Craig Ferguson Is More Than A Comedian To Me


Late night television is in the midst of a huge shift. I’m sure there will be books written about this year and next that highlight all of the changes. Jay Leno left The Tonight Show, Jimmy Fallon became the host of The Tonight Show, Seth Meyers left Saturday Night Live to host Late Night, David Letterman announced his retirement on The Late Show, Stephen Colbert is leaving The Colbert Report to take over the The Late Show and another domino fell on Monday when Craig Ferguson announced that he is leaving CBS and The Late, Late Show.

All of these moves have made me feel some sort of emotion and, I assume I’m in the minority on this, the departure of Craig Ferguson is the one that hits me the most. Craig Ferguson has been my favorite comedian ever since I left the TV on after Letterman one night. I was hooked pretty quickly.

I can’t remember exactly what was going on during my first Late, Late Show experience, but I’m fairly sure Sid the Rabbit was there. Nothing gets the attention of a teenage boy like a high-pitched swearing puppet that was way too close to the television.

It takes a while to really ‘get’ Ferguson’s don’t-give-a-shit style, but once you get it, oh man, it’s the best ride on television.

Look at Ferguson at just a comedic skill level. Ferguson comes out every single night and virtually impovs a monologue. Sure, he has a couple talking points, but every other late night TV show has cue cards or a teleprompter telling the host exactly what to stay. Craig just doesn’t do that.

I could go on and on about Craig Ferguson. He completely changed the way that I look at comedy and life.

I don’t know if everyone has the realization that you don’t need to please everyone, but I did. I think I had the realization before I discovered Craig, but I know that he cemented the theory in my mind. Before the realization I thought that I needed everyone to love me and then I realized that that was a lot of work and I frankly didn’t care. I decided that I only cared what my family and a certain group of friends thought about me. It’s the best thing I ever realized.

Maybe this isn’t the exact outlook on life that Ferguson has, but I feel like it is. He doesn’t care, but there’s a glow about him when he talks about his boys or when he does a serious episode. Yes, Craig Ferguson is a comedian and has some weird conversations, but some of the most thought provoking television I have ever watched has been a Ferguson interviews.

I DVR’ed every episode of the Late, Late Show from my junior year of high school until I went to University of Minnesota for my freshman year and that was just because I wouldn’t have access to the DVR every night. I could watch him at 11:35 then, anyway.

To be honest, I’ve left Craig dangling a little bit. I’ve been conflicted ever since Seth Meyers took over Late Night. I’ve loved Meyers for longer than Ferguson and there are just not enough hours in the day, but I’ll make there is now.

Ferguson is leaving in December and I plan to watch every episode I can between now and then. This is the man that I can attribute a lot of my life upon. That sounds weird, but a comedian has taught me a lot. Maybe more than he should have.

His autobiography, American On Purpose, is my favorite book. He is the only comedian I have specifically gone to see. Ironically, I saw Craig Kilborn perform before a Timberwolves game before he left the Late, Late Shot.

I don’t know how to thank Craig for all that he has done for me because he’s done that much for me. He’s influenced my comedic voice and my voice as a human.

When I think back to Ferguson’s Late, Late Show I’ll think of a lot of things: Sid, Tweets and Emails, Geoff Peterson, Secretariat, Awkward Pauses, mouth organs, snake mugs, swearing on network TV, the flags/sound bites used to censor the swearing on network TV and how the commercials made the soundtrack to a summer of make out sessions. None of that will outshine the man whose name was in the title and who sang his own catchy theme song, another thing that I’ll never forget.

A lot of things are changing in the world of late night television, but my love for Craig Ferguson will never die. My own Sid the Rabbit puppet will be with me forever. Maybe someday Sid will freak out my future son’s girlfriend. This is the kind of thing that deserves to be a family tradition.


Eric Church Proves He’s A Badass, Fights Scalpers

Picture via:
Picture via:

Not that long ago, it was illegal to scalp tickets in the state of Minnesota. Everyone played by the same rules and paid face value for all ticketing wielding events from Twins to Theatre to Tina Turner Tickets. If you live in Minnesota and have ever tried to get into anything, specifically concerts, you know that it is now legal to scalp tickets in Minnesota and you pay nowhere near face value.

