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Burns & Gambo

Updated Mar 20, 2013 - 10:33 am

Yes, this is really on television right now

AP Photo /Jennifer Graylock

And even more surprising, its on CBS, known for a more conservative audience. What "it" is, is a 50-year-old Scottish-born, former alcohol and drug addict (sober for 20 years)/punk rock drummer and guitarist/stand-up comedian/actor/writer, along with his gay robot skeleton and pantomime horse. This, ladies and gentlemen, is "The Late, Late Show with Craig Ferguson," weeknights at 11:35pm on CBS 5, right after Letterman.

Never heard of it? You probably live a normal life. For me, who works nights, Ferguson has been my outlet for the past 9+ years.

It is, at once, the funniest and stupidest thing on TV, hence the above headline, which is spoken, on occasion, by the host himself. Every night, The show commences with Craig's trademark "It's a great day for America." A phrase that has special meaning for him since becoming an American Citizen in 2008.

The Late, Late Show plays fast and loose with the late-night talk-show formula. Yes, there are guests, who are funnier with Craig than any other interviewer. He brings it out of them. Yes, there is a monologue, but not-so-much ripped from today's headlines as twisted and wrung out from today's minutiae.

That's where all similarities end. Craig himself has stated that his main motivation behind doing the show is to "deconstruct" the late-night genre. And he does that with a fervor. He is often bleeped. But even that is done with his own special flavor. Foreign-sounding phrases and flags of many nations cover up the offending orifice, to add even more goofiness.

Then there's Geoff Peterson, Ferguson's gay robot skeleton side-kick. Possibly THE cleverest and most talented side-kick there ever was. Geoff stands affixed to a podium off to the left side of the set and operated by Josh Robert Thompson, offstage. His only movements are a skull that goes left and right, a jaw that opens and closes and a right arm that can flail a few vertical degrees. It's what comes out of his skull that will have you rolling. Jokes, come-backs, an impressive array of impersonations and the perfect compliment to the already quick-witted host.

Then there's the horse: the one and only(?) Secretariat. Two interns in a horse outfit. Nothing brings the studio audience to their feet, like when Secretariat comes out of his stall and starts dancing with Craig.

Craig should be no stranger to you. He appeared on The Drew Carey Show for years in the role of Nigel Wick. Craig has an impressive list of film credits, on screen and as a voice actor. Most recently, he was the voice of Lord Macintosh in the Academy Award winning animated film, "Brave." He is a Peabody Award winner and best-selling author, not to mention a multiple Grammy nominated comedian.

A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of seeing a taping of the show and was extremely impressed at what a well-oiled machine it was. I think it takes less time to tape, than it does to actually watch it later that night. Which I highly recommend you do. Watch it, that is. Like I said earlier, I've been hooked for quite some time and it never gets old.

His latest stand-up special, "Craig Ferguson: I'm Here To Help," made exclusively for Netflix, made its debut this past Friday. It's a laugh riot, but be warned, some of the language and topics may not be suitable for younger viewers.

Visit to check out past episodes.

About the Author

I was born on a secluded island off the North Atlantic that the Lenape Tribe called Manna-hatta. My earliest memory was being smacked on the butt to the sounds of "That'll Be The Day" by Buddy Holly & The Crickets. It was then I decided to get into radio.

Fast forward 20 years and failed attempts at becoming an astronaut and professional baseball player.

Like Bruce Springsteen before me, I was asked to leave Ocean County College, but not before I made my mark on the radio station there. Actually more like several cigarette burns on the carpet. My professional radio career began at a small station in Ship Bottom, NJ, followed by stops in Atlantic City, Philadelphia, Columbus, New York City and finally winding up in Phoenix.

The best part about what I do for a living? It has never felt like work, especially at 98.7 The Peak. Great people, fantastic music and the best listeners in The Valley. Plus, I get paid!

When I'm not on the radio, I like to spend time with my wife and dogs, eat bacon cheeseburgers or spaghetti, and watch X-Files or West Wing DVDs.

I'm on the air weeknights at 7. Don't be a stranger. Text 411987.


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