Craig Ferguson hosted The Late Late Show for the last time this past Friday, and although it has been a well-known fact that that Ferguson’s late night talk show has never had a band, his final show was kicked off by an impressive musical number, reports Entertainment Weekly. The piece consisted of an assembly of nearly 50 celebrities, all of whom had been guests of Craig’s show at one time or another, and included such notables as Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, Quentin Tarantino, and Kristen Bell. The grouping of former guests on hand for Ferguson’s farewell performed Dead Man Fall’s “Bang Your Drum” and, yes, drum banging was included in the performance.
Craig Ferguson will be widely missed, even with The Late Late Show‘s early morning time slot, and many of Ferguson’s fans cite his honesty and likeable character as the most compelling reasons for the show’s longevity. Mr. Ferguson spoke of his desire to create something new and to ingratiate himself not just to his viewers, but also to a society of which he longed to become a member. To that end, Craig made his U.S. citizenship test and oath a part of his show in 2008.
“Really, the show belongs to you… and I hope you keep it, because I’m done with it,” Ferguson said of his departure.
Long time fans of Ferguson’s late show were treated to the usual bits that has made The Late Late Show such a success. The reading of tweets and emails, a final dance with Secretariat, and, of course, Ferguson’s robotic co-host Geoff (voiced by Josh Robert Thompson) were all parts of this final episode, just as they had been long-time favorites of viewers throughout Craig’s run as the host of this unique talk show.
Fans of Newhart will have recognized the closing skit in which Ferguson woke up in a bed beside Drew Carey. Viewers of Bob Newhart’s comedy would remember that he ended his show with the similar realization that the eight season run of Newhart had been a dream, according to Newsday.
“I must tell you,” Ferguson told Carey, “it was the most extraordinary dream. I was the host of a late night talk show and you were the host of a daytime game show.”
Craig Ferguson was joined by long time friend, Jay Leno. The former host of The Tonight Show urged Ferguson to reconsider his departure, thanking him for his decency and professionalism.
“You’ve been a good friend to me, you always were fair. You didn’t join the late-night talk show little snippy club”
While it seemed Craig Ferguson was genuinely appreciative of his viewers and his years as host of The Late Late Show, it also seemed as though he was quite ready to move on and to explore new possibilities.
“I want to make this clear…I’m not retiring, I’m stopping doing this.”
A recent episode of The Late Late Show treated viewers to a Christmas dance involving Ferguson, Betty White, and a hippo.