Sure, Dom Irrera showed up on Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson last night so he could crack some jokes about ads for ice-cold beer and his relative who is an ignorant racist, but Irrera and Ferguson also had some time for panel chat, too.
Ferguson asked Irrera, as a Philadelphia guy, whether he could solve the rivalry between Pat's and Geno's cheesesteaks, and whether he has brushed up on his French -- since both Irrera and Ferguson will be performing in Montreal at the end of July for the Just For Laughs comedy festival.
Roll the clip!
Tina Fey's promotional blitz for her new book, Bossypants, took her to Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson last night.
And if you still think you're following Fey on Twitter, then this should put a stop to that. She's not on Twitter. Never has been. She explains why. Roll the clip!
On Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson last night, Marc Maron -- whom you know now as a popular comedy podcast interviewer via WTF with Marc Maron (a new live episode from Brooklyn featuring Bill Hader, Fred Armisen, Chuck Klosterman, Sarah Vowell and Eric Drysdale is out today) -- talked about how being separated from society by technology has prompted him to seek out human contact. That's as true for his airport TSA pat-down as it is for his decision to "date aggressively" since his second divorce.
It all fascinated Ferguson so much, he asked Maron to sit down and tell him more about his recent sexual conquests, and what it's like to date a dominatrix. They also discuss their stories about going to Australia, as Maron is preparing to perform in Melbourne. Hopefully it goes a lot better than the first time he went Down Under 20 years ago.
Roll the clip!
In case you missed it late Friday night, comedian Phil Hanley performed on Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson.
Most comedians get a plug for an upcoming gig or CD/DVD when they appear on late-night TV, but Hanley got an extended plug (or should I say his upcoming gig's venue got it?) when Ferguson expounded upon the nomenclature of Go Bananas. As for Hanley's set, it's a nice reverse-psychology ego that he has going on here, and since his natural speaking voice is not far off from Anthony Jeselnik's, the reverse ego has an added humorous effect.
Roll the clip!
There's always a more interesting talk-show dynamic going on when one talk-show host appears on another host's show. And last night's episode of Conan was no different, as Conan O'Brien welcomed Craig Ferguson to the show for two panel segments. They seemed to get along just fine. Which is a nice change of pace from the ever-lingering "late-night wars" (Ferguson seems to be OK in everyone's book, though, isn't he?)
Ferguson is a new dad, so they joked about being a modern father, and appeasing their wives. Ferguson also joked about swimming with sharks, and inviting his French copycat onto his own program.
At the end, he almost forgot to plug his upcoming stand-up special, which debuts on EPIX on Feb. 19. Here's an extended behind-the-scenes clip with scenes and interview footage with CraigyFerg so you don't forget.
And a pull-quote for you from the interview:
"Anyone that doesn't embrace the mind-crushing ego-deflation of the early life of a stand-up comic shouldn't be in it."
While books and blogs continue to perpetuate the "Late-Night Wars," the people who actually host late-night TV in the late-late night continue to provide evidence that all is well in the world still. At least well past midnight, where Jimmy Fallon and Craig Ferguson are concerned.
Fallon and Ferguson have exchanged friendly messages both on TV and over the Internet in recent weeks, and last night, they exchanged actual presents for Christmas.
As it played out on TV, Ferguson opened his present first, starting in even before the opening credits, and made a point of telling the media that there's no bad blood here. Within the first four minutes, Ferguson gets off a few double entendres, displays the gift Fallon got for him, and makes a plea to the press and to CBS.
On NBC, meanwhile, Fallon looked truly surprised by what Ferguson had gotten him. No, not talking about the fake horse Secretariat delivering the gift. Watch Fallon's reaction when he opens his present. He's truly shocked and awed.
That's a win for Ferguson. But 'tis also a win for all of us, for 'tis peace at Christmastime in late-late night. God bless us everyone!
Not sure about the timing of this booking, since his book has been out for more than a year and went paperback in July, but author William Knoedelseder went on Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson to talk with Ferguson about his book, "I'm Dying Up Here: Heartbreak and High Times in Stand-Up Comedy's Golden Era," which features mugs of Ferguson's boss, David Letterman, alongside Jay Leno, Richard Lewis and the late Andy Kaufman on the cover.
