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Drama and funny costumes from Craig Ferguson

January 2, 2008 | 10:02 pm

A transcript of Craig Ferguson's monologue Wednesday night on "The Late Late Show":

Welcome to L.A., California.  Welcome to "The Late Late Show." I’m your host, TV’s Craig Ferguson. Sit down, relax, that is more than enough. As I was saying, before I was so rudely interrupted. . . .It’s a great day for America. We’re back. We are back!!! Most of you probably didn’t notice this, but we were away for a while.

The writers strike is still on, but we got a special pass. It is the TV equivalent of diplomatic immunity. I’m like Switzerland in TV...

My boss, David Letterman -– I know, he’s my boss! -- made a deal for our shows to return with the whole staff. And if anyone in America can get a deal made, it’s David Letterman. I found that out when I was making a deal to work here. I tried to be tough, but Dave made an offer I couldn’t refuse. I woke up and found Paul Shaffer’s head in my bed. Luckily it was still attached to Paul. Oh we made beautiful music together. You got some music for this Paul.

People are saying that this show and Dave’s show are going to get all the A-list guests as a result of this deal. I read that on the Internet -– that means it’s true. I want to send a message to all the D-list celebrities, you’re always welcome here. We’ll still have Kathy Griffin on, the guy who invented the electric cheese cutter, people who can fart musical notes. 

This show won’t change a bit. It will be garbage. I make you this pledge, people of America. We will not improve this show. It will not be funnier. It will not be better.

So I had two whole months off work. Two months -– it was horrible. I didn’t know what to do with myself.  Well, I knew one thing to do, but once you do that one thing, after that you have the rest of the day. I grew a strike beard. It got itchy so I shaved it off. Then I grew it back again. That was just the first day...

It was tough for me not having an outlet for whatever this is. I went into Starbucks every morning, did the monologue for the people who worked there. "It’s a great day for America. Gimme a tall, frothy latte and two sticky buns. Tall, frothy, sticky buns -- remind you of anyone?" 

You know what else I did? I learned to ski. I know! I should say I tried to ski. I fell down, really hurt my hip. Just in the parking lot. A guy came up to me: “Hi, Craig.” I thought, "This is great. People haven’t forgotten about me." Then he said "You’re Craig Kilborn, right? Look it’s Craig Kilborn!" Hey, I was flattered. Usually I’m mistaken for Liza Minnelli.

A lot of things happened while I was away. Paul McCartney had heart surgery. . . . Some of the celebrities calmed down. Lindsay Lohan was quiet during the strike. I think she’s waiting for the strike to be over. Or maybe her dealer’s on strike too. That joke was brought to you by the WGA. I can now blame the WGA for every lame thing I do.

I grew up in an environment of strikes. Britain in 1970s, everyone was on strike. Coal miners, postal workers, the dentists. I’ll never forget the British dental strike of 1979. It’s still going -- they never resolved it. But when the British miners went on strike, it was very violent, they set fire to cars. When my writers went on strike, they set fire to their farts. Strikes are not the same in L.A. 

Strikers on the picket lines bring their yoga mats to the picket lines. They wear sexy outfits and high heels. All right, that was just me –- but it was fun.  It was fun and Eddie Murphy gave me a ride home. I might have made that up myself, I don't know.

You have to be careful during a strike because emotions run very high. I was glad to see the writers doing things to try and lighten the mood. Some of the picket lines have different themes. I saw a science-fiction-themed picket line. People dressed like characters from "Star Trek." I was amazed. Who’d have thought that a TV writer would have his own "Star Trek" costume? What a surprise! That’s like saying Donald Trump owns a wig.

Listen, do you know what else they had? They had a “bring a celebrity to the picket line.” Really. I called to see if they wanted me to show up. They said “Fine, but who are you going to bring?” I thought that up myself.

No one knows how long this strike will go on. The two sides aren’t talking to each other. It’s like being married. You have to go to bed at night without anything happening and play a rerun in your head. It’s good to be back, but it's not really business as usual. No guests tonight. None. [Reaction from crowd.] Don’t you "oh" me. . . you’ll get your money. 

Tonight it’s all comedy. And we use that term loosely here. Whatever the hell we do -- drama and funny costumes. God it is good to see you!!!