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Friday, February 23, 2007

Not even a Scots accent makes alcoholism funny
Posted by Jill | 8:35 AM
Props to Craig Ferguson, who already showed last Friday on Real Time with Bill Maher that he can be thoughtful and serious, and risked career suicide on Monday by using his monologue and his own history to call into question the whole cottage industry of making fun of troubled celebrities:

I've always liked Ferguson. Part of it is that I have a weakness for Scottish accents dating back to Ewan McGregor in Shallow Grave and Billy Connolly's standup days, talking about the airline pilot who's always named Nigel. There's a reason for Mike Myers' accent as Shrek, and that's because there's something about the speech cadences of Scotland that are just innately funny. Part of it is that he's kind of dashingly, craggily handsome, of course, but it seems I was on to something. Ferguson has taken a lot of crap for his show, for unknown reasons, since he was, after all, replacing the Jackass Known As Craig Kilborn. But this is a truly extraordinary monologue. Note how the audience continues to laugh like Pavlov's dogs at the mere mention of Britney Spears' name, until they realize what Ferguson is doing -- and then he proceeds to leaven the seriousness by poking fun at not Spears', but his own alcoholism.

Ferguson deserves all the applause and all the cards and letters to the CBS brass that we can write. Because this was a brave, fearless, and unforgettable piece of work.

UPDATE: Apparently choosing NOT to make fun of a celebrity is a Very Big Deal.


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