Craig Ferguson: The King of Late Night Makes Merry at Massey Hall

“Does it need to be said? Does it need to be said by me? Does it need to be said by me now?” ~ Photo by Ekaterina Ryabova

Live Performance Review
Show: Craig Ferguson
Venue: Massey Hall
Where: Toronto, Ontario
When: April 23, 2009
Stars: 4.5

I am a member of the Robot Skeleton Army. I’m not a t-shirt wearing member, but I am one all the same. For those of you who are thinking, “WTF?!” This means that I’m a faithful follower of The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson to the point that I follow @CraigyFerg on Twitter (check da tweets!) along with his legion of hollowed out volcano dwellers. Last night I had the almost phantasmagorical pleasure of attending Craig’s 9:30 pm stand-up comedy show at Massey Hall in Toronto and 8 hours after I crashed last night, my face still aches from laughing and my retinas are still burning from the sight of him in tight white jeans, blue t-shirt and black leather jacket.

My friend Teresa and I arrived in Toronto before 6:00 pm, in time to join the line-up of die-hard fans gathered around the stage door of

@MFLoyalBekah, @Fergusonlicious and @ScullyLovePromo outside stage door at Massey Hall

Massey Hall on Victoria Street, waiting for a glimpse of Craig and hoping to hit pay dirt by getting him to autograph their copies of American On Purpose and pose for a photo with them. Teresa humoured me and we united with them and stood there for almost an hour praying for the same opportunity. I met some incredibly sweet and dedicated young fans who over the course of the evening must have waited for him for 4 hours only to have him slip out a different exit and escape without having to talk to them. I’m not that dedicated, but then again, I’m 46 years old and tired; but I have to say that my heart broke a little for them. Bekah was wearing her Robot Skeleton Army t-shirt and holding a Wavy the crocodile puppet (which I coveted) and her friends clasped their copies of American on Purpose to their chests and waited ever so patiently. I also met a lovely woman of my own age who came from St. Catharine’s by herself, courtesy of her husband’s birthday gift to her, and told me that Craig read her email on the show. Fans certainly know the significance of that!

The all-ages audience crammed themselves into the atrocious, 18”, dirty, torn seats at the once glorious Massey Hall and was treated to an unparalleled evening of jocularity.

Ferguson’s regular warm-up man, Randy Kagan, opened the show with his own intro, singing Craig’s praises. “Craig’s a great guy but the bastard forced me to get sober!” Kagan admitted to being a weed addict who got stoned every single day for the past 20 years and commented that it was ironic that he was now in Canada, a country with a leaf on its flag, and he couldn’t get high. After 92 days of sobriety, he seemed to struggle to find his comfort zone with the audience, consulting note cards left on a stool to keep him on track. He was very funny for

Poor quality iPhone photo of me with Randy Kagan

much of his act which covered bits about women with all their piercings and orifices; his attraction for grandmas; his girlfriend’s Feng Shui habit which to him means “gullible round eye” and makes him feel like he’s paying a lot of “pussy tax”; and the trials of being “fame adjacent.” He declared that while Craig goes for expensive Swedish massages, he can’t afford them so he has a German massage instead: “a kick in the balls and a strudel.” He also riffed about gays and the fact that they should have their own state as well as sex and midgets and other somewhat off-colour topics. He sometimes pushed the taste envelope just a bit too far and the audience didn’t know whether to laugh or moan. This is, after all, CANADA, and we are very polite, multicultural and tolerant here (but we don’t actually eat only bacon and maple syrup).

Next up, Chris Saladin pranced out onto the stage wearing his leather S&M outfit from the show while playing the flute, followed by a saxophone touting Jeff Arnold and then Craig joined them for a bit of lip synching song and dance before announcing, “It’s a great day for Canada everybody!”

Craig immediately questioned his decision to wear white jeans, claiming that he looked like a gay painter and then quickly instigated his cuss-happy routine while proclaiming that there would be no “ooh la las” censoring him tonight.

He talked about his love of Canada and cussing, the strange heavy metal band called Stag that he was in when he was 15 that was so uncool it had a clarinet player (him), and his son following him around the house with a swear jar. He compared his own sex education in Scotland (a Scottish gynecologist won’t even talk about sex!) to his 9-year-old son’s and admitted that he’s very old fashioned about sex and then went on to revisit the glee in being a late night talk show host whose job it is to joke about Hollywood sex scandals. He covered Tiger Woods, Kevin Costner, and David Letterman (“David, you just had open heart surgery and you’re banging the staff? You magnificent bastard!”) before changing the subject to Hollywood egos and why Kate Winslet will never be on his show. He revisited the famous Fabio goose incident and declared that he can prove the existence of God: Sigfried and Roy! Two gay, Austrian, lion tamers who meet and fall in love…”What are the odds of that?!”

From the dangers of sex tapes to why he loves Larry King: “…because he doesn’t give a fuck! He’ll look you in the eye, fart, and doesn’t even break eye contact!” to the miracle that is 91-year-old Andy Rooney, Googling himself, his psychic parents, and the three questions one should consider before posting crap on the internet that took him three marriages to learn to ask: “Does it need to be said? Does it need to be said by me? Does it need to be said by me now?”

