DAVID BIANCULLI

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Let There Be Dark: Craig Ferguson Calls Fast Audible for Post-Super Bowl Special
February 4, 2013  | By David Bianculli
 

When half the power went out during Sunday’s Super Bowl XLVII, the 34-minute interruption gave Craig Ferguson’s team the opportunity, and inspiration, to improvise a new cold open for that night’s post-game Late Late Show special…

According to one insider, Ferguson and company, having already pre-taped their Craig Ferguson at the Super Bowl special, were seated in the CBS V.I.P section of the Superdome when half the stadium power blew — and didn’t come right back on.

After a few minutes, Ferguson and his team huddled and decided to improvise. They drafted Lucy Liu, who also was seated in the CBS section, and ran inside the stadium with an NFL camera operator who had worked with the crew during their pre-taped pieces in New Orleans.

Before they knew it — before anyone knew it — they winged a little bit of business where Ferguson ran into Liu inside a stadium corridor, and offered to recharge her dying cellphone by plugging his own charger into a convenient outlet. When he was reminded he had been warned not to use that outlet, Ferguson said:

“It’s one outlet. What’s going to go wrong, huh? This is the Superdome! This thing’s gonna blow the whole stadium for 20 minutes?”

Then, as the capper, he looked into the camera with a wide-eyed grin and said, “It’s one outlet.  What could possibly go wrong?”

Cut to the shot, from CBS’s actual Super Bowl coverage, of the banks of lights going out midway in the third quarter.

The piece was shot, the insert was added, and the whole thing made it on air to open the Late Late Show special just a few hours later. Fast thinking — and fun television.

 The entire show — with the improvised opening — can be viewed online.

 
 
 
 
 
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