"CRAIG FERGUSON: A WEE BIT O’ REVOLUTION"
by Kevin Carr
|| MOVIE: *** (out of 5 stars)
DVD EXPERIENCE: **** (out of 5 stars)
Craig Ferguson as HIMSELF
Studio: Image Entertainment
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Craig Ferguson, who first came to public awareness as the boss on “The Drew Carey Show,” has recently been granted U.S. citizenship. To celebrate, he took a break from “The Late Late Show” to come to the Wilbur Theatre in Boston for a stand-up special. Here, he gives his take on the world, with topics ranging from rehab to Jewish/Scottish weddings.
WHAT I LIKED
Although we have seen Craig Ferguson around on television for years, he’s a bit unpolished as a stand-up comic. (This seems a bit odd since this is where he actually got his start in his homeland of Scotland... but that could be a culture barrier I can’t overcome.) Still, his rough-around-the-edges style is balanced by a unique view of the world. Sure, he’s brash and at times explicit. However, he comes at life with a different take. In this special, we learn a lot about him, including his first trip to America, his struggles with substance abuse and how he got his job on “The Drew Carey Show.”
Since the 1970s, a comic who speaks his mind isn’t anything new. And almost forty years after pioneers like Carlin and Pryor broke the taboo barriers for mainstream stand-up, it’s hard to stand out on cable and DVD. Even with Ferguson’s aforementioned unpolished delivery, he manages to hit topics and views of issues with a different perspective than most other comics I’ve seen. In particular, I found his take on American citizenship and patriotism refreshing, considering he actually had to work for this rather than have it handed to him like most of the other folks in the U.S.A.
Even more interesting than his stand-up – which is oddly inspiring considering Ferguson’s self-admitted days of slacking off – is the content of the special features. Because Ferguson chose to become a U.S. citizen, he is passionate about this country. And while his political views may not completely synch up with mine, I respect the man for giving his heart and love to this country... and still being able to poke fun at us and himself.
WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE
Although Ferguson has years of experience on stage, his delivery seemed a bit off. This could be a result of the venue or the size of his audience. He is definitely comfortable in front of people, but he did seem a bit off in this special.
There are many moments of the stand-up special that will cause some chuckles. His material, however, is not of the laugh-until-it-hurts variety. He’s got some nice zingers, but his big picture is a bit dry, which might not play to all audiences.
There are two behind-the-scenes videos from Ferguson’s stand-up performance. The first is a fifteen-minute interview where he tackles some more serious topics like political posturing by celebrities, the meaning of gaining American citizenship and why he believes the American Revolution isn’t over. While Ferguson puts himself up as a bit of a fool in his stage persona, it’s clear that he has a keen grasp of our own Constitution (more so than your average American, I suppose) and what it means to be a citizen of the country.
The second special feature is a seven minute speech Ferguson delivered at Boston’s historic Faneuil Hall, which includes some funny moments but also has some rather heartfelt messages for his audience.
WHO’S GOING TO LIKE THIS MOVIE
Craig Ferguson fans and anyone who wants an inside perspective of a new American citizen.