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Late night television can be tense. Writers scramble to write jokes relevant to the daily news cycle, sometimes before thinking about whether or not a joke needs to be made in the first place. While many back in 2007 were coming up with their best material poking fun at Britney Spears' very public troubles, Craig Ferguson was ready to make a stand for the pop star. That meant no jokes about Spears, even if it cost him his job.
Ferguson is currently doing press for his recently released docuseries Hobo Fabulous and talked about the time he stood up for Britney Spears. This was President's Day 2007, and Ferguson was headed to work not long after Spears made national news for checking out of a rehab facility after one day and then shaving her head.
I went in to work Monday morning, and everybody had the [Britney] jokes written up. And I was like, ‘No. I'm not doing it.’ And I didn't. I was genuinely upset, and I went with my gut. It just struck me as the right thing to do in the moment...I was convinced at the time that I was going to get fired for it. I thought it was my Jerry Maguire moment.
Craig Ferguson didn't want to kick Britney Spears while she was down, and instead, delivered a monologue about concern for Spears and shared his own struggles with addiction. Ferguson told Yahoo he had just celebrated 15 years of sobriety that weekend, so for him to see what Spears was going through made him recall some of his own rock-bottom moments.
Obviously, Craig Ferguson kept his job on The Late Late Show for seven more years after the incident, and didn't say he faced any repercussions for his defense of Britney Spears. Ferguson said he never heard from Spears, nor did he expect or need to, though he did share a story that possibly confirmed Spears got word of his monologue and wanted to thank him for it.
I did want to use one of her songs [“Oops!...I Did It Again”] in a standup special, and when I requested it, everyone was saying there's no way that song was going to clear. I asked if I could use it in a standup special, and I got it for nothing. That's a very expensive song to use. So I'm extremely grateful that she let me do that.
As mentioned, Craig Ferguson is currently promoting his Hobo Fabulous docuseries, which is part standup comedy, and part Ferguson chronicling his ups and downs of traveling on the road. Viewers also get to hear the comedian talk a bit about his life, which should be a treat for anyone who misses seeing the former host of The Late Late Show host late at night.
Those looking to check out Craig Ferguson's Hobo Fabulous can find it on Amazon Prime and various other platforms. Stick with CinemaBlend in 2020 for all the latest news happening in television and movies.