By Mandi Bierly
Updated August 05, 2010 at 02:34 PM EDT
Credit: Tim Calver/Discovery Channel

Image Credit: Tim Calver/Discovery ChannelCraig Ferguson’s Shark Bites: Adventures in Shark Week, which aired last night, was a love letter to loyal viewers who also consider the annual Discovery event their favorite holiday. Yes, the professional divers told him everything would be fine when he swam with Caribbean reef sharks in the Bahamas, but Ferguson explained that’s not what he’s learned watching decades of Shark Week: “I realize these people are completely full of s—.”

Cue two of Ferguson’s favorite sequences, the stories of surfer Todd Endris and swimmer Heather Boswell. Then a visit with the doctor who would be stitching him up if he was attacked. Then his first dive with sharks (“I’m America’s third favorite middle of the night entertainer, and I’m about to throw all of that away,” he said). His first words when he surfaced: “F—in’ hell.” That’s a real reaction. “I used to think Oprah was the most powerful thing on the planet, apparently, I’m wrong,” he added. Ferguson admitted there was a moment when he wanted to come up early (probably when a shark buzzed his face), and looked genuinely nervous for his next dive, which was to feed the sharks. His fear, however, produced the best line of the hour: “I have to ask you a question: What happens if the shark smells pee pee? Just hypothetically. I’m just askin’ hypothetically.” But in the safety of his chain mail pants, Ferguson manned up, and fed the sharks first on the ocean floor, then aboard a wreck. He smiled at the camera. Eventually, he actually pet a shark who’d been put into a peaceful tonic immobility, and you wanted to cheer when he gently fist-bumped two divers afterward. This time when he exited the water, he said, “That was fantastic. They are so beautiful. They are fantastic. Oh, they are so nice. They’re like really big dogs, aren’t they?”

The moral of the story: Sharks aren’t out to eat you, and they need protection. Craig told the dive master he’d take that message to his 10 viewers and the Discovery Channel’s five — it all adds up. Then, Craig sat and talked to the camera and offered these final words: “When you have 25 or 30 sharks all swimmin’ around you, all nudgin’ and bumpin’ and movin’ and smackin’ into you and stuff, can I tell you… it’s hilarious. Isn’t that weird?” Weird. And awesome.

Other good lines:

• “Don’t get my back fat caught in my zip.” — Craig, suiting up for a test scuba dive

• “I’d even watch Twister over this.” — Craig, realizing he’d have zero chance of getting bitten by a shark by staying on land and watching a movie

• “Think I don’t know when someone’s [bleepin’] their pants? I can see some of these people [bleepin’] their pants.” — Craig, on the changing mood onboard as they get closer to the dive location

• “‘Cause some of these sharks ain’t Methodists, you do know that right? There are some of them who are Methodists, I am sure you’re aware. But not all of them. Some of them may be Catholics, so be careful. I’m just sayin’. I’m just sayin’.” — Craig, cautioning a Methodist church group waiting to leave the dock

• “We’ll watch out for that.” — a Methodist kid, responding to Craig’s warning