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File:The-late-late-show-with-craig-ferguson-9 2602.jpg

It's a great day for America, everybody!

A late-night television show on CBS, directly following David Letterman's Late Show. Previous hosts include Tom Snyder (1995-98) and Craig Kilborn (1999-2004). The current host is Craig Ferguson (2005-present), who won a 2009 Peabody Award for Excellence in Electronic Media for the episode A Night with Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

Also the name of the longest-running chat show of all time, which is made and broadcast in Ireland. Originally presented by Gay Byrne (from 1961-99 with one season, 1968-69, taken by Frank Hall), he was succeeded by Pat Kenny (1999-2009) who in turn was succeeded by Ryan Tubridy (2009-present).


Tom Snyder's run:


Craig Kilborn's run:

  • Actor Allusion: His "In The News" segment was reminiscent of The Daily Show.
  • Mythology Gag: Kilborn also had the segments "5 Questions" and "A Moment For Us", which he had originated on The Daily Show. He brought his "5 Questions" segment to his short-lived weeknight show.
  • Running Gag: Dick Vermeil's teary Super Bowl victory speech, the PG&E rapping grandmother.
  • The Price Is Right: Rod Roddy was a friend of Kilborn and a frequent guest during this era (primarily due to Price taping a few doors down), participating in skits and Kilborn's annual Thanksgiving roundtable. The day after Rod died, on October 28, 2003, he received this heartfelt tribute.

 Rod: You know what, Kilborn? Your interviewing is piss poor. Screw you, just do the news!

  • Title Theme Tune: "The Late Late Show is starting. The Late Late Show is starting now...with Mr. Kilborn." Sung by Chris Isaac, no less.

Craig Ferguson's run:

  • The Announcer: Unlike the previous runs of the show, Ferguson has some bits announced by Shadoe Stevens.
  • Anything That Moves: Geoff was originally in theory supposed to be gay, but still has had a tendency to hit on female guests. Then, as of October 11, 2011, he got a girlfriend and is officially bi.

 Geoff (Matthew McConaughey voice): What can I say? Sometimes my current flows the other way.

  • Aquaman: A recurring skit has Craig portraying the character through the use of hilariously-bad special effects, dispensing advice to viewers who write in with their personal problems.
  • Author Avatar: Craig often uses the puppets as an outlet for his own thoughts and opinions. Sid The Cussing Bunny especially has become a thinly-disguised alter-ego who even has some of the same vocal and physical mannerisms. Sid had a memorable rant about the CBS censors in which he amusingly kept slipping into first-person:

 Sid: And I was like "well 'ow come Geoff Peterson can do it but I can't do--I mean, Craig Ferguson can't do it?"

  • Bait and Switch Comparison: "You've got A and B. One is (list of insulting characteristics that sound like they describe A), and the other one is A."
  • Beat: Craig enjoys ending his monologue and guest interviews with an awkward pause.
  • Biting the Hand Humor: Craig sometimes mocks the CBS audience as a bunch of drowsy, toothless seniors who still lament the cancellation of Matlock and Murder, She Wrote.
    • "Paid hobos" seems to be his favorite pseudo-slur for the studio audience.
  • Blatant Lies: Craig likes to use these in his comedy. "My next guest appears on the show Doctor Who. I've never seen it." Also, when his Doctor Who cold open was leaked to the internet: "He was horrified."
  • Broadcast Live: Not. But Craig often jokingly implies that it is.

 Craig: And I'll be watching the American Idol final tonight...or I already did because we're live. Congratulations, (covers mouth with hand and in a slightly deeper voice) winner!

    • In early 2011, a change was made so that the opening segment of the show as the viewers see it is taped following the monologue. Sometimes this leads to a skip in continuity, where A) something that happens in the opening segment isn't referred to at all during the monologue but then is brought up again during the "Check the Tweets" segment or B) something the home viewers haven't seen happen yet is brought up in the opening segment.
  • Butt Monkeys: The professional warm-up comedian, the producer, and Aqualad.
  • Camera Abuse: Craig begins each show by slapping the side of the camera after coming out for his monologue. Only twice (May 8, 2009 and March 7, 2011) has it backfired. The 2009 incident was particularly bad — he slapped the camera, and a piece of glass fell out, shattering on the floor.

