Screw Conan, screw Kimmel, screw (the soon-to-be-back) Leno and honestly, screw Letterman. Just a little.
Craig Ferguson is the Johnny Carson of 21st century late night. He's doing things that no one else is doing and he's doing it without a band, without a sidekick, but with the kind of genius creativity that is seldom seen in mass entertainment these days.
For a long time, Ferguson opened with a monologue like every other late night comic. And we still get the monologue, but for some reason, CBS forced a 1 to 2 minute lead-in for The Late Late Show the second that Letterman ended. Maybe they wanted a short lead-in so they could get right to the commercials, who knows. But, Craig has taken that lead-in and turned it into the must-watch moment of the night for me. You never know what he's going to do.
For awhile, he did a short version of an opening monologue in the lead-in. Then, he started doing small comedy bits with random puppets. Lately, he's been lip syncing to songs with a few staff members and friends AND the puppets. It's a little piece of late night heaven..
For instance, this is what Craig did with the lead-in last night. This is Duran Duran's cover of the original Grand Master Flash hit "White Lines"...
My favorite lead-in lip sync came a few months ago. Same idea but this time, set to Michael Franti and Spearhead's "Say Hey (I Love You)"...
And yes, the shirtless intern with the hot body and the cute smile doesn't hurt either.