Craig Ferguson isn’t kidding. That’s what struck me as I turned the pages of the Scottish late-night comedian’s memoir, “American on Purpose: The Improbable Adventures of an Unlikely Patriot.” Almost every time Ferguson has a chance to go for a cheap, easy laugh — the mother’s milk of late-night comedy — he runs in the opposite direction. Take the opening scene in which he meets George W. Bush at a reception before the 2008 White House Correspondents’ Association dinner, where Ferguson, a newly minted American citizen, is to be the entertainment. He recognizes that making fun of Bush near the end of his catastrophic presidency would be like shooting fish in a barrel, so what does he do instead? He bonds with Bush as a fellow recovering alcoholic, clinking glasses of sparkling water with him as the president makes an earnest toast to America. I repeat: this is the opening scene of a book by a comedian. That’s what we in the comedy business call courage, and it pretty much sets the tone for the rest of this memoir, in which Ferguson admirably avoids wisecracks and instead goes for something like wisdom.
more from Andy Borowitz at the NY Times here.