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Craig Ferguson and Jimmy Fallon Exchange Christmas Gifts, Continue Classiness Instead of Petty Late Night Wars

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Last night Craig Ferguson and Jimmy Fallon exchanged Christmas gifts on their respective shows in yet another effort by the rival hosts to end the petty late night wars that have dominated the NBC and CBS post-local-news time slots.

Ferguson began The Late Late Show by opening Fallon\’s present: a homemade Christmas sweater featuring the two hosts\’ heads on a glittery ornament.  Ferguson later closed the show wearing the sweater, of which he said, like all Christmas sweaters, made him look like a serial killer.

Fallon was greeted on Late Night by Ferguson\’s dancing Secretariat (two people in a horse costume) who presented him with a repurposed birthday card instructing him to look under his desk.  Fallon then reached under his desk to find Ferguson\’s gift: two adorable kittens named Regis and Kelly.

This display isn\’t the hosts\’ first attempt at ending the late night wars, however.  The two regularly wave to each other with giant Mickey Mouse hands – a system of televised messages that would make Carol Burnett and her ear tug proud.

Also, they brilliantly orchestrated a skit where Fallon shot spaghetti from his eyes on his show on NBC, only to have Ferguson get hit with spaghetti seconds later during his monologue on CBS (please forgive the following YouTube video’s cheesy editing).

In a year that saw NBC executives pit Jay Leno and Conan O\’Brien in an ugly struggle over The Tonight Show while David Letterman watched with reminiscent glee, the cross-network gift exchange is an ironic and welcome bookend for 2010.  Amidst the debacle earlier this year, I wrote that Craig Ferguson would emerge victorious from the whole situation because increased attention to the late night world would highlight how amazingly unique and refreshing his style is (Read it HERE); and while his rambling improvisations are still his greatest strength, he and Fallon have impressed me more with the class they\’ve shown to each other when history dictates they should be bitter rivals.

Of course, Ferguson recently extended the same classiness to a French talk show host who not only stole his comedy bits, but even The Late Late Show\’s opening credits scene-for-scene.  Had this happened to anyone else, fire-breathing lawyers would\’ve been summoned to turn the copycat into a soufflé, but Ferguson instead invited him to be a guest on his show, where they made light of the events and even closed with a touching Casablanca parody – noting that this would be the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

Hollywood (late night comedy in particular) isn\’t known for civility among competitors.  Luckily, Fallon and Ferguson are disregarding the past and reminding the nation of the futility of pettiness.  Now if only Republicans and Democrats would notice.  Washington could get so much more accomplished if John Boehner and Nancy Pelosi would just wave to each other with giant Mickey Mouse hands.