Early Craig Ferguson Comedy Was Hardcore Punk

Early Craig Ferguson Comedy Was Hardcore Punk

Like standup comedy where every single thing is funny and doesn't waste your time? Follow Cracked Comedy Club on Instagram and YouTube for exactly that. 

If a young comedian has a “burn it all down” sensibility, they might be described as “punk rock.” But Craig Ferguson was an actual, straight-up punk rocker, drumming for Scottish band Bastards from Hell (alternately, and less punk, the Dreamboys). That’s eventual Dr. Who Peter Capaldi on vocals. 


But even after Ferguson transitioned from music to comedy, “punk rock” was an apt description as he performed monologues under the name Bing Hitler. Comedian Paul Provenza described Ferguson’s comedy as “hardcore punk” and “very in your face.” “Well,” Ferguson explained, “I was drinking then.” 

But seriously, folks. “If you start doing comedy in Glaswegian punk rock bars, you develop a certain aggressive style,” Ferguson said in a sit-down with Provenza. “I’ve been introduced with, ‘Here’s a c*** that thinks he’s funny.’ Not a great way to start. You have to be fairly tough just to stay alive.”

Was the alt-comedy scene in Scotland simply about anarchy, or was there an underlying social consciousness beneath the laughs? “There were some who were very politically motivated at the time,” says Ferguson, but he doesn’t count himself among the enlightened. “I was more about this terrible rage that I believe all comedians have. I was a drinking alcoholic, so that fueled it in many ways, but all the comedians I know have a bitterness, a fucking anger, a malcontent and madness about them. Which, you know… they use for cash.”

The years that Ferguson spent in an alcohol-fueled frenzy gave him empathy for some of late-night comedy’s favorite punching bags, refusing to pile on. “That weekend when Britney Spears shaved her head and got a tattoo? I’ve had weekends like that,” he admitted. “I know that thing. I know how it feels — and it don’t fucking feel good.”  Ferguson was grateful that there weren’t so many cameras around when he was battling his own demons. (Well, he thought there were cameras but he was just hallucinating, he jokes.)

“I did that monologue about how I was not going to do any more Britney Spears jokes, because she was having one of her meltdowns at the time, and I just felt so strongly that this poor, very young girl is clearly a fucking mental patient, and you just don’t laugh at mental patients. You try to help them,” he said. “I just didn’t wanna join in with the gang on that one. Because the minute you expect me to do something and I do it for you, I’m your fucking puppy. I’m your hooker. So whenever you expect me to do that, I’m not gonna do it; I’m gonna do something else.” 

“That’s born from punk rock,” he concluded. “That’s born from ‘No, fuck you!’”


Scroll down for the next article


Forgot Password?