When Craig Ferguson was tapped by David Letterman's production company to audition as the host of the post-Letterman Late Late Show on CBS, replacing outgoing personality Craig Kilborn, he seemed an odd choice. At the time the Scotsman, a multitalented star back in the U.K., was mostly known on this side of the pond as the scene-stealing smarmy boss Nigel Wick on The Drew Carey Show. But the author, actor, and former rock drummer quickly grew into the role after nabbing the permanent hosting spot, distinguishing himself with his loose, largely improvised opening monologues, which jettisoned the old-school setup-punchline gags in favor of a more ambling, conversational style that showed off his facility as a raconteur. Ferguson never lost sight of the funny even while defying conventional wisdom, taking a less structured and more personal approach that led to fascinating moments of television like his defense of Britney Spears in which he spoke about his own struggles with alcohol. This all bodes well for Ferguson's appearance this weekend at Mystic, where the quick-witted chat-show host will showcase his standup skills, most prominently displayed on his Comedy Central hour-long special A Wee Bit o' Revolution. This show is sold out.
Sept. 24-25, 7 p.m., 2011