 Craig: That was AWESOME!

  • Camp
  • Captain Ersatz: When Craig discovered that the French talk show Ce Soir Avec Arthur had plagiarized his intro, he ended up inviting its host Arthur to appear as a guest (and even made an appearance to deliver the monologue on "his" show, much to Craig's dismay)
    • The two seem to be friends now, as seen by their trip to Paris.
  • Catch Phrase:
    • "It's a great day for America, everybody!" (used to start off his monologue every night; for a time, he approached the phrase as if he were an anchorman)
    • An incredulous, half-whispered "I knooow!" after sharing an unusual news item with the audience.
    • "You too, ladies."
    • "I look forward to your letters."
    • "Eyes up here, mister!"
    • "By the way, _____ was the name I used to dance under." Usually followed by "Ladies and gentlemen, _____!" and him singing "Black Velvet!"
    • The vacuum with "the proper amount of suction".
    • "CBS in no way endorses [whatever remotely objectionable thing he just said]."
    • "CBS Cares." "They do, just not about you..."
    • "REMIND you of anyone...?"
    • "It's kind of a papery blog." After mentioning a newspaper, magazine or book.
    • "A lot of people say to me, 'Craig, put your pants on!' And I do."
    • "You're welcome stoners!"
    • And for Geoff Peterson:
      • "OOOHHH YEEAAHH!"
      • "You think...you're...all...that!"
      • "Loooooove it!"
      • "Naaaailed it!"
      • "IN YOUR PANTS!"
      • "Balls."
      • "Seeex partyyyy!"
      • "Is that code?"
      • (when confused) ".....the hell??"
    • Animated bits:
      • The Check the Tweets animations always include the phrase "Ass Möde".
      • "What did we learn on the show tonight, Craig?"
  • Characterization Marches On: Geoff Peterson started off with a high pitched, robotic, Cary Grant-ish voice. Later, he received an "upgrade" and became the wisecracking effeminate robot with a low voice we know today. Beginning in late May 2011, Geoff is usually voiced live by Josh Robert Thompson instead of the original canned tidbits.
    • When Thompson was out of the country for two weeks in November of 2011, several celebrities filled in as Geoff's voice. One of them, Tom Lennon, created a whole new character for the robot, Khloe Banderas, Antonio's lesser-known sibling. Lennon/"Khloe" has filled in for Thompson a few times since then.
  • Crossover: The "cold open" to an episode featuring the cast of The Big Bang Theory as guests featured Craig applying to be a roommate in the show. He fails.
  • A Date with Rosie Palms: During an interview, Bones star Emily Deschanel suggested that Geoff Peterson make an appearance on the show. When he responded a little over-enthusiastically ("SPROING!"), she added "Ours don't masturbate." To which Craig replied "For legal reasons, neither does he."
  • Deathbringer the Adorable: Sid the Cussing Bunny.
  • Depraved Bisexual: Craig loves to make jokes painting himself as this.
  • Digging Yourself Deeper: Poor Alex Kingston. Had she simply said "Yes, I like rabbits", no one would've been the wiser. Instead, she spends five minutes trying to change the subject while Craig's trying to figure out what "rabbit" she's talking about.
  • Disney Acid Sequence: The "Check The Tweets" sequence. [1]
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Geoff irritated Russell Brand so much that he first poured his glass of water on him, and then proceeded to smack him in the head so hard that the top of his skull came off.
  • Doctor Who Fans: Craig, who keeps a TARDIS on his desk and once had a Dalek stand next to the entrance to the set for a week.
  • Do-It-Yourself Theme Tune: Craig both co-wrote and sung the theme tune.
  • Double Entendre: By the truckload.

