Entries tagged with: Craig Ferguson
interview by Jonathan Dick
After a decade of providing an alternate and award-winning perspective on the late night show's formula of acerbic wit, topical humor, and the blessedly obligatory absurdist tendencies, Craig Ferguson stepped down last year as the host of The Late Late Show. An immediate anomaly amongst his contemporaries, Ferguson's role as host was defined by a narrative that was as unabashedly honest as it was hilarious. The Scotland native took a different approach to what's often a pessimistic, self-loathing MO for the late night context, choosing instead to disarm otherwise gut wrenching realities by telling stories both from his own personal life as well as those from multiple lives ranging from the famous to the infamous to the wonderfully normal. Since leaving The Late Late Show, Ferguson has signed on to star as an agoraphobe who leaves his apartment for the first time in 11 years in a pilot for ABC, The King of 7B.
In the meantime, the quick-witted and incredibly charming comedian who made his start in standup is currently on the road with his Hot and Grumpy Tour: Walking the Earth tour, which includes three shows at Town Hall, starting tonight (3/6). He was originally supposed to play last night (Thursday, 3/5) but that show was moved to Saturday (3/7) at 10 PM. There's a 7 PM show on Saturday, too, and tickets to all three are still avaialable. Some other dates on his tour have been rescheduled due to The King of 7B, and all are listed below.
Ahead of these shows, we talked to Ferguson about the tour, the new pilot, his time working as a bouncer at legendary East Village club Save the Robots, and more.
I wanted to ask you about the new show you've got lined up, The King of 7B. Going from something that's seemingly a bit looser like The Late Late Show to something that's a bit more scripted and focused like a television series, was there a bit of a challenge for you with that transition or was the change fairly natural?
Strangely enough, going into the idea of a pilot - should this show be picked up because you never know with these things - but if it gets picked up and then it goes on a journey into who knows where the hell it ends up, I mean, it's scripted but then an open-ended story, whereas late night for all its freedom is not an open-ended story. You're doing a monologue, you're doing some sketches, you've got a couple of guests, and then this and that. No matter how much freedom you can create for yourself within that with your Robot Skeleton or your fake horse, it's very constricted, whereas going into a story which begins with a man who's facing a crisis and should that story be opened up and goes to series and the series goes on for a length of time, you don't know where it's gonna go. So I feel like it's more open-ended. In the construction of it, it's more scripted absolutely, but that's fine because the people who are writing it are very, very close to that script. (Laughs)
Craig Ferguson is in his final month as host of CBS's The Late Late Show. What will he do with his upcoming free time? Well, he hasn't said yet but some touring is probably on the way. A full set of dates hasn't been announced yet, but we do know he'll play three nights at NYC's Town Hall on March 5 - 7. Tickets for those NYC shows go on AmEx presale today (12/3) at noon with the public on-sale starting at noon on Friday (12/5).
What about The Late Late Show? Ferguson's replacement, British actor and comedian James Corden will take over starting March 9, 2015. Until then, CBS will fill the void with a string of guest-hosts, including Judd Apatow, Jim Gaffigan, Wayne Brady, Will Arnett, Thomas Lennon, Kunal Nayyar, Billy Gardell, Sean Hayes and, uh, John Mayer. Drew Carey will be the first up, hosting January 5 - 9.
by Klaus Kinski
August is more than half over, the hottest July ever is behind us, September is around the corner, I can hear October's footsteps slowly trudging up the stairs. Fall and it's cool weather cannot get here fast enough, but until then here are some good comedy things happening that will hopefully make what remaining ball-danglingly hot and humid days are yet to be endured a little more tolerable.
Before I mention some cool shows, I must acknowledge the fact that there are hundreds of great comedy things happening every freaking week in this awesome city, but I don't have the time or the resources to even scratch the surface. My contributions to BV are completely erratic at best and I tend to stick with what I know and like. If you want to know what is happening in NYC comedy on a particular day, you gotta get hip to this dude Hy Bender and his site Best New York Comedy. The site is updated daily and features a super exhaustive look at what is happening in the NYC comedy world that particular day. The site is updated religiously. Forget tour dates, show reviews, pics, exhaustive commentary, snarky comments and crap like that.... It is your daily comedy itinerary and it scares me how on top of his shit this guy is. Anywhoozle...
