Some months back, the programmers at CBS re-jiggered their schedule in such a way that, immediately following David Letterman, Craig Ferguson came out and did a little three-minute teaser, followed by a commercial break, followed by the opening credits and the official monologue.
Sometimes the teaser would be like a little mini-monologue, but sometimes, Craig would do creative or silly things with it, such as lip-synching to a song (accompanied by strangely-costumed characters). Sometimes, the teaser would involve puppets, and those quickly became a popular part of the show, to the extent that when they re-shot the opening credits in HD, they included scenes of Craig with a puppet on each hand. I’m sure Craig would make no claims to being a professional puppeteer, but the various voices and personalities he gives the puppets are quite amusing.
Well, Tuesday night was the 1,000th episode since Craig took over “The Late Late Show,” and Craig (except for those opening credits) was scarcely seen. The entire show was hosted by Wavy the crocodile (Or is he an alligator? Even he isn’t sure), one of the puppet characters. Two of the show’s regular comedy bits — one featuring Craig’s Sean Connery impression, and the advice segment “Dear Aquaman” — were done with puppet stand-ins. Aquaman was “played” by a shark, and I’m not sure what kind of animal the Sean Connery puppet was supposed to be. It was hard to see because he had a beard.
The final scene, with Wavy lip-synching James Taylor’s “You’ve Got A Friend,” featured a number of cast and crew members on stage, and for this segment someone else must have been working the Wavy puppet because Craig was sprawled out on the floor in his hideous-looking Prince Charles makeup and costume.
It was all goofy and brilliant. Here’s a sample: