On Monday, September 9, the world finally got to witness what it would be like if a pantomime horse would host the "Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson". Craig often plays with the format and concept of late night talk shows. Experimentation and improvisation are consistent elements of the his program. The fact that during his program he talks to not just the audience, but also his robot skeleton sidekick, Geoff Peterson (voiced and maneuvered by Josh Robert Thompson), and his pantomime horse, Secretariat, are elements created from those. The two interns in the horse costume that features blue eyeshadow got to impersonate Ferguson silently near the end of the monologue on the episode.
The non-scripted moment came about when Craig did one of his signature jokes that has him comparing one thing with another. It went like this:
"CBS has a long tradition of classic game shows, in fact, one of America's great institutions is right downstairs. I'm talking, of course, about my penis. No, I'm talking about The Price is Right. It's (taped) downstairs. You know, The Price is Right and my penis are very different, of course. One's been around for over 50 years but Drew Carey made it bigger than ever..."
Ferguson didn't even have to end the joke featuring the switch punchline which would have been, "The other is The Price is Right." Because he uses this premise often, the audience was way ahead of him on what was next, and they still wound up laughing uproariously and applauding. For a further explanation, both shows are taped at the CBS Television Studios lot and Craig also used to be a cast member on "The Drew Carey Show", so the two have a long history. Geoff commented that they were doing his work for him by completing the joke in their heads to which Craig asked him, "Do you think we can have a show one night where I don't come and the audience just goes crazy?" The robot then inferred that he would have nothing to do with that. Secretariat motioned that he would do it. Craig liked the "high concept idea" that the horse could host the show so in true experimental form, he wanted to give it a go.
Ferguson went to move to the stable set in which the horse usually stays during the show and introduced Secretariat. The silent interns in the costume mimicked what Craig does each night very spot on. The horse strode onstage with confidence, went to the producer's stand where Craig usually grabs a stack of candy to throw to the audience, tapped the camera a few times, and then bowed to Geoff and the stable. When the theme music went silent, Secretariat walked right up and looked directly into the camera in a close-up, then moved back and swayed and nodded to feign monologue banter. The audience loved it. Craig acknowledged when the shot went to him in the stable, "It's gonna be a long @#$%ing hour, isn't it?" Ferguson was back hosting the show after the commercial break, but for that moment, Secretariat was the first equine-like host of a late night talk show.