Don't let his show fool you; late night talk show host Craig Ferguson is actually a pretty f-ing funny stand up comedian; definitely worth checking out if you've got the means. He's doing a ton of fairly expensive, large venue dates in October, one of which happens to be at Radio City Music Hall on October 6th. Tickets, which fall in a price range from $53.40 to a whopping $96.35 are currently on sale. However, I am going to assume you've got credit debt and student loans to worry about, so I am happy to report we are giving a pair of tickets away to one lucky winner. Instructions on how to try and win are waaayyyyyy down below.
On Saturday August 18th, the great Greg Barris brings his wondrous feast for the senses, Heart Of Darkness, to the cool and windowless confines of Union Hall's basement. Hosted By Greg Barris, the show will feature comedian Kate Berlant musical act The Bowery Riots, and Mind Warrior Daniel Pinchbeck as well as music by The Forgiveness. HOD is not just some straight-up comedy show; it is literally an incredibly engaging live experience that will wake your ass up and get you thinking, man. If you are in Philadelphia and happen to be reading this, Heart Of Darkness invades your town TONIGHT, August 16th, at Underground Arts. Part of the Heart of Darkness Summer Forgiveness Tour 2012, the show will feature Greg Barris, New Beard, Corrupt Autopilot, Wigmaker's Son, and Yazan. Philly, you are in for a treat. Take a break from your Toynbee Tile investigations for a night and check this shit out.
The following night (Sunday August 19th), at the same place, Union Hall, Klaus favorite Greg Johnson brings his show Greg Johnson - Live: One Night Only! to what I can only assume will be a sold out audience. At the show Greg performs stand up comedy, along with a few very special guests, one night only. $5 tickets are still available but the last installment sold out and I betcha this one will too. Greg is one of my favorite comedians in NYC and he is also one of the most painfully overlooked ones out there. You gotta go.
Then on Tuesday August 21st, the hilarious Gabe Delahaye brings his monstrous comedy showcase The Mr. Coconuts Comedy Show to Union Hall's basement for yet another staggering showcase. The show will bring to the stage Gabe Liedman, Max Silvestri, Greg Johnson, Dan St. Germain, David Rees, Jessi Klein, and John Mulaney. I'd like to think that if Darrell Sheets knew anything about comedy and saw that line-up he'd say "That line-up's a 50 dollar bill all day long." BUT it's only 10 bucks! As of writing it is, predictably, sold out. But keep your eyes on ticketweb for last minute ticket releases (if there are any)(not likely)(but not impossible) OR just show up the night of the show and hope some loser's +1 didn't show up or some comedy dignitary who has a freebie awaiting him or her doesn't show up and snag their vacancy.
Oh yeah, also, I almost forgot! Tom Shillue's Funny Story returns to Brooklyn Brewery on Thursday August 23rd with guests Jessi Klein, Lisa Delarios, and Trace Crutchfield. Tickets are CHEAP and you get a nice, cold, free beer!
Union Hall's big brother/big sister venue The Bell House is no stranger to epic comedy. The first not-to-be-missed event is on Friday, August 24 a fundraiser for the always incredible Eugene Mirman Comedy Festival. The event is called Bring Your Checkbook: The Eugene Mirman Comedy Festival Fundraiser and, as the title states, is a fundraiser in support of the upcoming Eugene Mirman Comedy Festival which will invade Brooklyn September 14-16. The fundraiser will feature a cocktail reception from 7pm - 8pm as well as an AMAZING raffle and silent auction. At 8:30pm an epic show will commence featuring Eugene Mirman, Brendan Small (!) from METALOCALYPSE and a TON of other guests who I am not able to divulge but who will knock your socks off. Like, you won't believe it. Tickets are $25 and are currently onsale. You will not believe what prizes and guests are in store for you, so I wouldn't put off buying a ticket because it's gonna sell out and no emoticon in the world will adequately express how f-ing bummed you will be.
Blasting ahead a bit, the Bell House will play host to two other awesome comedy events, one of which is already sold out! The show is called The Thrilling Adventure Hour and it's basically a staged show in the style of old-timey radio. The cast features Paul F. Tompkins, Paget Brewster, John Hodgman, Busy Philipps and James Urbaniak (!). The show takes place on Sunday September 30th at 7:30pm and 10:00pm. The 7:30pm show is SOLD OUT, but there are a handful of tickets left to the 10:00pm show, so get on this now son.
Oh, and don't forget: On Wednesday October 17th you can catch a live taping of the ever so wonderful Julie Klausner's podcast How Was Your Week? at The Bell House with house band Ted Leo and friends. Tickets are available!
Video from David Letterman, Craig Ferguson and Carson Daly, below...
