It’s always a refreshing surprise when you discover that a talented performer has even more talents with which to entertain you. Such is the way with Craig Ferguson who has entertained us for years as the effete English boss on The Drew Carey Show and will entertain us for years to come as the Emmy-nominated host of The Late, Late Show. Today Craig Ferguson reveals his hidden talent as stand-up comedian and while some of the bits aren’t quite solid and Ferguson doesn’t always kill, but when he does, he’s indistinguishable from the best stand-ups to grace the stage.
A Wee Bit O’ Revolution marks Craig Ferguson’s very first stand-up special and stand-up DVD. One couldn’t tell that from watching his performance, which mostly comes off as natural and confident. Ferguson only betrays a sliver of discomfort near the beginning of his act where he paces a manically and is reluctant to swear; it’s as if he’s gauging the audience to see if everyone will stand for cussing. Once Ferguson is warmed up, however, he’s completely in his element, interacting with the audience and going on tangents without forgetting his place in his set.
The quality of Ferguson’s routine runs the gamut of standard material to surprisingly fresh jokes. For starters, Ferguson falls back on the old standby anti-George W. Bush joke, just to make sure he’s accepted by the audience and hopefully using the last bit of mileage anti-Bush jokes have so that we never have to hear them again. Ferguson also gets the audience to relate to him by cracking a few jokes about his loopy mother. Once he knows that everyone’s on the same page, Ferguson is able to get into some fresh material, covering what it’s like to be a Scottish immigrant, his first experiences in America and some new takes on rehab.
A Wee Bit O’ Revolution truly shines when Ferguson discusses the entertainment industry. What makes this portion click is the fact that the audience sees Ferguson as an insider to an exciting world. So when he pokes fun at Oprah or the constant miscasting of Sean Connery, which admittedly runs a little long, or discusses his time as a struggling actor, it’s comedic gold, but mainly because Ferguson wisely keeps the jokes fun instead of mean spirited – minus a few cracks about Tom Cruise’s height.
Many entertainers want to believe that they can excel in various mediums. Some moonlight as racecar drivers while others sing or play in a band part-time. One entertainer even gave up acting altogether to put on dozens of pounds and become a rapper. Not everyone can be a successful crossover. Craig Ferguson is one of the few natural performers that can entertain across multiple media. Granted, he was wise enough to stay within familiar territory.
Bonus DVD Material
Speech at Boston’s historic Faneuil Hall: Having been newly made a citizen, Craig Ferguson delivers a rousing pro-America speech that is delightful to watch in these anti-American times.
Interview with Craig Ferguson: This interview alone justifies the purchase of the DVD. Craig Ferguson is an eloquent man and this interview proves that he’s naturally funny without having to be silly.