The CBS host said goodbye to The Late Late Show this Friday night after 2,058 episodes. The historic episode opened with a long, well-deserved standing ovation from the crowd.
So many stars
The celebrity-studded event did not disappoint. The show began with Mila Kunis, Jane Lynch, Lisa Kudrow, Jon Hamm, and dozens of other celebrities joyously playing drums in a music video-esque montage — Craig Ferguson is a drummer himself. He’s also well known for his love and support of his native Scotland, so naturally he chose the song, “Bang Your Drum” by Dead Man Fall, an undiscovered band based in his hometown of Cumbernauld.
A rock star personality came out naturally from the comedian as he sang to the studio audience. He even had a full gospel band to back him up.
The usual suspects, and fan favorites, were out in full force. Geoff Peterson, Ferguson’s skeletal sidekick, and Secretariat, the host’s pantomime horse naturally made appearances in the final episode. The show also included one last go of its famed Twitter segments.
The celebrity guest appearances on the show ended with Jay Leno. Obviously long-time friends, the two joked about haircuts, Indian casinos, and unemployment from late night programming. The future holds bright for both of the retired hosts: stand up comedy.
The heartfelt, hilarious goodbye
Craig took a moment to speak to his feelings about the show, crew, guests, and his long-standing audience. The heartfelt monologue was loaded with the comedian’s usual tongue-in-cheek vibe, while still being raw and grateful towards his audience and fans.
After 10 years of Late Late Show history, we finally learned exactly who was inside Secretariat. The host’s honorable steed was none-other than Bob Newhart. Or was it?
Just as the seasoned host bid the crowd farewell on the heels of that revelation, he suddenly stirred from a nightmare. Lying next to him was Drew Carey, in a direct homage to the famous Newhart series finale on CBS, shot on the very same soundstage.
The final episode homages continued when it became clear that they were reprising their characters from The Drew Carey Show — married and all. Craig explained that he’d had a nightmare in which he was forced to host a talk show, and Drew was forced to host a game show. The act closed with a shot of a snowglobe (a reference to St. Elsewhere’s finale) set to the Journey song Don’t Stop Believin’, a reference to the infamous final moments of The Sopranos.
Parting words from producer Michael Naidus
What does producer Michael Naidus want the fans to know when they watch the final moments? Well, first of all, he wants fans to know that the show was as fun to make as it was to watch. “We genuinely had fun making these shows and we feel lucky to have been given a platform for all the wonderful nonsense that Craig created for us, and for the fans.”
And about those fans — Naidus wants them to know “that they mattered to us – pretty much every tweet they sent to Craig, every email they sent to the show, every letter that reached our desks was read. They’re voices were heard and their passion was, and is, appreciated.”