Phosphorescent @ the Bell House in 2009 (more by Ryan Barkan)
tonight in NYC
* It is It @ Pianos
* Whiplash @ UCB
* Ratt @ Irving Plaza
* Chicha Libre @ Barbes
* Mike Birbiglia @ Union Hall
* Ricky Gervais @ Hunter College
* Phosphorescent @ Other Music
* Aqualung, Krista Polvere @ City Winery
* Magnetic Fields movie @ the Bell House
* Ane Brun, Olof Arnalds @ Bowery Ballroom
* Reverend Vince Anderson & His Love Choir @ Union Pool
* The Joy Formidable & She Keeps Bees @ Mercury Lounge
* Crash Ensemble plays Donnacha Dennehy, David Lang and Terry Riley @ (Le) Poisson Rouge
* Silya, Debbie Miller, Sam Bisbee, The Last 55s, Jim Campilongo Electric Trio @ The Living Room
Phosphorescent is at Other Music tonight and play Union Pool tomorrow.
The Joy Formidable play Mercury Lounge tonight, and you can catch them live on the Internet at noon.
Local Natives made their late night television debut on Craig Ferguson the other day. Video below...
words & photos by Dominick Mastrangelo
A small group huddled around Kenny McKeeve and Gavin Dunbar not long after Camera Obscura's sold-out show at the Music Hall of Williamsburg on Sunday night (11/22). One globe-trotting fan from Toronto had recently seen and met the band in Barcelona and Glasgow on their recent tour across Europe prompting McKeeve to quip, "You've clocked a lot of miles, haven't you?"
Yet, the same could be said for Camera Obscura. It's hard to think of 2009 as a breakthrough year for a band that's been around in some form since 1996 with several critically-hailed records under its belt. But that's precisely what it was. They produced one of the finest records in 2009 - My Maudlin Career (4AD) - crossing the globe almost non-stop in support. They sold out four shows in New York City in venues of various sizes, made their US late-night television debut (video below), turned out three smartly done videos and still have more touring lined up at the start of next year.
The band showed no effects of their exhaustive schedule on Sunday. And there were several stretches where leadsinger Tracyanne Campbell could have not sung at all such was the crowd's voice on several of the songs, most notably, "French Navy". "Good singing," said Campbell after the song.
The crowd, which spanned from scenesters to indie pop kids and beyond, shook off pretensions and danced to all the upbeat numbers like "Honey In The Sun" and "Let's Get Out of This Country" while couples swayed and held onto each other during slower songs like "James" and "Pen and Notebook." It was timeless pop executed in winning fashion by a band performing at the top of their game.
On December 8th...
...they will be releasing a holiday single [via 4AD]! 'The Blizzard' will be available as a 7" & digital single with the album track 'Swans' as the b-side. 'The Blizzard' is a pretty dour song as far as "holiday" tunes are concerned. It was written by country artist Jim Reeves and is about a gentleman trying to get home to a gal named Mary Anne. He's riding a lame pony in a blizzard, and, well - it doesn't have a happy ending. He ends up just 100 yards short - ie: freezing to death before he gets there.That's the cover art there to the right. Listen to "The Blizzard" in a YouTube below.
Papercuts is on tour with the band until December 3rd and opened this Brooklyn show. More pictures, the CO setlist, and all dates, below...
Their first four albums had a hard-driving sound that occasionally flirted with rockabilly and blues; one critic suggests that X "were not just one of the greatest punk bands, but one of the greatest live rock acts of all time." By the time of their fifth album, Ain't Love Grand!, the band had taken a more mainstream hard rock-oriented direction, and began to appear on shows such as American Bandstand. X, however, had previously appeared on television for a 1984 performance on Late Night with David Letterman. [Wikipedia]Last time members of legendary West Coast punk band X were in NYC town, it was just "Exene Cervenka and John Doe of X". They played shows at Joe's Pub and Music Hall of Williamsburg in January. Next time it will be the full band, at Bowery Ballroom, and for three nights in a row. Tickets for the May 29-31 shows go on sale Friday ($27 / $75 3 day ticket). All dates, and video from their recent appearance on Craig Ferguson, below...
photos by Zach Dilgard
"Somewhere around 10 p.m. (give or take 5-7 minutes) the Wu Tang Clan finally takes the stage. Pretty much everyone who I could recognize (Method Man, Ghostface Killah, etc.) was there, though I don't know what each and every member looks like, so I can't say for sure that every key member made the show.Actually that recap is slightly wrong - Ghost wasn't there, but pretty much everyone else was - even RZA. There was also GZA (Genius), U-God, Inspectah Deck, Masta Killah, Cappadonna, Allah Mathematics, and Raekwon. More pictures and another review from last night's show (12/23), and a Christmas video featuring RZA, below...
