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Late Night: Craig Ferguson calls anthrax scare frightening [Video]

August 24, 2011 |  6:57 am

Craig Ferguson has an anthrax scare
Someone out there sure seems to have something against CBS. Just days after death threats against David Letterman, an envelope containing white powder arrived at the L.A. offices of Craig Ferguson's show on Tuesday.

Two of Ferguson's staffers were exposed to the contents of the envelope, which was mailed from overseas, the Associated Press reported. The powder was purported to be anthrax but later proved to be harmless.

"The Late, Late Show with Craig Ferguson" is, of course, the lead-out show on CBS for Letterman, and Ferguson's show is also produced by Letterman's company, Worldwide Pants. Whoever sent the envelope seems to have uncanny timing since virtually every late-night show, with the exception of these two, is airing repeats this week.

Let the conspiracy theories begin.

Ferguson addressed the incident with a very funny monologue last night. As Letterman did on Monday, Ferguson mostly kept the tone flippant and self-deprecating. "It's a frightening day here at the studio," he began. "Today someone sent here an envelope packed with white powder. I said, 'I'll test it for you if you want.' I have a special test that I conducted between 1979 and 1992."

Ferguson acknowledged that the incident left him spooked. "It was a very scary situation. It was really frightening. My first concern, of course, was for my staff. And by staff I mean penis."

Mostly, Ferguson used the opportunity to poke fun at his debauched past -- and his lack of prestige at CBS.

"In the old days, if someone sent me white powder, I'd have said, 'Yeah!' I'd have snorted it, ended up at a party at Elton John's house, or rehab, or both. But nowadays, white powder in the mail is bad. I called CBS security, and they said, 'We're busy.' I said, 'I am a personal friend of Drew Carey's.' And they said, 'Send someone over right away.' "

He added, "This is the most attention this show has gotten since ... this is the most attention this show has gotten."


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-- Meredith Blake

Photo: Craig Ferguson in 2010. The late-night host used Tuesday's anthrax scare to poke fun at himself. Credit: Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times