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About (Late) Last Night: Will Ferrell fills in for Celine Dion [video]

October 29, 2010 |  6:54 am

When David Letterman called Will Ferrell a "multi-faceted guy" Thursday night on the "Late Show," he had some idea of what was coming next. After all, an elaborate stage was set up just to their right, the name "Celine" emblazoned in pink bulbs. But the host diligently played the straight man, allowing Ferrell to ease into his stunt.

When you're Will Ferrell, the audience laughs before you even really make the joke. "My good friend Celine Dion," he began, as the crowd broke into scattered chuckles, "is currently talking a leave of absence from her show because she just had twins." Ferrell took a moment to wave hello to the babies. "Jacques and Cousteau," like Jacque Cousteau, he joked. In reality, it's Nelson and Eddy, but not necessarily like Nelson Eddy, the musical film star of the 1940s. Instead, the names are after Eddy Mornay, Dion's longtime producer, and humanitarian leader Nelson Mandela. Celine Dion is a special woman.

Ferrell's relationship with the diva, he said, traced all the way back to his semester in Quebec, where the two "met on a city bus." Dave grinned in anticipation. Ferrell anounced he was taking over Dion's show in Vegas, but admitted he's "scared beyond belief" because he is "not familiar with her material." Then he picked up a microphone from the seat next to him.

Legs spread wide, Ferrell belted half of a verse and the chorus from Dion's "The Power of Love," with special attention paid to the singer's accent and over-enunciation. A harp player plucked along in the background as Ferrell climbed a conspicuously placed ladder to nowhere in particular. After the high note, the host sauntered on stage holding a bouquet for Ferrell. Letterman knows as well as anyone, you just sit back and let a ham do his thing.

-- Joe Coscarelli