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He's Saying It


Late night host Craig Ferguson stretches out in new stand-up special


By 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.





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