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  • Acceptable Targets: Canadians (the wacky next-door neighbor. Craig's Scottish, and Scotland is basically England's Canada. And England is Scotland's Mexico.), the French (they enjoy fornicating and judging you), the Germans (they like pooping on each other), and West Hollywood.
  • Award Snub: Over nearly two decades and multiple hosts, the show has received exactly one Emmy nomination: Craig Ferguson as best variety show performer in 2006.note  But he won a Peabody Award in 2010 for his interview with Desmond Tutu.
  • Awesome Music:
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    • Any of his lip-synching openings — Istanbul, Wonderful Night, Say Hey (I Love You), White Lines, and Look Out, There's a Monster Coming.
    • In one of the more obscure references he's ever made, the theme from Fireball XL5.
    • Craig's version of the Doctor Who theme, which took a while before it actually aired on The Late Late Show itself and got leaked to YouTube in the meantime.
    • The opening to the week in Scotland. Yes, that is actually Craig himself signing. And yes, that is Steve Jones of the Sex Pistols on guitar.
    • Billy Connolly proved to be the first guest on the show to actually know how to play a harmonica (which every guest gets an opportunity to play at the end of their segment). Of course, Craig was prepared for such a day, awarding Billy with a golden mouth organ for his efforts.
    • David Pogue became the second Golden Mouth Organ recipient in the coda of his interview, immediately after pretending to have no clue what he was doing.
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    • As did the aforementioned Wilford Brimley.
    • And to wrap up his tenure, Craig pulled out all the stops, complete with cameos from many good friends. The song itself ("Bang Your Drums" by Dead Man Fall note ) starts with the studio version, before cutting to Craig, with two drummers, Steve Jones again, more musicians, belting out an epic live version.
  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment:
    • Occurs every so often when-(ding-dong!) "Hey, who's that at the door? (checks door) IT'S SECRETARIAT!!!"
    • Craig had Wilford Brimley on the show only because he thought he'd seen the retired actor getting salad at his local grocery store. Brimley openly stated in the interview that even he didn't know why he was there, since he didn't have anything to promote.
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  • Continuity Lock-Out: Not as bad as most examples, but it can sometimes occur due to the loads of running gags and minor characters who can disappear and reappear at anytime.
  • Cult Classic: In as much as a talk show can achieve this status. Craig's love of smut, nerdy references and improvising was too niche to find mainstream success like Leno did, but he won a devoted following, from internet geeks to fellow comedians to some of the biggest celebrities in Hollywood. Bob Barker even made it a point to stop by when he retired.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
  • Genius Bonus:
    • Not many late-night talk shows throw in jokes about Søren Kierkegaard or Gustave Flaubert. Even fewer do so while maintaining a full quota of poop and fart jokes. And probably none except Craig can do both within the same joke.
      Craig: I know what you're thinking. You're thinking "Craig, wasn't Nietzsche the father of Existentialism?" Well, he might be. Others say the father of Existentialism was [Jean-Paul] Sartre, perhaps even [Arthur] Schopenhauer. There's only one way to find out — all three of them should go on The Maury Povich Show and take the paternity test.
    • September 2, 2011: Craig and Geoff manage to build a running gag out of the phrase "careful, Icarus."
    • Ferguson went on a spree with these in his last few weeks as host. Geoff had a copy of Carl Jung's Red Book on his podium, and Craig noted how his new haircut made him look like Samuel Beckett, quoted Jean-Paul Sartre, and delivered a Take That! to Mark Rothko and Marcel Duchamp.
  • Growing the Beard: Geoff Peterson became much funnier and more interactive with Craig after Josh Robert Thompson began voicing him live in lieu of Geoff's original batch of canned responses. More specifically, the segment where he started the "I've got a place there" running gag and made Craig totally lose it marked the point where Geoff really began to shine.
  • Ho Yay: Pretty much Geoff's raison d'etre.
  • Moe: Hilariously the audience seems to consider Secretariat to be this, judging by how everyone always freaks out whenever Craig mocks him. Craig even lampshades the weirdness of this.
    Craig: It's not a real horse!
  • Tear Jerker:
    • The pulling of Craig's Batman-themed monologue after the shootings in Aurora, Colorado resulted in a sobering monologue from Craig's desk in its place, in an empty studio. When Craig gets serious, it's really disarming.
    • The monologues on both his mother's and father's deaths.
    • The very last "Ladies and gentlemen, Craig Ferguson!" and the subsequent longest ovation in the history of the show.
  • What Do You Mean, It Wasn't Made on Drugs?: Some of the special effects cards. Also, Craig sometimes does tricks directly into to the camera to screw with the stoned people watching. Joked about during one Tweetmail segment.
    Craig: [reads tweet] "Some of us really do watch the show high, you know." Oh, I know. [whispers] Some of us do the show high.

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