The show ended far too soon in my opinion (or was it just the fact that time flies when you’re laughing until your face aches?) with a merriment-inducing reenactment by Ferguson, Saladin and Arnold of the infamous Britney Spears’ “Oops I Did It Again” lip-synching number on the LLS. Sadly, no amount of cries of don’t go could bring Ferguson back for more.

Craig Ferguson’s standup is often repetitive of his LLS monologues but much spicier without the censors and his energy and charm is so electrifying that you can’t take your eyes off him. There’s a good reason why he’s the King of late night television and everyone who saw his shows in Toronto last night knows exactly why.

Souvenir purchased from a Toronto street artist and sadly not signed by Craig!

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15 comments

  1. Teresa McDonell · April 24, 2010

    Christine, we sure had a great time, didn’t we, standing and waiting at the stage door before and after the show and all. We had good food and company and met some really nice people, that’s what it is all about. And Yes, I am now a FAN of CRAIG FERGUSON. Cheers. Teresa

    • scullylovepromo · April 26, 2010

      Teresa, I owe everything about this post to you. 🙂 Thank you so much from the bottom of my heart. Your heart is as big as Craig reports his p***s to be! I’m so glad that he’s found a new fan in you. xox

  2. Kim Berry · April 25, 2010

    Hi Christine!
    Thanks for your review of Craig’s show in Toronto! Sounds like a GREAT time!
    I can’t wait to see him again! Craig Ferguson at The Pabst Theatre in Milwaukee Wisconsin! 😉 Woohooo! 🙂

    • scullylovepromo · April 26, 2010

      Hi Kim! You’re welcome and I hope to hear about the Milwaukee show from you! Enjoy!!

  3. Kate · April 25, 2010

    Great story about Craig’s show! Thank you for sharing with the rest of his love-starved folowers!

    • scullylovepromo · April 26, 2010

      You’re so welcome Kate! If you do a search on my blog, you can find a few other posts about Craig that I’ve written as well. I hope you get to see him at a stand-up show soon!

      • Kate · April 26, 2010

        My best sister-friend has already promised a ticket to one of Craig’s mid-Atlantic shows in October, as an early birthday present. I’m very happy right now!

  4. Michelle · April 25, 2010

    Great review! I was at the 7:00 show, and he was wonderfully hilarious. Everyone in the hall seemed to love Craig’s pants, except Craig himself. 😀 My mum and I (I’m 17) are faithful RSA members, but my dad doesn’t watch LLS, so he was at a loss for words when Chris and Jeff came out on stage first.

    Randy did seem quite uncomfortable. In the 7:00 show, they didn’t give him a stool, so he carried around his cue cards, making him even more awkward. But Kagan was quite funny, despite of a number of somewhat insensitive remarks.

    I wish I could relive the night again! After waiting for weeks to go, it was over way too quickly.

    • scullylovepromo · April 26, 2010

      Thank you for your comment, Michelle! I, too, wish I could relieve the night again! I wish I could have gone to every show on this tour but I have to try to make my own living. I’ll go to see him again sometime, for sure!

  5. Kate · April 25, 2010

    Loved the show!

    Actual quote was:
    Does it need to be said.
    Does it need to be said by me.
    Does it need to be said by me now.

    • scullylovepromo · April 25, 2010

      Thank you so much Kate for setting me straight on the quote, I really appreciate it! I was very tired when I originally posted the blog. I’ve corrected it now.

  6. greyblue_eyes · April 26, 2010

    Did he mention the hamsters following him? Or was that just an ad lib in his Clearwater show? I feel bad for Randy, he did really well at the show I went to last month.

  7. scullylovepromo · April 26, 2010

    Hi greyblue_eyes,

    I don’t think Randy mentioned hamsters following him at the show I was at…I don’t remember him saying that anyway. He’s probably just trying to find his way now that he’s sober and it can’t be easy. He’s funny, there’s no doubt about that! He’ll get more comfortable again with time.

    • greyblue_eyes · April 26, 2010

      Hi scullylovepromo,

      I meant it was Craig talking about how as he ages, his…um…”hamsters” are dropping. He said something like he was trying to get away but looked back and they were following him. (My retelling does it no justice, the crowd was screaming laughing.)

      As for Randy, I saw him on the Green Collar comedy show on Showtime this weekend and he did great, but then I noticed the date it was recorded, and subtracting 92 days, it was pre-sobriety. Got to give him credit for persevering, and at least he’s with someone who can relate. I wish him well, one day at a time.

      • scullylovepromo · April 26, 2010

        Ooohhh…yes, I do remember Craig making reference to the fact that his testicles are dropping! LOL We all laughed like crazy throughout that bit!

        I bought Randy’s DVD but I haven’t watched it yet so I’m looking forward to doing so and it will be interesting to see if I notice a big difference. He certainly is with someone who can relate!

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