  Geoff: Is that code?

 Craig: Why did you laugh when the dog came on, and then when I came on, you went "Awwww...."?

 Craig: Take a long look. Keep looking. Imagine how much fun the censor is having now. Imagine the censor thinking "Oh (censored), I should have put a time limit on this." Keep looking at the haggis. Try to think of a man's penis as you look at the haggis!

    • Also: "Mouth Organ," (i.e., harmonica), and as of late, "Touch My Glittery Ball."
    • Actual sex slang is censored, so random phrases are implied to be sexual acts.
  • Gratuitous French: The 2011 week of episodes in Paris, which among other things, re-titled the show "Le Late Late Show avec Craig Ferguson a Paris" (which, by the way, should have really been "Le Spectacle Plus-Plus Tard avec Craig Ferguson")
  • Gratuitous German: "Flügen Web, Späcecode, Twit Zöne, Ass Möde...Check ze Tweets..." [2]
    • Whenever Craig reads a Tweet or e-mail from a person living in a German-speaking country, he insists on reading it in a faux German accent.
  • Gratuitous Spanish: "Craig's Spanish Word Of The Day". His goal was to do the final show of 2010 entirely in Spanish, until he realized learning Spanish is, well...hard. The segments were subsequently replaced by such features as "Gardening Tips with Willie Nelson", "Style Tips with Tim Gunn", and "Summer Livin' with Sean Connery".
  • Have I Mentioned I Am Heterosexual Today?: Frequently and jokingly inverted by Ferguson.
  • Hitler Ate Sugar: "You know who else doesn't like ________? Al-Qaeda!"
  • It Was His Sled: Not directly used, but definitely talked about during one of his email sessions.

 "Are you ready, film students??? It Was His Sled! Hahaha! Now you don't have to sit through THREE HOURS!"

