Join or Die with Craig Ferguson: History's Biggest Political Blunder
February 19, 2016 7:44 PM - Season 1, Episode 1 - Subscribe

Craig Ferguson returns to TV (to History Channel. I know!), with a 30 minute panel show where he and three guests discuss hard-hitting history topics. In this first episode, Craig invites PR expert Howard Bragman, comedian Jen D'Angelo and former late night rival Jimmy Kimmel to pick History's Biggest Political Blunder, between Rod Blagojevich, Herman Cain, Eliot Spitzer, Larry Craig, Christine O'Donnell and Dick Cheney.
posted by lmfsilva (16 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Well, it's a bit rough, and yeah, this was more TMZ than actual history (yet, still better than most History Channel programming), but I could watch Craig Ferguson reading shopping lists and making comments on them. I believe he said he was tired of TV, and would only take on another project he liked... and I guess this is exactly what he wanted - a show where he could have people he liked, and trade weird jokes over some topic.

As of now, it's worth watching if you like Craig Ferguson, but like the rest of HC, low on content.
posted by lmfsilva at 8:21 PM on February 19, 2016

I thought it was a delightful half hour -- Freguson is pretty awesome that way -- but the format is just utterly awful. This whole "6 items and we'll narrow it down" is just dreadful.
posted by Catblack at 8:39 PM on February 19, 2016

It was just fun to see 22 minutes of Craig Ferguson. Of course, when they picked 'the winner' of the Worst Political Blunder as Eliot Spitzer... a few hours after I read the article "Eliot Spitzer's Extremely Lucrative Exile", well that deflated things for me. They mentioned Anthony Weiner as another potential candidate (is 'candidate' the right word?) and I could think of a lot more. In fact, I'm sure they could have done the topic without any sex scandals, but then they'd have lost most of the obvious jokes.

If I were working on the format, I'd have spent a few more seconds on setting up the 'bona fides' of the panel (I know more about the contestants on Jeopardy) and do it in a pseudo-tournament set-up, starting with 8 and having the panel decide "Who's worse, Cheney or Spitzer?", etc., or even have the "Worst Blunder Since 2000 vs. Before 2000" to make it more interesting. But that's probably why I never broke out of radio into TV...

But still, two words: Craig Ferguson. (And I'm sure he was very influential in ensuring the format was very loose.)

BTW, on the closing credits, there were SIX Executive Producers, including Craigyferg; what did any of them DO to earn the title?
posted by oneswellfoop at 9:57 PM on February 19, 2016

Ugh. I was really disappointed. I liked Ferguson's monologue better than the whole rest of the show.
posted by wittgenstein at 2:53 AM on February 20, 2016

The incredible thing is that the format is a mess, in part by time constraints, but Craig actually makes it entertaining. I'd have each guest and Craig choose a contender, then spend the first two thirds of the show defending the merit of their pick, and in the end about the "winner" more in depth.

The problem with history - and being on the History Channel, where I guess the viewership skews very Clint Eastwood (bringing Craig Ferguson might be a way to bring a new demographic) is that there's a risk of alienating the core demographic - and I wouldn't be surprised if they already got a few complaints over "damn libruls speaking poorly of Larry Craig" (checking their fb page I always get redirected to the local page) if they don't edit the show - which they jarringly did. I'd like to hear from someone who was at a show how long was each taping and what kind of material was left out.
posted by lmfsilva at 7:43 AM on February 20, 2016

I'd love it if it was Ferguson and the panel just discussing one point in history for the half hour. That would be rather awesome, and more what I thought the show would be about based on his interview with Colbert last week. Put on a history buff (or actual historian, there's plenty out there,) a couple of b-list celebrities who've at least read the wikipedia page, and pick one point in history out of an eternity to chose from and you've got gold.
posted by Catblack at 10:31 AM on February 20, 2016 [2 favorites]

Yes, that would be good, too. I've read somewhere (AV Club, I think) the whole first season is already taped, if we get a second, hopefully we'll see something like that.
posted by lmfsilva at 10:40 AM on February 20, 2016

I kept expecting puppets during the cold open.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 12:42 PM on February 20, 2016

I am hoping the format shifts some from the first episode. But seriously, I was just so happy to see Craig Ferguson again. I also feel like this could have been better as 44 minutes instead of 22 minutes.
posted by fluffy battle kitten at 12:58 PM on February 20, 2016

I also hope the panel guests get stronger. I liked the pr guy. Jen D'angelo needed to talk more. I liked Kimmel here more than on his own show.
posted by fluffy battle kitten at 1:00 PM on February 20, 2016

We already know from Drunk History that there are celebrities with actual historical knowledge and interests, so if the focus does narrow this could be great.
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 1:04 PM on February 20, 2016 [1 favorite]

I loved this if only for Craig's honestly curious reaction to the Gold/Platinum Star Gay definitions -- that was a guy who wants a conversation, not just pre-programmed riffs on some random theme.
posted by Etrigan at 3:33 PM on February 20, 2016 [2 favorites]

I can't bring myself to watch anything on the History Channel for fear of a yet another show that promotes American Patriotism and pulling up your bootstraps (patriotically) and running a business (patriotically) , and in a patriotic business there's always a very finite number of issues you will run into again and again like "something patriotially unexpected" or "someone patriocially made a mistake", etc. And oh yeah we can tell little historical stories tied to the products and ideas we're patriotically promoting.
posted by juiceCake at 6:52 PM on February 20, 2016

I can't bring myself to watch anything on the History Channel

This is why God invented pirating.

I think this show is a bit scattershot but hopefully it will survive long enough to become a vehicle for more Craig Ferguson, because I really miss The Late Late Show under him, to the point where I would watch him do LITERALLY ANYTHING so long as he wanted to do it and was thus engaged.
posted by axiom at 7:13 PM on February 20, 2016 [1 favorite]

I'm hoping Craig Ferguson's contract is such that he's left to explore, expand, remix, etc., this as he sees fit. Because I want more sweet, sweet CF action. The original order was for 16 episodes so I'm hoping they shot that first one, went back, and reworked it. I think it will be much stronger in coming episodes.
posted by fluffy battle kitten at 8:28 PM on February 20, 2016

This show needs more content and background before they jump into the panel discussion. Also a talking robot and a horse named Secretariat.
posted by humanfont at 4:03 PM on February 21, 2016 [2 favorites]

« Older Movie: The Cable Guy...   |  Farscape: Into the Lion's Den ... Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments