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Welcome back to late-night TV

October 20, 2009 - Lee Smith
I don't suppose it's in the spirit of the appreciation I've recently acquired for the happy-go-lucky comedy style of late-night talk show host Craig Ferguson, but then again, his modus operandi creates this delineation: The other guys suck.

They do. Some (Jimmy Fallon) are not funny. Period. Some are so hyperpartisan (Jon Stewart and even David Letterman) that they seem little more than mean-spirited Democratic party hacks. Some have lost it (Conan). Some never had it (Jimmy Kimmel). Stewart is unique in his format. I'll give him that. But the rest stick to the same old band and side-kick formula.

And then's there's Ferguson. From his peppy, 1960s British-band-like intro, to his zany and wide-ranging monologue, to his disregard for format, he is entertaining and funny. With an emphasis on just being goofy, and almost none on being cynical and mean. I don't know if Ferguson really loves life like he seems to, but it's difficult to imagine that he can fake this kind of verve.

Ferguson's tag line is "It's a great day for America." I like that reminder at the end of the day. I'm enjoying spending some time again with late-night comedy that's actually funny.


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