I don’t often pass along video links, partly because I don’t run across many things that really warrant excitement. But I just can’t resist recommending one recent discovery: Craig Ferguson’s monologue from January 30, 2006; the first one after his father died.
I send the link to a man who possesses not only an aging father, but a sense of humor he credits with keeping him sane. I think, this is a fit. He will get it.
Wrong, wrong, wrong. My friend is totally unimpressed. Doesn’t find it funny. Thinks it’s tacky.
So I figure I’ll have another look at the thing. Maybe, carried on the wave of devout Ferguson-mania, I mistook pyrite for gold. Maybe it is crap.
Ferguson explains the concept of the wake, a custom found in many cultures. The survivors get loaded and tell stories and recall the most hilarious things about the life of the departed. They cry and laugh, and it’s all cathectic and cathartic, very healthy. I got no problem with humor in conjunction with a cherished person’s death.
He talks about his dad’s work ethic, and I love this line
Spirituality is not all about aromatherapy and scented candles.
He talks about his job at the post office, where “Big Scrubber” (his dad) was also the boss, and how the boss cured him of being late for work. He talks about watching TV with his dad, and a bunch of other things. My absolute favorite is the rehab story. And, with his dad old and sick, he talks about the last visit.
I can’t help thinking what a privilege it is, when you know it’s the last visit. That’s a good death. I can’t help thinking what it must be like, when thousands of people are cataloging your every move, and every nuance of expression, and flaming each other online, over the significance of those details. And what it must be like to have a contract where the show must go on. Even if it’s possible to take some time off, how much of it do you have to take, to indicate sufficient respect? And if you do the show, how do you treat this major event? If you just ignore the fact that your father died a couple days ago, a certain amount of hate mail will come in. I think Craig Ferguson did exactly the right thing, presenting the audience with the fact that one night would be for his dad, and then things would go back to normal.
Anyway, after another viewing, I still think this 15-minute monologue is powerful, moving, beautiful. It certainly defies the cliché that men can’t express feelings. I think it’s a classic human document. It should be on any recorded media sent into outer space, it should be buried in time capsules, it should be included in any anthology of things worthy of preservation, from the early part of the 21st century.
A good suit is the best way for a scoundrel to disguise himself. Every time I meet a bastard he’s wearing a suit. Craig Ferguson
(Everything is on the same magnificent page. You need to zero in on the date.)
masculinity and male bonding Sept 29, 2005
cars and traffic Nov 1, 2005
pirates Nov 7, 2005
bugs and monkeys Nov 30, 2005
cars and car show Jan 6, 2006
Paris Hilton Feb 6, 2006 July 12, 2006
animals Feb 23, 2006
Craig Ferguson’s birthday May 17, 2006
immigration Oct 26, 2006
fat kids, cannibals Feb 8 2007
stomach virus, prostitutes and politicians April 30, 2007
the judge’s pants drycleaner lawsuit May 2, 2007
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