Las Vegas Sun

February 5, 2023

Currently: 50° — Complete forecast

Craig Ferguson’s timing better than his timeliness

Craig Ferguson

Give the man a throne. And a newspaper.


  • What: Craig Ferguson
  • Where: Venetian Showroom
  • When: 9 p.m., Friday, June 4, and Saturday, June 5
  • Cost: $47.75-$87.75

Seeing Craig Ferguson perform stand-up is pretty similar to watching Craig Ferguson give a monologue on television — except it is longer, contains a bunch of F-bombs (friendly ones, he insists) and ends with a ridiculous lip-synch of Britney's "Oops... I Did It Again."

Those are all good things, of course. The Scottish-American's timing is impeccable, never stumbling through his rehearsed material or missing a beat when the occasional audience member screamed something from the darkened showroom Saturday at the Venetian. The 47-year-old is comfortable on a stage, whether he's in his The Late Late Show suit or the white jeans, T-shirt and leather jacket he donned Saturday. Ferguson is equally comfortable pretending to be a German pope name Pepo with custom Prada slippers and talking earnestly about his troubled past with alcoholism.

Ferguson's two-day run at the Venetian Showroom concentrated on humorous takes on tabloid news about public personalities like Charlie Sheen, Kate Winslet and Tiger Woods, as well as his own life. The energetic comedian mused about his early punk-rock days (that "you'll never get me wearing a suit, sitting behind a desk" mentality is a bit ironic in hindsight, eh?), sex education in his homeland (where even the gynecologists call it a "a magic baby door!"), and the issues he faces as a late-night host, namely the inability to say the F-word and dealing with boss David Letterman's sex scandal late last year.

None of Ferguson's jokes faltered, largely thanks to his animated facial expressions and solid delivery. Still, something was missing. It may boil down to a checklist the comedian says you should go through before speaking, which Ferguson joked he figured out after three marriages: Ask yourself 1) Does this need to be said? 2) Does this need to be said by me? 3) Does this need to be said by me now?

Did Ferguson need to say any of the jokes he used in his stand-up performance? Not really. None of them were groundbreaking. In fact, a good chunk of his material referenced old-news events. Plenty has happened since Cheney shot his lawyer in the face. Still, when it comes to who can get away with reciting recycled jokes, few beat the Scot's stage presence and timing. That trade-off ain't bad, especially when you take out the commercial breaks.

— Originally published on

Join the Discussion:

Check this out for a full explanation of our conversion to the LiveFyre commenting system and instructions on how to sign up for an account.

Full comments policy