The book covers the late 1970s comedy scene in Los Angeles, which Knoedelseder covered as a reporter for the Los Angeles Times in 1978 and 1979. Remember when more newspapers had people writing about comedy as a performing art? Ah, memories.
His book is about all of the comics who flooded the L.A. clubs hoping that Johnny Carson would give them their big breaks on the Tonight Show, and how the comedians unified and organized a strike against The Comedy Store in 1979. Well, here, let Knoedelseder tell it:
And here is him telling the story to David Letterman last fall, which has a different tone to it because Letterman lived it and is in the book.
Want to buy a copy for yourself?
On last night's edition of The Late Late Show, host Craig Ferguson welcomed Donald Glover back onto the program and truly saved the best for last. Their chat easily could have gone completely off the rails once Glover explained that his Twitter handle used to confuse people that he was @DongLover instead of @DonGlover (he's @MrDonaldGlover now, fancy to go with his suit and tie). And well, @CraigyFerg did let things get weird. But in his own special way. And Glover was right there with him, as they enjoyed not one, but two extended pauses that ended the show. It's fun when a talk show is really a talk show and not merely a vehicle to promote a celebrity's latest project (though we did see a clip from Mystery Team, out on DVD on May 21). Let's watch!
As good as Glover was being silent on a talk show, he's not as good at keeping a secret, since his "secret" stand-up show this Friday at the UCB Theatre in New York City has been on the schedule long enough for advance reservations to sell out.
With all of the hullaballoo yesterday about what NBC may or may not do with its late-night TV lineup, you also may have been interested to know what the main competition over on CBS had to say about this. David Letterman had made almost nightly jokes about Jay Leno's 10 p.m. show for a while, and last night, Letterman poked fun at a late-night rival. But not Leno. Instead, Letterman's cue-card guy, Tony Mendez, got his own mid-show sketch in which he used a shout-out for a relative's birthday to promote Lopez Tonight on TBS. I'm guessing the ever-changing news on NBC caught Letterman's crew too late to want to say something last night, and considering Friday's show was pre-taped on Monday, you'll have to wait for their jabs until Monday, when perhaps they'll have a better idea of what to mock exactly.
Conan O'Brien himself was silent on the matter. Unless you want to read something into his monologue joke about David Hasselhoff leaving America's Got Talent to host his own show. Fallon remained quiet, too, but he taped earlier in the night, and also, his name had not come up in all of the rumors, so why insert himself into it.
Meanwhile, Craig Ferguson didn't have to wait, and he did not wait. He opened his show by announcing he couldn't appear since he was now going to be on NBC at 11:35 p.m., then continued his opening monologue by talking about how even though he's friendly with the NBC talk-show hosts, he's still more than willing to be somewhat happy about the mess that other network has made. Ferguson also readily concedes that he produces "the crappiest" late-night TV show, although there's something slightly endearing about the crap he's putting out each weeknight.
Some people might think that David Letterman should have just shut up about his personal problems, whether because it's a legal issue against the CBS News producer who allegedly blackmailed him or because it's unfair to the women who work for him, or because it merely creeps you out. But this is Letterman's job. He's always been a private guy outside of the show, though he's had to deal with legalities and health issues in the past and known well enough how to joke about it on the air. Monday night's monologue was not only not an exception; it was exceptional. See how Letterman made fun of himself and owned his situation. Roll the clip!
An hour later, there was his Worldwide Pants employee, Craig Ferguson. How would Ferguson treat the matter? After all, Letterman is his boss! Well, rather deftly, as it turns out -- which is what you would expect and hope from the Scottish comedian. Watch and learn:
And then this after the opening credits...
The network late-night chat shows are dark this week (read: mutually agreed vacations), but that has not stopped some sites from taking note of how Steven Wright has become buddy-buddy with Craig Ferguson, appearing as an unannounced guest a few times recently on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson. Wright's rep tells me that the absurdist stand-up comedian has been hanging out in Hollywood this winter, and that his relationship with Ferguson and the show happened organically. I'm thinking it started in February, when Wright was already scheduled to perform on a taped program and decided to emerge from the green room during the taping of the night's scheduled show. This is the first time I saw Wright as an unscheduled guest, back on Feb. 12, 2009.
