A holiday ode to late night shenanigans

Lisa Robertson

In honor of Independence Day, I wanted to celebrate and share with everyone one of my current favorite Americans: Craig Ferguson.

But wait, you say, the man is Scottish. To which I say, au contraire, my only-paying-attention-to-how-a-person-sounds friend. Ferguson became a citizen of this crazy country of ours in 2008, an event he celebrated in a way only a real American should: by getting a tattoo of a historical political cartoon created by Benjamin Franklin. That’s my kind of guy. (I qualify this statement by disclosing that my bachelor’s degree is in history.)

You can enjoy Craig every week night on CBS’ “The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson,” one of my new entertainment obsessions. Yes, it is on late. But that’s what they make DVRs for if you prefer sleep over laughter.

I am a new convert to Craig’s Robot Skeleton Army, as he calls his followers. I’ve been watching his show faithfully for about three months now. And I must say, I’ve learned a lot from the show.

I finally figured out who Justin Bieber was thanks to Craig, after being confused for months about why some kid who looked like he was 12 was inducing mass hysteria at his promotional appearances.

On the complete opposite end of the cultural spectrum from Bieber-mania, I discovered Desmond Tutu, the celebrated South African priest who fought to end apartheid and fights for human rights across the globe, when he sat down one night with Craig.

I’ve received gardening tips from Willie Nelson, a man renowned for his own particular growing habits. (The man is famous for his love of marijuana, on the very thin chance that someone did not know that.)

Aside from its educational value, Craig makes the show outlandishly amusing. He has a robot-skeleton sidekick named Geoff Peterson. I can only imagine how much fun the writers must have coming up with inappropriate things for Geoff to say at the wrong time each night.

He refers to his audience as hobos who have been tricked to come into the studio with promises of free chicken. He mimics James Dyson’s (creator of the Dyson vacuum cleaners) line about “the proper amount of suction,” with a gleeful leering grin, and then has the actual inventor on the show to talk about his products.

He has puppets. Hilarious, roving-accented puppets, the best of which is a white rabbit called Sid, whose cuteness hides a foul mouth. He’s the best white rabbit to hit the entertainment scene since the killer white rabbit in “Monty Python and the Holy Grail.”

And where else could you see Michael Clarke Duncan doing a dramatic reading from Jennifer Love Hewitt’s new book, “The Day I Shot Cupid: Hello, My Name is Jennifer Love Hewitt and I’m a Love-aholic,” as an intro for her appearance on the show.

Does it seem silly to devote an entire column celebrating Independence Day by talking about how awesome Craig Ferguson is? Of course! But with all the bad going on in the world, I wanted to share a little silliness. Craig Ferguson’s show gives me that dose of silly I need, and I urge you to check it out. Just watch out for the hobos.

Lisa Robertson is a graduate journalism student and columnist for the Summer Stater. Contact her at [email protected].