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Courting Craig Ferguson: The Late Late Show Diaries 10-7-2005

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Dear Craig,

I apologize for my tardiness. My only defense is that John Lee Hooker, Jr. called and I was unable to resist an evening with him. However, I did tape the show and have now watched it a minimum of 6 times. What can I say? I need bit of Scotch every once in a while.

Once I got home from my fabulous evening, I popped in the tape and there you were. Magnificent. Ahhh, just what I needed. First, great music, followed by you. The weekend was getting off to a good start. I’ve kept that cool vibe going with more wonderful music and repeated viewings of Friday night’s show. You’ll be happy to know that in my travels, I’ve encountered many other Ferguson fans. All agree that you are the new Gold Standard of late night talk shows. Pretty cool, eh?

That may not be much of an apology for the delay, but that’s all I have.

Now, on to the show.

Monologue: Thank God it’s Friday. You hate Thursday because The Apprentice is on. You hate The Apprentice. Trump has decided that shaking hands is a bad thing. He doesn’t do it anymore. I guess when you’re rich, it social norms cease to concern you. Your explanation was better, though. Trump simply doesn’t want to our poorness rubbing off on him.

“Next time I see him I won’t be shaking his hand, I’ll be giving him a full open mouth tonguey kiss. Take that Trump,” you ranted. “Not in a million years!”

You pointed out that in Russia, the standard greeting between two men consists of 12 kisses on the cheek. “I’ve been married to women I haven’t kissed that much!” Honey, if your lips are a good as you say they are, you gotta up the kiss count. I’m just saying. Consider it a bit of love advice, okay?

Craig Ferguson
I want to backtrack a bit here. I actually like The Apprentice. Why? Let me tell you. I like observing how cutthroat some of these people are. It’s a good indicator of how they operate in the real world. Sure, I know the footage is edited to reflect a certain tone, but I think those characteristics are present regardless of editing. The other thing I’ve enjoyed about this season is that Trump finally showed that he’s human. I mean, really human. Not just a lifelike wax sculpture with a bad wig. During the show’s premiere, he discovered that Randal’s (one of the competitors) grandmother died. When Randal declined to leave the competition, based on the fact that his family believed his grandmother would have wanted him to see it through, Trump nodded understandingly and then flew the him off to the funeral, allowing him to return to the game afterward. For once, Trump came off as more than a rich bastard with funny hair.

Back to the monologue. Right.

“Who is this character? Donald Trump? What does he really do? He’s kind of like the Puff Diddly, P Diddle of real estate.”

Real estate vanity – in L.A., realtors have their headshots in the newspaper and on billboards. “I don’t give a crap what you look like, just sell me a damn house. The thinking behind it is ‘this is a face you can trust.'” It’s true. Not just of L.A., but all of Southern California. On bus benches, newspapers, business cards, and notepads left on doorsteps across the Southland.

Not every realtor is particularly suited for the photo ad approach, though. I’ll give you that. Especially Trump. “Why would Donald Trump put his face on things? Do you think you look at Donald Trump and go ‘now there’s a guy I can trust?’ I’m not going to make fun of his hair. No that’s just petty. No I’m not, that’s petty. You gotta ask though, with all that money…”

It does beg the question, why? If I had his kind of money, I’d be all over the latest and greatest hair stylist. I’d be calling anyone and everyone. Hell, I’d go down to SuperCuts and take my chances with some of the one-handed blind butchers there before I’d let Trump’s follicle advisors touch my head.

Perhaps your best commentary of the evening, Craiggles, came during the next part of the show. Forgive the copious quotes here, but it was damn good. On Trump:

How good a businessman is he really? This is a man who had casinos go bankrupt. That actually can’t happen. That’s against the laws of physi[cs]…it’s mathematically impossible! What was it — the house was betting on 19? A casino losing money is like an Irish pub going broke. It’s just not possible. It doesn’t happen.

Trump also had an airline. That also went bankrupt. But, all airlines go bankrupt. You always hear everyday in the news an airline’s gone bankrupt. Then you just keep going. It’s like they still fly, it’s just the stewardesses get surlier and they charge you $5 for a sandwich.

