The 2009 interview with Archbishop Desmond Tutu that won Craig Ferguson a Peabody Award will air again tonight, with a new introduction by the host. The Peabody Awards will be handed out today.
Tonight, in honor of that award, Craig will be his usual self-deprecating Robot-Skeleton-leader self, and among his remarks in his freshly-taped intro:
“We thought maybe if you wanted we could show you Desmond Tutu’s visit to the show again, something like an encore performance. But of course this wouldn’t be a repeat. No, no, no, no. A repeat is something you show when it didn’t win the Peabody Award. When you win the Peabody Award it is ‘an encore performance.’ I was humbled and delighted to be in the presence of such a great man.”
As I wrote at the time, Archbishop Tutu is not exactly a mainstay of late-night entertainment. Ferguson’s conversation with the clergyman, is by turns serious, funny, and sometimes both simultaneously (“When you don’t forgive, frequently you feel it in your tum-tum,” said the Archbishop, patting his own tummy) as they talk about race, God, good and evil. And nagging wives. All without reading from cue cards or notes. “I think you’re crazy!” Tutu chuckles at one point. Craig also tells an excellent chess joke involving bishops.
Ferguson interviews Bishop Tutu without being intimidated or fawning, and in so doing, demonstrates the range of tones and subject matter that can be addressed on late-night TV. It’s worth a second look.