“Celebrity Name Game” premiered last week and is well on its way. The half-hour game show that celebrates pop culture geeks teams celebrities guests with contestants as they try to guess names from the clues given to them. The famous names range from actors, singers, politicians, athletes and pop culture figures. The winning team can earn up to $20,000.
During a visit to the set, Daytime TV Examiner caught up with Ferguson between tapings to get his thoughts on the new show. Check out the interview below:
Phyllis: You’re a busy guy, taping six shows a day. How are you managing to keep your energy going while taping all these shows?
Craig Ferguson: You know it’s funny. I think that once you get out there and get caught up in it, it just kind of takes you along with it. Then you realize it’s not that bad, that and a lot of coffee when I show up on the set.
Phyllis: It’s funny. It seems like a traditional game show. Of course, I think “The $20,000 “Pyramid” a little bit with the standard $20, 000 prize. How do you describe the show?
Craig Ferguson: You know, for me it’s a show that is almost like a conversation that you have anyway. You’ve done this in your life,”You know. It’s that guy that was in that movie with that thing….” It’s part of everyday life and then I think that and also I noticed that, we’re about to do our 70th show and I think that that once we got to about 60 shows you start to figure it out. I think before you start deconstructing something, you have to learn how to do it. I think I’m still learning about it. I know I’m still learning about it. I think the first 50 or 60 you’re kind of finding your way. You know since we’re in syndication, it’ll be interesting if you can tell, because they don’t show them in order which one was taped when. If you can look at the shows and say, “that one was down early” or “that must have been the first day.” It’s kind of a learning process that I’m enjoying.
Phyllis: You don’t have cue cards or anything…
Craig Ferguson: No, no…
Phyllis: Hosts usually do.
Craig Ferguson: Do they really?
Phyllis: Yeah, I think so. It a lot of this improve for you or do you know what names [or answers] ahead of time?
Craig Ferguson: I don’t know the answers for sure, no. I don’t know any of that. We just mess around.
Phyllis: So you’re just as surprised as the contestants when the names pop up?
Craig Ferguson: So. I definitely don’t know the answers because I’m not allowed to…
Phyllis: Was there ever a name that’s come up and everyone goes, “Who in the heck is that?”
Craig Ferguson: Oh yeah, lots of them. Usually I have to say, my problem is younger, younger pop stars or actors and the contestants get it right away and I have no idea.
Phyllis: It must be kind of awkward when the contestants perform poorly and they lose by a landslide. Do you want to say anything to them or how involved are you with the contestants?
Craig Ferguson: You want to help, I’m mean you’re human. You want to help them and there’s a ton of people watching me and I need to be fair. You want to help them but fair and square. You feel bad for them. They get excited and then, it’s “welcome to show business.”
Phyllis: Did you watch game shows growing up?
Craig Ferguson: Sure, yeah. Yeah…
Phyllis: Which ones did you watch?
Craig Ferguson: It’s funny, I didn’t grow up here so it might have been different than what you watched. They had “Family Fortune.” It was like “Family Feud.” That one…it was the one where you get mad with the family. I like it now. Steve Harvey, he’s great at it. If I wanted to emulate anybody’s work on a game show right now, it would be Steve. He’s killing it on that show.
Phyllis: Do you feel any pressure to stay funny? There are so many funny guys doing it already and doing it well?
Craig Ferguson: The job that I have you feel the pressure to stay funny from day one.. I’ve had that pressure for 35 years. Yeah, you feel it… but it’s a part of the game.
Phyllis: And lastly, if your name came up on the screen as a clue, what would you want the clues to be?
Craig Ferguson: Well, let me tell you something. My name did come up and the clue was that someone pointed at me and the contestant didn’t know who I was! That’s a great episode.
Phyllis: Wow, that’s funny? What would you want the clues to be?
Craig Ferguson: I’d say… I’d like the clue to be “The most handsome and intelligent man on television,” but I’ve got a feeling it would be something “He sounds like Shrek and he’s on too late.”
Catch “Celebrity Name Game,” hosted by Craig Ferguson, currently in syndication. Check your local listings for show times.