I believe the current term is “flight attendants”, but that’s rather like splitting hairs, isn’t it? I’ll check with my high-flying gal pal who works for one of the more solvent carriers.

You weren’t done with Trump by any means. No. You were on a tear!

The whole premise of the show is crazy. The loser is the person is the one who doesn’t get a job with Trump. Who would go through that, the humiliating public trial on television, to get a job? Other than me, when I got this one, I just remembered. I’m like the Clay Aiken of late night. I’m getting sticky up here and suspiciously, no girlfriend. He’s America’s favorite heterosexual.

The monologue got particularly pithy here: “If you owe the bank 100 dollars, it’s your problem. If you owe them 100 million, it’s the bank’s problem.”

As I said before, you were on quite a terrific run of jokes.

The Donald. What the hell is that? What are you? Sting? Shut up. The Donald. Piss off!

If I went back to Scotland and started calling myself The Craig, the guys from my neighborhood would give me a good swift kick in the nuts and I’d deserve it. I have to tell you, if I started calling myself The Craig, I’d give me a good kick in the nuts. If I could kick myself in the nuts, I’d join the circus. I’d make some money! “And now the nut kicking man!”
I’m not one to blow my own trumpet, although if I could do that, I’d join the circus. A different kind of circus. “He kicks himself in the nuts, he blows his own trumpet!” You got masochist and contortionist, how ’bout that?

All your disdain for Trump seems to stem from his desire to copyright “You’re Fired”. I’ve heard that twice in my life. Three times, if you count that job at Baskin-Robbins where the perverted owner insisted on cornering a 16-year old me in the walk-in freezer, trying to cop a feel. I think it was the knee in his wrinkled old jewels that sealed my fate. Oh well, not every job is a keeper.

Since The Donald had his moment of madness, you decided you’d copyright “naughty little donkeys”, “frisky wee ponies”, “cheeky wee monkeys”, and “I’m your host, TV’s Craig Ferguson”. If that’s the case, can I work out some sort of trade with you? Galaga lessons in exchange for the regular use of cheeky wee monkeys. You could try to extract payment financially, but you’d be exceedingly disappointed with the contents of my pocketbook.

You read email tonight. Still not from me. No, it was from Tim. He wanted to know if your largely black wardrobe was indicative of some deeper meaning. You weren’t wearing black, were you? Insert boo-boo face here. And there was the evil candy being passed around in the audience. (Remind me to stock up on crinkily, rustling, wrapped candy before I head up to see the show.)

Special correspondent, Tim Meadows checked in from in front of the Supreme Court. Terribly big news about the Harriette Miers nomination. Tim asked the questions we’ve all be wanting answered:

“Is she related to Oscar Mayers and, if so, what is bologna made of?” Thankfully, you straightened Meadows out and explained that it’s Mayer, without the “s”.

For people who missed the show, they can always check out the clip online.

First Guest: Macy Gray. She’s from Canton, Ohio, which I did not know. “What’s round on both ends and ‘hi’ in the middle?” I have to say, Ohio does seem to churn out the talent. Look at me! Oh, okay. Fine. Not the best example. Still, Gray’s from Ohio and has enough talent for the both of us. I’m good with that.

Macy originally got involved in music because of guy she met at USC, where she attended film school. She’d taken piano as a kid but hadn’t really cared for it until she met that guy. She is now working, not just a singer, she’s into acting. Gray has a part in the movie Domino, which stars Keira Knightley, Delroy Lindo, Christopher Walken, Mickey Rourke, and a whole slew of other namey sorts. I’m not sure exactly what Macy’s role is like, or how it fits into the whole theme of it, but in a movie about a privileged young woman who becomes a bounty hunter with a drug habit, you have to just go with it.

Cut to Illeana Douglas. She was in one of my favorite movies, Happy, Texas, and can now be seen in Alchemy, on the Family Channel. She didn’t talk much about Alchemy. Rather, she spoke about her quest to purchase a house. Somehow, I always figure that actors already own homes. Guess I was wrong.

