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The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson is an American late-night talk show hosted by Scottish-American comedian Craig Ferguson. Ferguson is the third regular host of The Late Late Show, which airs on CBS. The show's title is a variation of "Late Show with David Letterman", which precedes it in the CBS late-night lineup.


bullet1 Show format
bullet1.1 Sports highlights delays
bullet2 Serious monologues
bullet3 Production milestones
bullet4 Ratings
bullet5 Show elements
bullet5.1 Theme song
bullet5.2 Musical performances
bullet5.3 Impersonations and characters
bullet5.4 Bob Barker
bullet6 References
bullet7 External links

[edit] Show format

The show starts with a cold open introduction, sometimes with a puppet(s), followed by a commercial break, then the opening credits. Craig almost always begins the show (after the first commercial break) by saying "Welcome to Los Angeles, California. Welcome to The Late Late Show. I'm your host, TV's Craig Ferguson". He then says to the camera "Hey! Look at you! Come on in", then begs his audience to stop applauding. He then usually begins the monologue by saying, "It's a great day for America, everybody." On days when an exceptionally negative news story is prominent, Ferguson will omit the line.

Craig's monologue is informal and largely-improvised[citation needed] and often spills over into his first segment following a commercial break. Ferguson reads and responds to viewer e-mail almost every night. Other segments include loosely scripted comedy sketches which feature Ferguson in costume or performing in collaboration with any of a number of semi-regular guests including performers such as Dave Foley, Betty White, Tim Gunn, Jeffrey Tambor, Daniel McVicar, Kristen Bell, Henry Winkler, and Tim Meadows. Occasionally a guest will participate in a sketch, such as Ewan McGregor.[1]. Most shows include celebrity interviews and sometimes a musical guest and or stand-up comedy act. Musical performances are often taped before the rest of a show.

Ferguson has used many running gags that span multiple shows and have colorful animated graphics. These have included themed weeks such as "Crab Week" and "Shark Week" (though Craig admits that the show's budget makes most of the themes limited mostly to graphics), a sound effects machine installed at his desk (which has been removed), "Dear Aquaman" (in which Craig dresses as the superhero and gives advice), and "Election Fever" during the run-up to the 2008 Presidential election. Another running gag is the "photo of Paul McCartney". When McCartney is mentioned in the monologue, 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.

The show ends with "What Did We Learn on the Show Tonight, Craig?" where Craig summarizes the lessons of the evening.

[edit] Sports highlights delays

Since CBS holds the rights to several major professional golf tournaments, including The Masters and the PGA Championship, along with tennis' US Open, these events also include 15 minute-long late night highlights shows hosted by either Jim Nantz or another CBS Sports host summarizing the day's action. Previous to mid-2007, Ferguson's monologue would air as usual, followed by Ferguson asking viewers to stay tuned for the sports highlight show (which would air shortly after), followed by the guest and musical portion of the Late Late Show, splitting an episode into two separate 10 minute and 45 minute segments. After mid-2007 however, CBS decided to air the sports highlight shows between Letterman and Ferguson, allowing the Late Late Show to air its full hour beginning at 12:50am ET/PT on those nights.

Serious monologues

On a few occasions Ferguson's opening monologue has taken on a serious tone.

bulletOn January 30, 2006, Ferguson eulogized his father, who had died the day before. Ferguson was nominated for his first Emmy Award for the episode.
bulletOn 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 references his 15 years of sobriety and the struggle he had with addiction, almost ending in suicide.[2]
bulletOn September 10, 2008, Ferguson 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!"[3]
bulletOn December 8, 2008, Ferguson remembered his mother who passed away December 1, while his show was on break. Ferguson did not tell jokes during the monologue. Instead, he told stories about his mother and how he felt after he had returned back from his mother's funeral in Scotland. During the monologue, as he recounted his father's own death nearly three years prior and spoke of his parents being back together in death, he became very emotional to the verge of tears and cut to commercial. Prior to the break, Ferguson 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.[4] Finally, he played his mother's favorite song to end the show, which was "Rivers of Babylon" by Boney M.[5] Ferguson laughed saying, "It's an awful song, but it's her favorite."
bulletOn January 15, 2009, Ferguson complimented the pilot of the US Airways Flight 1549 and congratulated everybody involved for their hard work and dedication. He also named the pilot as a real American hero.
bulletOn March 4, 2009, Ferguson dedicated the entire show to his guest, Archbishop Desmond Tutu.[6] The intro and monologue gave a very brief history of South Africa and apartheid. There was no musical guest and the only interview was Father Tutu. This show was during a week of unrest in late night with Jimmy Fallon opening his new show after Conan O'Brien's departure before replacing Jay Leno. Despite the goings on with other networks and shows, Ferguson's interview received critical praise from NPR's TV critic, David Bianculli.[7]

Production milestones

A new set debuted on the July 24, 2006 episode, after the previous one had been comically destroyed by Bob Barker and others from The Price is Right. It included a miniature CBS dirigible that floats along over the backdrop depicting 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.[8][9]

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 more realistic and detailed representation of Los Angeles.

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 band called the Highlanderz, riding in a Flex as they traveled from Los Angeles International Airport to the CBS Studio. The skits were shown on successive Thursdays starting on September 4.[10]


Theme song

When Ferguson was hired as the full-time replacement for Craig Kilborn, he 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, mostly intact.

[edit] Musical performances

At some point[specify] The Late Late Show began taping musical performances separately from the rest of the show. For example, the band No Age were videotaped on October 2, 2008 for an appearance scheduled to air October 27.[18] That performance was also the subject of an equal-time rule controversy in which 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 and write "Free Health Care" on the shirt with a Sharpie marker[18]


Impersonations and characters

Impersonations and skit characters frequently done by Ferguson on the show include Prince Charles, Sean Connery, The Queen, Andy Rooney, Aquaman, Michael Caine ["in Space"] and now [in Spain], 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.

Less frequent Ferguson impersonations include Dr. Phil, Simon Cowell, Kim Jong Il, Mick Jagger, Angela Lansbury, Jay Leno, Larry King ["of the Jungle"], and J. K. Rowling.

Occasionally one of Ferguson's crew members will dress up as and impersonate him, particularly while he is portraying someone else in a skit.



Bob Barker

A running gag during the summer of 2006 involved Ferguson going out of his way to pick on the recently retired 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.

Barker appeared on his show a few months later, after announcing his retirement and presented a portrait of himself as a vampire to Ferguson as a gift.

















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