Wu made sure to perform a bunch of their most well-known hits, including "C.R.E.A.M.," "Method Man," and "Wu-Tang Clan Ain't Nuthing ta F' Wit."
As I heard he tends to do, Method Man made sure to crowd-surf for a while.
The group also shouted out Old Dirty Bastard. And ODB's mom was at the show and came on stage, saying hello to the crowd for a second. They also did a bit of "Shimmy Shimmy Ya."..." [Inside Hoops]
Free Health Care
Craig Ferguson explains the whole thing really well before this taped No Age performance that aired last night...
Aug 27, 06:00 PM Comedy Central Presents in New York City: Anthony Jeselnik, Doug BensonThat's a sample of the things you can get free tickets for.
Aug 29, 06:00 PM Comedy Central Presents in New York City: John Mulaney, Kristen Schaal
Sep 06, 05:00 PM Family Feud
Sep 09, 03:30 PM Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson: Amanda Congdon. The Ting Tings
Sep 10, 03:30 PM Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson: Alice Cooper
by Klaus Kinski
Louis CK suprise appearance @ Pianos (more by Bao Nguyen)
The 2008 New York Comedy Festival is not until November 5-9, but tickets for lots of the shows start going on sale August 7th. The festival boasts some pretty massive talent, but the festival also boasts some enormous venues and somewhat hefty ticket prices. Individually, the tickets prices might not be so bad. But when you want to see 4 or 5 of these shows the overall cost (with fees) is a bit crippling. Some highlights of the Festival include:
- 11/6 - Louis CK - Town Hall
- 11/7 - An Evening with Craig Ferguson - Town Hall
- 11/8 - Sarah Silverman and Friends - Hammerstein Ballroom
- 11/8 - Tracy Morgan - Apollo Theater
- 11/9 - BJ Novak and Friends - Town Hall
"We're thrilled to celebrate the fifth year of the New York Comedy Festival with such a talented and hilarious group of performers who are on the leading edge of the comedy business," said Caroline Hirsch, co-founder of the Festival and owner of Carolines on Broadway. "We are also very excited to launch a multi-year partnership with COMEDY CENTRAL, and look forward to working with them to extend the Festival's audience even further and to provide even more content and programming through COMEDY CENTRAL's various media platforms."
DOWNLOAD: Grand Archives - Torn Blue Foam Couch (MP3)
Sera Cahoone @ Sub Pop SXSW 2008 (more by Ryan Muir)
"How far will this thing go? And what the heck do we call it?Grand Archives @ Sasquatch 2008 (more by Chris Graham)
To answer the first question we need to look at the scene's origins. In the beginning, there were two bands.
The first is Carissa's Wierd, a Seattle "sadcore" band whose members included Sera Cahoone, Mat Brooke and Ben Bridwell. (Brooke and Bridwell went on to form Band of Horses, from which sprung Grand Archives). They were true originals, quiet, mournful and eerie; were briefly signed to Sub Pop; and were local favorites from the mid-'90s until their 2003 demise.
The second is Beachwood Sparks, a Los Angeles collective whose music was a clear and proud homage to the Byrds, Neil Young and Buffalo Springfield, the very same godfathers of the Moondoggies, Fleet Foxes and Grand Archives. Beachwood Sparks was also signed to Sub Pop, somewhere around 1999 until the band's dissolution in 2002."
[The new Seattle sound is pretty, pastoral and mellow]
Grand Archives is an American indie rock band, formed in Seattle. The band, originally called Archives, is composed of several noted musicians from that city, led by Mat Brooke, former guitarist and vocalist for Carissa's Wierd and former guitarist for Band of Horses.Grand Archives are on tour with Sera Cahoone. That's a lot of Carissa's Wierd. This Friday the 13th they'll be at Bowery Ballroom in NYC - part of a four band bill that also includes The M's and Centro-Matic. Then the next day you can catch both of them again at Union Hall in Brooklyn. All tour dates and some videos below....
The band emerged, under their previous moniker, to little fanfare in March 2007.... [Wikipedia]
She & Him @ Webster Hall (more by Gabi Porter)
She & Him played the Craig Ferguson show last night....
Morrissey played on the Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson the past two nights in a row. Both videos below...