brought Socrates to TCA
. Ferguson came to talk about his new late-night show for History, Join Or Die, in which he and a panel debate provocative and timely topics in the provocative actually-listen-to-someone interview style that got Ferguson noticed by many, except not enough CBS execs, when he headlined that network’s The Late Late Show.
TV critics wondered how much of this show actually would be about history, given that they’d been told categories might include history’s most influential drug, the most doomed presidential campaign, history’s biggest douchebag, the most influential band, this country’s biggest presidential campaign flop, and which invention was history’s greatest game-changer. Also they’d just seen a clip in which ABC late-night star Jimmy Kimmel is one of Ferguson’s panelists, and they talk about Eliot Spitzer, the former New York attorney general-turned-state governor, who’d canoodled with hookers while cracking down on crime. (They were debating whether Spitzer was one of history’s biggest blunderers, but Kimmel suggested maybe he was just a guy who didn’t “let his personal taste get in the way of doing his job.”)Defending that clip, Ferguson dusted off his Socrates, explaining he wanted to achieve a show where “real discussion” could occur. To that end, he mentioned “that Socrates thing: ‘Strong minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events, weak minds discuss people’.”
It played very big in the room, even when one critic suggested Socrates probably would have rated any talk about Spitzer as pop culture gossip. Ferguson disputed that, calling the Spitzer talk a “valid” history debate.
Ferguson was sporting a beard at TCA. A beard is considered noteworthy in some circles. TCA, for instance: One critic wondered if it was his homage to Jon Stewart, who grew a beard after he retiring as host of The Daily Show. Socrates, so far as we know, did not weigh in on facial hair discussion. So, Ferguson shot back that his beard was, in fact, Kimmel’s beard, that crawled across the pillow and “came onto my face” when they slept together.
“I’m looking forward to seeing the tweets: ‘Jimmy Kimmel comes on Craig Ferguson’s face’,” added Ferguson, who apparently did his homework and knows about the whole competitive tweeting in which critics engage at TCA.
“You killed the room there,” Ferguson’s new late-night EP, Brian Volk-Weiss, said to the comic, of the profound silence that followed his bull’s-eye snark about critics’ tweets
“Nah! They’re just thinking about it,” Ferguson muttered.