  • I Want You to Meet An Old Friend of Mine: Why British comedienne Hattie Hayridge appeared in a guest slot on the show; she turned up at the studio to watch the show, was spotted by Craig and invited on the show. (Hattie played the second Holly on Red Dwarf, which Craig had a guest role on {albeit a few years earlier}; that said, the British comedy mafia all tend to know each other anyway).
  • Large Ham: Craig himself, particularly when he plays Aquaman.
  • Multiple Choice Past: Geoff tells many mutually-exclusive stories about how he died and became skeletal.
    • On the 7th anniversary episode Craig showed a (fake) clip of his very first monologue, Retconning Geoff as his original flesh-and-blood sidekick (who looked an awful lot like Josh Robert Thompson) who went on an ill-fated skydiving trip.
  • Myth Busters: Craig and the Mythbusters team seem to have something going on, since they created a robot skeleton sidekick for him named Geoff Peterson.
  • Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: Geoff aside, there was also a sketch where Craig pitched Ghost Chimp M.D. to a very familiar-looking CBS executive.
  • Naughty Tentacles: Craig once mentioned an incident in which he was sexually assaulted by an octopus. He added, grinning lecherously, "all that sucking and squeezing."
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Geoff Peterson's current voice bears a striking resemblance to that of George Takei. Indeed, his voice actor (Josh Robert Thompson) describes Geoff as "one part Snagglepuss, one part Vincent Price, and two parts George Takei".
  • No Budget: Craig has mentioned in several interviews that he can't do all the comedy bits he wants because show show budget is extremely limited.
    • He also constantly picks on the minuscule budget during the show.
    • The only reason the show has multiple puppets is because they bought one and the producer was so happy they were on TV they sent several others.
  • Non-Human Sidekick: His variety of Hand Puppets, including (but not limited to) — a unicorn, a dinosaur, a penguin, Kronos (King of the Monkey People), Brian the Shark, Agatha the Chicken, Wavy Rancheros the Waving Crocodile, Connery the Bull, the Swine Flu Comedy Pig, a sheepdog, a camel, a ball on a stick, Skully the flaming Ghost Rider skull on a stick, an owl that doesn't have a mouth, Sid the Cussing Bunny, Storm Trousers the Fourth from the Planet Thunderpants (one of the "People of Earth" intros), and himself.
  • Oh Crap: Geoff Peterson has one with "Uh...oh!"
  • The Other Darrin: Impersonator Josh Robert Thompson took over the role of Geoff from Craig after the character's first week on the show.
    • The Other Marty: Thompson himself was replaced from November 7-21, 2011 due to unavailability. Many well known actors and personalities like Alfred Molina, Larry King and Thomas Lennon (Who turned Geoff into Khloe Banderas) were used in his place. Lennon again replaced Thompson between November 28-30, 2011.
  • Pantomime Animal: "Who's that at the door? IT'S SECRETARIAT!" (Participants in the Secretariat Dance receive "Team Secretariat" t-shirts.)
  • Patchwork Map: Whenever Craig asks for a map of an area, such as Italy, the map appears with such fake places as the Sea of Borat, Narnia — and, in one Italy example, Mario Bros. Island.
  • Priceless Ming Vases: Supposedly loaned to Craig from the Getty Museum for the first show of 2011, and destroyed by Secretariat during the Tweetmail segment.
  • Reptiles Are Abhorrent: Played with; Wavy Rancheros is pretty friendly and likes to wave, but rarely gets through a segment without talking about eating someone.
  • The Rival: Ferguson sometimes jokingly alludes to the competition with his counterparts at ABC (Jimmy Kimmel) and NBC (Jimmy Fallon, and before that Conan O'Brien), and occasionally interacts with them by proxy. Ferguson and Fallon have waved at each other with giant Mickey Mouse hands, and recently sent each other Christmas gifts (a pair of kittens for Jimmy, a garish Christmas sweater for Craig) and displayed them on their respective shows.
    • Craig often self-mockingly refers to himself as "the Scottish Conan guy".
  • Running Gag: Asking for a picture of Paul McCartney and receiving one of Angela Lansbury. And this is a gag that exists because of spite!
    • Whenever Craig asks for a picture of Cher, he gets one of Marilyn Manson.
    • Whenever Craig asks for a picture of Kim Jong Il, "That is one angry lesbian."
    • Whenever he mentions a network besides CBS he spits, but if said network airs the show of a guest he adds "but the show's good!"
    • Commenting on the nature of the audience's applause at the beginning of almost every show, usually about how it was coerced out of them by a warm-up comedian with candy.
    • Insisting that the show is done live when it quite obviously is not.
    • Secretariat, although he's added that he won't stop it until people stop sending him tweets telling him to stop it.
    • Craig and his ferrets. Occasionally, the camera will linger on the photograph for far too long.
    • Craig asking Geoff if he's ever visited a random location, and Geoff responding that he has a place there, [3] and Craig should come by sometime.
  • Self-Deprecation: Craig employs this a lot, with regard to himself as well as the show in general.