Minnesotans have noticed the ridiculousness of scalping and so has country music superstar Eric Church. On Friday, he issued a big ‘F U’ to scalpers. Church cancelled 902 scalped tickets to his September 16 show in Minneapolis and put them back on the market.

I have to say that I have never heard of this happening before. Typically, when tickets are on the market they are out of the control of the artist and his team. Apparently they still have some pull afterwards.

The posts on Church’s Facebook page and posts on Twin Cities radio stations announcing the coming of 902 more tickets was almost all positive. In fact, I only saw one negative comment which was nicely snipped by a fellow Facebooker calling the writer of a negative comment a scalper. Ah, Facebook wit.

The rerelease of these tickets will allow me to go to the show now with reasonable priced tickets at $57 a crack for lower bowl seating.

Eric Church has been a badass for a long time. It shows in his music being actual country music and he proved it in the way that he treated his fans in Minnesota. Bravo, Chief.

Now, if only a certain ex-Beatle that’s coming to Target Field in August would control the scalpers who are selling tickets to his show for over a grand before the tickets even go on sale to the general public, that would be great.

Power Ranking the Potential Acts at TCF Bank Stadium for July 2014

A view of the football field at TCF Bank Stadium during Gopher football.
A view of the football field at TCF Bank Stadium during Gopher football.

As a music geek, I love a good drum line. I find it pretty cool for a bunch of people with one type of instrument to make a whole song sound full. I’ll never love drumming more than I do than the fact that Drum Corps International has to move their annual date for their competition at TCF Bank Stadium on the campus of the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. Why? Per a press release, Drum Corps International was knocked off for ‘a major concert’.

This major concert will correlate with the MLB All-Star Game that will be occurring at Target Field in downtown Minneapolis this summer. A concert is fun and all, but the Star Tribune’s list of potential semi-educated guesses is what makes it fun.

The Strib points to Prince, Garth Brooks, Pearl Jam, Bruce Springsteen, Paul McCartney, and Kenny Chesney as the potential headliners at the second major concert to happen at The Bank.

I’m going to power rank who I want it to be and you won’t be surprised, but the thought of one out of 50% of this group happening is amazing.

6. Pearl Jam – I’m not a Pearl Jam guy. I haven’t listened to a lot of Pearl Jam. There is no Pearl Jam in my music library. Sorry, Pearl Jam.

5. Kenny Chesney – Kenny is extremely popular in the country music world, I know because I live there. Kenny has been to Minnesota two years in a row at Target Field, he doesn’t need to come again. Plus, currently Chesney has no tour plans for this summer making him a so-so candidate in the first place. If Kenny has a fantastic opening act, I’ll go. I like Kenny just not enough to break the bank.

4. Prince – The Strib pointed out that Prince hasn’t done a major show in Minnesota in a long time and it would be cool if he was the guy. I don’t know if I would pay super bucks to see Prince, but it’s a for sure sellout. Prince puts on a hell of a show apparently, too.

3. Bruce Springsteen – You know it’s a good list when I put Springsteen at number three. I love Bruce and if it’s Bruce, Lord knows that I’ll put a lot of good money down to see him again. Bruce is the live king and he’ll be on tour in America later this summer. This might make the most sense on an already on-tour basis. The Boss and the E Street Band just slip because of who else is on the list.

2. Paul McCartney – Sir Paul is one of the performers on my bucket list and, to paraphrase something Springsteen said in a recent interview, you can start to see the light at the end of the tunnel. McCartney isn’t going to be around forever, no less touring forever, and I want to see him before one of us leaves the game. The ex-Beatle is still figuring out 2014 tour plans, so this would be a good thing to start the setting of his plans.

