I grew up watching late night television, namely David Letterman, and the late night talk shows that always spoke to me the most were the ones who took things in a different direction and did things not unlike any other regular late night talk show. It's fitting that Craig's tagline was "not like any other late night show," because it truly wasn't. Here was a show that gave us the brilliant Craig Ferguson on a nightly basis, but also the incredible talents of Josh Robert Thompson, a phenomenally gifted actor, as Geoff Peterson, Sandra the Rhino, the offscreen band Alfredo Sauce and the Shy Guys, not to mention Josh's 100s of phone call voices including Liam Neeson, Morgan Freeman, Miriam, Jerry from Room Service, plus the Jay Leno fly, and countless others that could fill this entire page. Craig and Josh have chemistry like none other on televison. It's a man behind a desk, unscripted, talking to his robot skeleton sidekick and absolutely anything they want to talk about, whether it's tweets and emails, or 1-5 dings on a bell. This show was so unlike any other before it, that people who have never seen this show probably don't know what in the fuck I'm talking about. "1-5 dings? Room service? A rhino? What?!?"
Here, this will make you more confused. I'll talk about Secretariat, the best horse in television since Mr. Ed. When he's not catching frisbies, learning Japanese, threatening to kick Craig's ass, or snorting cocaine, Secretariat the horse should always come dancing into a room whenever a doorbell is heard and someone screams "Who's that at the door???" But even beyond Craig, Geoff, and Secretariat, Craig's interviews were also unlike any you'd see on network television, which also made the show worth tuning into every night. Many celebrities have insane handlers, stick to a strict set of pre-interview questions, which can make many late night talk show interviews feel fake and shallow, but not with Craig's show. Ripping up the note card at the beginning of every interview symbolizes that they're going to talk about whatever they want to talk about, and if that ends with an awkward pause, a big cash prize, meditation, a piece of fruit, or smashing a coconut, then even better! Interviews could be a funny assortment of randomness, very serious and touching, or get very personal, such as Craig's openness to not only talk about but joke about his rather wild past; something that's even inspired myself to joke about my own embarrassing way younger days.
Last night's show had many great moments, from the opening musical number, to the incredibly personal monologue addressing the fans and makers of the show, to the Jay Leno interview, and to the ending which manages to combine The Drew Carey Show with the finales of Newhart, St. Elsewhere, and The Sopranos all into one ending sketch. **Spoilers** So if The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson has all been in the mind of Mr. Wick this entire time, does that mean all the movies that the celebrities have been on to promote in the past 10 years are also in the mind of Mr. Wick? The last 10 years have just been Westphall'd. It was a great finale, but also sad in knowing that this is the last new episode of The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson that I'll ever see. At the same time, Craig has said that this is not retirement (he currently hosts the syndicated game show Celebrity Name Game), it's simply an opportunity to move on to new shows and tours. I can't wait to see what those will be, and I also hope we'll be seeing more of Geoff Peterson, Secretariat, and the rest of the group in the future. So until then, enjoy these moments of The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, not like any other late night show.