  • Shameless Self Promotion: "You know, Clash of the Titans comes out this weekend...but will you learn anything from it? Why don't you watch something you can learn something from...like...How to Train Your Dragon? ...Alright, I'm in it!"
  • Shout-Out: Many. Craig's anchorman schtick for "It's a great day for America, everybody" had him adjusting a dial which would briefly switch to Tijuana Taxi, then make a series of beeps before proceeding to deliver the "news" in a voice that usually was an impression of Walter Cronkite. [4]
    • Craig ran side-by-side his intro and the intro of a French talk show that has copied it. The host sings, plays drums, and ends up in a water fountain...same as Craig does. The logo even uses the same font as the Late Late Show graphic. The only difference is that the French show's intro didn't have any hand puppets and was shot from different angles.
    • Geoff Peterson wears a nametag from The Price Is Right.
  • Something Completely Different: For his 1,000th episode as host, Craig stayed off-camera and performed the whole show (including opening monologue, guest interviews, etc.) as his puppet Wavy the Crocodile.
    • On February 24, 2010, he did a show without the usual Studio Audience or comedy bits, and featuring only one guest (Stephen Fry). As Craig explained in the opening, it was intended as a sort of homage to Tom Snyder.
  • Show Within a Show: Bone Patrol with GP and the Fergs
  • Sound Effect Bleep: During the the teaser and the monologue, the censors pixilate Craig's mouth and mute the audio when he swears. When one of the puppets swears -- i.e., Sid or Wavy Ranchero -- there is a beep and sometimes pixilations over their mouths. During other segments of of the show, the censors place CG flags of other nations over the mouths of Craig, Geoff and the guests, accompanied by speeded-up audio of Craig saying a phrase supposedly associated with that country. These include;
    • Spanish flag: "Oh, did I swear four times already?" ¡AY CARAMBA! "That's five."
    • French flag: "Like I give a—OOHLALA!"
    • Italian flag: Tootsi Frootsi! or Whassa cummanago! and
    • Australian flag: Crikey Dingo! and Boing!
    • Swedish flag: Girl With the Dragon Tattoo!
    • Gay Pride flag: Ah-oh! or Ohh!
  • Soylent Green: Canadian Bacon is made FROM PEOPLE!
  • Spoof Aesop: What did we learn on the show tonight, Craig?
  • Stuff Blowing Up: The graphics during the occasional "theme week". Hell, just about ANY graphic he calls for explodes at the end. NOTABLY averted during "Nobel Prize Week", where the graphic simply rose up to a small trumpet fanfare, then lowered back down without incendiary incident.
  • Take That: Against CBS, Jay Leno, Jimmy Fallon, himself ("Take that...me.") — actually, pretty much anything and everything. He even does them against people he likes. "Take that...man who's been nothing but nice to me!"
  • Theme Tune Extended: A fully recorded studio version can be found here on youtube
  • The Teaser: The show opens with one of these every night. Sometimes takes the form of a mini-monologue from Craig, sometimes it's a backstage sketch with that night's guest, sometimes it's an all-singing, all-dancing musical lip-sync number.
  • Throwing Out the Script: Symbolising his free-wheeling interviewing style, Craig begins every interview by tearing up a set of palm cards that presumably contains his notes for the interview. Sometimes he says "We won't be needing these" for good measure.
  • Troll: Craig often taunts Geoff's inability to move more than 12 feet from an outlet, move his left arm or play the harmonica.
  • Twitter: Craig's on it, and has taken to answering viewer tweets along with their emails each night.
    • Originally, there were two separate stacks — yellow for tweets, white for emails. After two or three shows, it was changed to simply one stack with the tweets and emails randomly arranged within. However, the tweets are identifiable by the picture of a random bird above the text.
  • UST: Played straight with many of the show's female guests. Some of the men, too. Especially if the guest opts for an awkward pause with sexual subtext to close out the interview.
    • He and James MacAvoy created a Vacuum of Scottish Charm.
  • Viva Las Vegas: One sketch was about Craig and Geoff going to Las Vegas to celebrate Geoff's birthday with guests like Grant Imahara, who originally made Geoff, and Morgan Freeman doing Secretariat's voice for lord knows what reason. It all builds up to Craig and Geoff getting married, much to their (or at least Craig's) surprise.
  • Weasel Mascot
  • We Care: Craig likes to mock the ones his network does — "CBS Cares."

 Craig: In fact, that's what CBS stands for — Cares...'Bout...Stuff.


 "We're outta time. Mouth organ, awkward pause, or Big Cash Prize?"

"I'm gonna go with the awkward pause."

"All right, then."










































\\

Notes

  1. (Und also Emails!)
  2. ("Und also e-mails!")
  3. (where he likes to throw beads at people, take his clothes off and go swimming)
  4. (The "beep" sound effects were typically used to open each CBS Evening News broadcast during Cronkite's tenure, making this even more likely to be an homage to him.)
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