1. Garth Brooks – I’ve been a Garth Brooks fan my whole life. I’m young enough though that by the time I was of concert going age that Garth Brooks had taken his hiatus to spend time with his girls in Oklahoma. I’m ready to see Garth. It’s one thing I’ve been looking forward to in my music loving career since I can remember, the problem is that this probably won’t be the venue. Garth will come to town, I’m 110% positive of that, but this is before his big she-bang in Ireland. The Strib points out this would be a good tune-up, but when Garth does something, he does it big. Other than maybe a couple more Vegas dates, I’d expect Garth to fire it up in Ireland and keep it trucking until the big rig runs out of fuel. I hope I’m wrong.

Update: The following from the Pioneer Press’ Charley Walters:

Contrary to rumors elsewhere, Bruce Springsteen will not be the concert’s performer. Neither will be Garth Brooks. Baseball is still considering concert performers. The show is expected to include multiple acts.

If it truly is going to be multiple acts, that means there’ll be little to no big names. Have fun with that lovers of mediocre bands.

House of Cards Just Doesn’t Care

Netflix released season two of their hit original House of Cards on Valentine’s Day and so far it’s amazing, as expected.

*There will be spoilers after this, so if you haven’t at least watched Chapter 14 (Season 2, Episode 1) I’d stop here*

A major part of Season 1 was the relationship between majority whip Frank Underwood (Kevin Spacey) and up-and-coming reporter Zoe Barnes (Kate Mara). They used each other for personal gains, had an affair, yadda yadda yadda. It was built up for Season 2 to see who would win between Zoe and Frank.

So the House of Cards team played this out over the whole season, right? Dead wrong. Dead wrong is dead right, actually.

Frank Underwood is no stranger to getting some blood on his hands. He had the same about of blood stains as rib stains in Season 1. Season 2 started with blood and major plot line blood.

It looked like Frank and Zoe were patching up their relationship which got a little shattered towards the end of Season 1. It looked like they would use each other once again to further themselves, with Frank now the Vice President of the United States. It looked like he was covering both of them when he had Zoe delete all of their texts and his contact info… Then he threw her in front of a train.

Yes! My reaction was a bunch of incoherent swear words and I figured House of Cards had instituted a dream sequence of some sorts, but nope. They killed off the second most important character from Season 1 in the first episode of Season 2.

That takes balls. That’s saying ‘we don’t give a damn what you think is going to happen, we’re going to do it our way’. I salute them for that.

I’m quite sadden it was Kate Mara because Kate Mara is a total cutie, but that’s beside the point.

The makers of House of Cards took the advice of their own main character and took matters into their own hands. They are nobody’s prisoner.

Bring On The Happy: My Excitement for The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon


As my last post illustrated, Jay Leno leaving Tonight was an emotional experience for me. Jay started crying and it took a lot for me not to join in his crying. Leno throwing it over to Garth Brooks to play ‘Friends In Low Places’ right after his emotional goodbye just made it even more reflective of my childhood. It’s time to move on, though.

On February 17, a new Tonight begins with Jimmy Fallon. Fallon is only 39-years-old putting him at an age that makes him seem like an older brother to the key demographic. That’s kind of how I see Jimmy. Not having an actual brother, I like to adopt celebrity brothers.

Fallon will instantly inject new life into The Tonight Show with his ever-ranging skillset. Fallon can do impressions, play guitar, sing, be adorable and just be an awesome guy. Jimmy Fallon would be a guy that you want to get stuck in an elevator with.

The Roots, his band, brings an added element to the show that no other late night band does. Jimmy can reference a song and within a matter of seconds The Roots, as a whole, can be playing along with Jimmy. That’s insane and seems usually impromptu.

Announcer Steve Higgins is also a total hoot and is guaranteed to retire about three times a week after nailing a joke, only to retire seconds later after typically getting ‘mugged’.

I’m excited as all get out for a new late night beginning. It’s only been two and an eighth guys in the two main shows for my whole life. Jay Leno hosted Tonight 22 years, David Letterman is on year 21 at The Late Show and, of course, Conan O’Brien held Tonight for about a half-year. It’s time for the new generation and Jimmy Fallon is the man for the job.

Fallon moving to Tonight also gives us five nights of Seth Meyers a week on Late Night which I’m also super excited about, but that’s a whole other rant.