Saturday, October 03, 2009

My Favorite Talk Show Host

My wife and I are big fans of Craig Ferguson. We've seen his stand-up show live, we've seen his stand-up DVD, we've seen most of his movies, and I've read his novel, Between the Bridge and the River. During his first year as host of The Late Late Show, I actually missed him on weekends. I've been waiting anxiously for several months since I heard he was putting out a memoir/autobiography, American on Purpose: The Improbable Adventures of an Unlikely Patriot.

Any fan of Ferguson will no doubt enjoy this book. It nicely fills in the gaps in his background that he only alludes to on television. If you want to know more about his ex-wives or his years as a punk rock drummer, American on Purpose has the details. And unlike many comedians, he doesn't recycle material in his book. In fact, I was surprised that many of the amusing anecdotes he has told on his show were left out (for example, on TV he tells how he was bored in Winnipeg and shaved his entire body; in the book, he describes shooting a movie in Winnipeg without mentioning the shaving incident).

I read this book aloud to my wife, and (predictably) we both loved it. I wish it was 50-100 pages longer -- his recent years in Hollywood are practically a blur (surprisingly little about The Drew Carey Show considering how long he was on it), and I'd like to know more about The Late Late Show and his citizenship process. I also wish there was an index. One of the things I love about Ferguson is his ability to be simultaneously hilarious and human; that emotional element makes American on Purpose a great book. I laughed plenty, but I couldn't read it aloud without an occasional lump in my throat. The photos are a hoot, too.

Current tally: 76 books finished, 69 books acquired

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