When it comes to late-night hosts, there's no denying that Craig Ferguson - who turns 53 today - stands out from the rest. He's a Scottish, Peabody Award-winning comedian whose sidekicks during his tenure at The Late Late Show (2005-2014) included a robot and a pantomime horse. But like his talkshow colleagues, he liked to poke fun at America's ridiculous attitudes toward cannabis.
Here are his best marijuana moments.
1. Crash course in cannabis
Over the years, Zooey Deschannel repeatedly appeared on "The Late Late Show" to promote her movies and music. And almost every time, Ferguson cornered her with pot questions. Maybe he wouldn't have picked on her if she wasn't so easily flustered about cannabis. Here's Ferguson teaching her about blunts (i.e. "marijuana cigars").
2. Israel calls Americans "cannabis prudes"
In 2014, journalist and neuroscientist Dr. Sanjay Gupta swung by Ferguson's show to talk about his documentary series, WEED, in which Gupta travels the world to learn about different attitudes toward medical and recreational marijuana.
While recapping his latest trek, Gupta told Ferguson, "I was in Israel, where they are doing some of the most foremost research on [cannabis]. And I was talking to this guy who's won the Israel Prize in science, who's about 80 years old. And he said, 'You Americans are a bunch of prudes on this issue.' "
In the full interview, Gupta also revealed the hypocrisy of American marijuana prohibition.
3. Stoner monologue
When Willie Nelson stopped by the show just a few days before 4/20 in 2010, Ferguson donned a braided wig and did his best stoner impression, including getting lost in thought, laughing at his own jokes and staring at the audience for long, awkward pauses.
4. Putting Willie on the pot seat
"Are you familiar with marijuana?" a deadpan Ferguson asked Nelson during the 2010 interview. "I recognize the plant when I see it," Willie said with a straight face before the two joked about baling hay and cannabis on Nelson's ranch.
5. Mary-Louise Parker's cannabis wedding
In 2009, Mary-Louise Parker - star of Showtime's Weeds (2005-2012) - told Ferguson about winning a Stoney Award, High Times Magazine's top honor for shows, movies and celebs involved in pot culture. She wasn't available to accept the trophy - a glass bong - in person, so she taped her acceptance speech. Afterward, the cameraman cornered her with an odd request. And Parker obliged. Check out the full story:
6. Cannabis cinema
On top of hosting "The Late Late Show," Ferguson is also an actor whose film credits include the British comedy Saving Grace (2000), in which he plays a Scottish cannabis grower trying to help an impoverished widow through his illegal crop. Check out this clip in which Ferguson's character reveals the Glaswegian dream:
banner image: Gage Skidmore / Flickr