In four years as host of The Late Late Show on CBS, Craig Ferguson already has established his own personal stamp on American late-night chat shows, right from the start each night with a cheeky prelude before the opening credits that may or may not involve hand puppetry from behind the camera, into a fully improvised monologue that allows Ferguson to let his thoughts loose and through a loosey goosey hour of sketches and interviews.
So what would Ferguson's first-ever stand-up comedy special in America look like? Ferguson (like Tonight Show veteran Jay Leno and Late Night rookie Jimmy Fallon, as well as The Daily Show's Jon Stewart) performs stand-up between weeks of tapings, but unlike Leno, Fallon and Stewart, most Americans will probably get their first real good look at his comedy character in A Wee Bit O' Revolution, which premieres Sunday night as an hourlong special on Comedy Central (and comes out Tuesday as an 80-minute DVD with extras). Filmed at Boston's Wilbur Theatre in 2008, the same year that the Scotsman both became an American citizen and also delivered the keynote address at the White House Correspondents Dinner (in which Ferguson chose to chastise the media more than the man in charge), Ferguson opens by acknowledging the quandary of his situation, standing next to George W. Bush.
The New York Comedy Festival today announced it has entered a multi-year partnership deal with Comedy Central, which means Caroline Hirsch's annual celebration of big-name comedy in the Big Apple now will get a bigger TV presence. The deal includes an annual Comedy Central special, and perhaps more. So the fifth New York Comedy Festival, running Nov. 5-9, 2008, in varied venues around Manhattan, unveils this early lineup:
11/5: Frank Caliendo, Carnegie Hall
11/5: “We Have a Winner” moderated by Lizz Winstead, 92nd Street Y
11/6: Louis C.K., They’re With Me, Town Hall
11/6: Katt Williams, Live In Concert, Carnegie Hall
11/7: Carlos Mencia: At Close Range, Avery Fisher Hall
11/7: An Evening with Craig Ferguson, Town Hall
11/7: Writers Speak! A Potentially Regrettable Evening with the Writers of The Daily Show, Paley Center
11/8: Tracy Morgan: Coming Back Home, Apollo Theater
11/8: Sarah Silverman and Friends, Hammerstein Ballroom
11/8: Joel McHale Live at Town Hall, Town Hall
11/8: Late Night with Conan O’Brien Writers’ Panel Discussion, Paley Center
11/9: Brian Regan Live in Concert, Avery Fisher Hall
11/9: B.J. Novak and Friends, Town Hall
Tickets start going on sale at 11 a.m. tomorrow, Thursday, Aug. 7. They still have to release the names and special events happening during that week at Carolines. Plenty of big names, though, on the slate, including several repeat performers from last year. Louis CK rocked Town Hall last year, so already looking forward to that. We'll see how McHale and Novak handle the larger stage. Tracy Morgan plays the Apollo. Sarah Silverman moves from last year's Carnegie Hall to this year at the Hammerstein Ballroom. Carlos Mencia? The Late Night writers talk should be very interesting, coming as it does near the end of the road for some of them as the show prepares to move to California.
HarperCollins has signed Craig Ferguson to a deal to write his memoirs, "American on Purpose," for publication in fall 2009. The actor/comedian/talk-show host said: "(I) hope that it will inspire other alcoholic punk rock drummers from Scotland to find their true place in U.S. latenight television. I wanted to get the story down before I get so old I forget it and start believing the crap on Wikipedia." (Variety)
Earlier: My 2006 interview with Ferguson.
The folks at Just For Laughs announced part of its 2008 slate for Montreal yesterday (proving once again, that a blogger cannot take a day off!)...
This year, Montreal introduces its first "industry conference" -- Just Comedy -- with Ivan and Jason Reitman talking father-son comedy shop on July 17, and Judd Apatow getting honored as "comedy person of the year" (year unspecified) on July 18.
The Galas (the biggest shows in size and scope) include hosts Craig Ferguson (July 18), Jimmy Fallon (July 19) and an "all-star" gala with Ron White, Paula Poundstone and Larry Miller (July 20).
Special events listed include: Stiles & Proops: Unplanned (July 15) featuring, well, whatever Ryan Stiles and Greg Proops feel like doing that night; South Park Live (July 16) with Matt Stone and Trey Parker; Omid Djalili (July 17); and Apatow For Destruction (July 18) featuring the aforementioned Apatow with cohorts Seth Rogen, Craig Robinson, Russell Brand and others.