Douglas said that dating in Hollywood sucks almost as much as buying a house. Then she went on to give men pointers on finding a woman.

Illeana Douglas’ 5 tips to get a girl:

1) play a guitar. play the hits – “Leaving on a Jet Plane”, “Blackbird”
2) have an accent – “on a subconscious level, woman know that a man with an accent is better than American men.”
3) be friends with Illeana Douglas
4) be able to dance
5) And, while Illeana didn’t give this reason, I can tell you exactly what it is. You should have a car. It doesn’t have to be fancy, but it should be running and relatively clean. Even better, you should know how to make simple automotive repairs and offer to work on a woman’s car. If you do that, you’ll have more women than you can possibly handle. Never under-estimate the power of a lube job. Or new spark plugs.

Macy Gray came back on to perform. She has a new music school, the M. Gray Music Academy, opening in North Hollywood on October 25th. Tonight’s band, Macy Gray’s Music Academy Orchestra performed the song “Real” from the movie Domino.

I can’t seem to get over the fact that Macy always sounds like Donald Duck on helium. Whether singing or speaking, that’s what I think of. May the curse now be yours as well.

So there you have it, my naughty little donkey. I suppose I feel much like the naughty one for being so tardy. I mean, first it was John Lee Hooker, Jr., followed by Harper, then Steve Lucky & the Rhumbabums. By the way, Harper is awfully interesting. An Australian bluesman who manages to work the didgeridoo into his songs. Not a vacuum cleaner part. A real didgeridoo. It blends quite well. You’d be surprised.

Until tomorrow…

Your cheeky wee monkey and saucy little minx,

Joanie

Check out The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson Monday through Friday, 12:30am, on CBS. For skits and monologue clips, check out the Craig’s Comedy section.

Note about the author: Joan’s fascination and adoration of Craig Ferguson is little more than silly fantasy, with a dash of lust, the likes of which are common amongst single 39 year-old women. She lives many miles safely south of Los Angeles and CBS Studios. And, while she is a big fan of Colin Firth, she’d rather Craig been in the movie Love Actually instead Firth. No, better still, Craig could have had Hugh Grant’s role. Joan currently views most of her DVDs, recasting Ferguson in her favorite parts.

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About Joan Hunt

  • http://blogcritics.org/author.php?author=Cerulean Cerulean

    Colin Firth has those big brown eyes. In movies he is always displayed as a rich gentleman with an empty mansion waiting for a women to move into it. After about the fifth time I saw that I said, “I’ll take it! I’m sold! Stop teasing me. Sign me up.”

    I saw the Illeana Douglas interview. I liked her necklace. Her clothes are always interesting. They have a similar real estate market where I live and it’s hard to believe. I guess dating where I live is similar to the housing market, too.

    If you like Illeana Douglas, you should see the movie Ghost World. It is an excellent movie. She plays an art teacher with a million artsy outfits. She’s hilarious.

    What’s this about you and John Lee Hooker, Jr.? Hmmmmmmmmmmm? Did he really call you?

  • http://bonamassablog.us Joanie

    JLHJ was in town for a show. I managed to find the right combination of meds to knock the back pain down to a breathable- but not comatose-level and went to see him perform.

    I’m glad I went. It was just what the doctor…..er…nurse ordered

  • http://blogcritics.org/author.php?author=Cerulean Cerulean

    Ha! You’re such a tease.

    “I managed to find the right combination of meds” –Joanie

    As do many people at concerts.

  • http://bonamassablog.us Joanie

    I’m only two and a half months out from back surgery – being medicated is an occasional necessity.

    Usually, I just watch Craig, laughter being the best medicine and all. When I go out, though, I have to be lucid and capable of driving. It took all day, but I got things calmed enough to where I could spend a couple hours outside the house.

  • http://blogcritics.org/author.php?author=Cerulean Cerulean

    “When I go out though, I have to be lucid and capable of driving._–Joanie

    More people should consider this viewpoint. I’m sorry about your problems, but I’m glad you were able to get out to the concert.