The Lyell B. Clay Theatre was full of laughter last night as comedian and television personality Craig Ferguson performed stand-up comedy for his "The New Deal Tour."
The Scottish-born comedian opened the show by discussing how performing in Morgantown was the paramount of his celebrity career. He sarcastically joked that people said he would perform in London, New York and Bangkok, but never in Morgantown, West Virginia on a Monday night.
Ferguson covered a whole gamut of topics. Everything from pets and mustaches to drugs, politics and selfies was touched on.
Ferguson’s stand-up style is like story telling. Rather than rely on a series of jokes only tangentially related, Ferguson would bring up a topic or make a statement, then explain what he meant through a meandering and hilarious story.
Along the way to a single punchline, Ferguson would often digress, telling another smaller story or making comical asides. This pattern existed not only in individual stories but also in his whole show. Ferguson’s final joke, apparently the oldest written joke according to an Egyptian archaeologist friend of his, was one of the first things he mentioned, it just happened to take a hilarious hour to get there.
Part of the show centered around Ferguson’s former job as the host of CBS’s "The Late Late Show." One joke explained how despite hating magic and magicians he ended up featuring a bi-annual magic special on his nightly talk show. Apparently the whole magic issue stemmed from trying to smooth over a debacle a friend got into in Las Vegas.
Ferguson said he never regretted retiring from the night show except for when Donald Trump began his presidential campaign. He said the current late night hosts must be having a field day with the businessman’s candidacy. The comedian went on to question if Trump ever experienced human emotions, such as waking up and feeling bad after realizing his political party, the opposing political party and practically the whole world hated
Part of what made Ferguson’s act so good was his excellent audience interaction. When a joke was met with a less boisterous response, Ferguson would chide the crowd in a humorous way. When individuals would clap at weird times, he’d call them out and accuse them of relating to the punchline a bit too well. The professional comedian controlled the audience’s energy expertly and kept a smooth flow for the duration of the show.
During one particularly hilarious moment, Ferguson had the audience roaring as he described step-by-step the wonderous feelings he experienced when using a high-tech Japanese toilet while abroad with his son. After such an amazing experience he firmly believes the Japanese must view Westerners as barbarians.
After witnessing Craig Ferguson perform live stand-up, it is easy to see how the Scottish-born, now American comedian rose to fame. If one gets a chance, Ferguson’s stand-up show is definitely something to check out.