Club shows, which often get grouped into themes, include The Nasty Show with hosts Nick DiPaolo and Patrice Oneal; The Ethnic Heroes of Comedy hosted by Frank Spadone with Steve Byrne, Gabriel Iglesias, Maz Jobrani and others; AMP'd, the Music Comedy Show with host Craig Robinson; Laugh-rodisiacs, the Relationship Show hosted by Greg Behrendt; the midnight Alternative Comedy Show hosted once again by Andy Kindler; the Best of the Uptown Comics which in Canadian means "urban" which means "black," hosted by Bruce Bruce with JB Smoove, Craig Robinson and others.
Tom Papa gets promoted from New Faces host in 2007 to the "Richard Jeni One-Person Show Series" with his show, "Only Human" (July 14-20).
Of course, the real treats for fans and the industry come in the New Faces showcases (to be hosted by Greg Giraldo and Dana Gould), and we won't know who makes it to Montreal until this weekend's final New York City auditions: May 1 at Comic Strip Live, May 2 at Stand-Up NY and May 3 at Broadway Comedy Club.
Craig Ferguson delivered an affable monologue Saturday night at the White House Correspondents Dinner. Not quite the tour de farce of Stephen Colbert from two years ago, but affable enough, as anyone who watches Ferguson on his late-night CBS program will attest. He got a couple of zingers in, more at the expense of the media than of President Bush or Vice President Cheney, and included a couple of video clips that echoed previous TV bits (and could've been left out). The whole hourlong program is available online via CSPAN (on Real Media, no less...how old-school!), which if you watch it, you'll get to see ABC's Ann Compton admonish the dinner crowd for talking too loudly during the scholarship honors, and see if Bush conducts the Marine Band as well as he conducts a war (spoiler alert!).
Time said the whole night was lame. Mediabistro said Ferguson stole the show. The Baltimore Sun also liked Ferguson almost as much as the party photos. The Daily News paid more attention to the president. No NYT review, yet. Sorry, Craig!
Actually, CSPAN also has a YouTube channel, and here is the Ferguson portion of the program:
Happy St. Patrick's Day, everybody. How are you celebrating? Are you going to be appearing on a late-night TV talk show? No? Well, then, who will? (Note: Listings subject to change)
David Letterman...Monday: Rainn Wilson; Tuesday: Al Franken; Wednesday: Seth Meyers; Thursday: Vince Vaughn; Friday: Al Lubel
Conan O'Brien...Monday: Lance Krall; Tuesday: Brian Posehn; Wednesday: Tracy Morgan
Jay Leno...Monday: Carlos Mencia; Wednesday: Lisa Lampanelli; Friday: Adam Carolla
Jimmy Kimmel...Monday: Martin Lawrence; Tuesday: Joel McHale; Wednesday: Adam Carolla; Thursday: Jackie Mason
Craig Ferguson...Monday: Ray Romano, Jeff Caldwell; Tuesday: Joe DeVito (Thursday and Friday TBA)
The late-night TV talkers are back in action this week, so let's take a look at which comedians and comedic actors will be making the rounds, shall we?
David Letterman...Monday: Jim Carrey; Wednesday: Lewis Black; Friday: Brian Regan
Conan O'Brien...Thursday: Harland Williams
Jay Leno...Tuesday: Bob Saget; Wednesday: Bill Cosby; Thursday: Howie Mandel
Craig Ferguson...Monday: Don Rickles; Wednesday: Denis Leary; Friday: Sebastian Maniscalco
Monday: Anthony Jeselnik (didn't air as scheduled)
Time again to check in with comedians and comedic actors making the late-night TV rounds...
David Letterman (in repeats) -- Thursday: Don Rickles
Conan O'Brien (in repeats) -- Monday: Howie Mandel
Jay Leno (in repeats) -- Wednesday: Larry the Cable Guy; Friday: Will Ferrell
Jimmy Kimmel -- Tuesday: Jackie Mason; Friday: Will Arnett
Craig Ferguson -- Monday: Michelle Billoon; Thursday: Wanda Sykes; Friday: Amy Sedaris