The finale of “The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson” aired the night of December 19. The cold open started with a montage of Craig and many, many famous friends banging on drums while lip syncing the song “Bang Your Drum” by the Scottish band Dead Man Fall. Halfway through the song, the director cut to the studio. Craig stood on his desk and took over the vocals while robot Geoff Peterson, Secretariat, a band, and a gospel choir joined him onstage. Ferguson started his career in show business as a drummer for a punk band so this sort of signified coming full circle.
Ferguson seemed happy to during the monologue. He acknowledged that the main reason why his show became what it was had to do with the viewers:
“The people that have come on the show and the people that worked on the show are fantastic, but really the show belongs to you and I want you to keep it. I’m done with it…I’m not retiring. I’m stopping doing this. I’m not stopping doing it. I’ll still do it to you. I might do it earlier, I might do it in a different place.”
Thank you Craig for remaining being a cheeky, naughty boy until the end of the series. He did say on a serious note, “I think that what was more overwhelming than anything else in the experience of doing this show was making a connection with a country which I became a part of. It’s astonishing to me.” Ferguson became a U.S. citizen about halfway through his ten year run on late night television.
Craig did one last “Tweets and Emails” segment that was, as always, introduced by Geoff the robot, “Time to take advice from a man that I owe my entire career to, have great admiration for, and is the father of my children.” The man behind the robot is Josh Robert Thompson and Craig said during the final monologue that he is his partner in the show in many ways. He introduced Josh during the cold opening of the penultimate episode.
Craig’s final guest was Jay Leno. The two joked about having a lot of free time on their hands now.
The final segment was an homage to three television series finales of the past. After revealing the Bob Newhart was in the Secretariat costume, they went to a scene of Craig as Mr. Wick, his character from “The Drew Carey Show”, in bed with Drew Carey in a direct tribute to the way “Newhart” ended like it was all a part of the character from “The Bob Newhart Show”. The camera panned to a snowglobe with Craig, Geoff, and Secretariat figures inside in a reference to the finale of “St. Elsewhere” that showed it was all in the imagination of an autistic kid looking at a snowglobe. The third tribute was from the final episode of “The Sopranos”. The Journey song, “Don’t Stop Believin'” was playing then abruptly came to a stop.
“The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson” was a true original of late night talk shows. It was experimental until the end and the comedy reached levels of surrealism not previously seen in late night. Ferguson intended to deconstruct the format of a late night talk show and succeeded with flying colors.