He's Saying It
Late night host Craig Ferguson stretches
out in new stand-up special
Michael Shashoua / Jester editor-in-chief
CBS late night host Craig Ferguson returns with a follow-up to
his “Wee Bit of Revolution” stand-up special, “Does This Need to Be Said?” which debuted
October 16 on Comedy Central and will be
released on DVD on October 18.
In his stand-up act, Ferguson is more of a storyteller than a
joke-teller, and his distinctive Scottish voice and style is
evident to anyone who’s read his memoir, “America On Purpose.”
This comes through in abundance in Ferguson’s latest special. As
on his talk show, Ferguson needs very little in the way of extra
concepts or adornment here – just as he delivers his
intentionally rambling opening monologues that are completely
separate from the current events fodder used by his competitors
every night on TV, here he can do so with the benefit of being
as free with language as he pleases.
Some of the material is a bit of entertainment inside baseball,
with stories about offending Kevin Costner and the sticky
situation of having to make jokes about his boss David
Letterman’s sex scandal, but mostly it’s drawn from hard-won
life experience, like his three marriages, his alcoholism past
and encounters with fans and audiences.
Delivering this material, Ferguson is a master of putting the
unexpected curveball tagline on pieces. To retell just one
moment, when Ferguson acts out Scottish people’s wild drinking
proclivities, miming throwing up and the like, he then says “And
you should see what the men do!” To retell another, he recounts
Internet chatter about his third marriage where an anonymous
commenter said “she’s a user and he’s a pervert,” Ferguson
responds, tongue in cheek, “How do they know us?” It’s
definitely an endearing and entertaining technique.
On both his current show, and his performing past in the U.K.
(as recounted in his memoir – he once performed as an odd
character named “Bing Hitler”), Ferguson also has his own
surreal concept ideas. There isn’t much of that in this special,
except for one simple, but high concept piece where he closes
the show lip syncing a Britney Spears song, complete with two
male dancers – one in a suit and another shirtless in leather
suspenders. Just like the skeleton sidekick on Ferguson’s talk
show, it’s instant ridiculousness and you can’t resist.