, and this guy comes in and puts on a show for them.

Although I don't mean that as a bad thing.

August 03 2009 at 12:10 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

If it wasn't another Iran, why would Mahmoud Ahmadinijhad be in it? I thought that was pretty obviously the real joke of it all.

btw, you could care less? So you care some? Pet peeve of mine... you, in fact, couldn't care less.

August 03 2009 at 11:35 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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