In 2007, Craig Ferguson opened The Late Late Show with something that was bothering him.
He was speaking on February 19, the Monday after singer Britney Spears had made headlines around the world for shaving her own hair off while 70 photographers watched on, gleefully snapping away at their next paycheck.
She'd just checked herself out of a rehabilitation clinic in Antigua, and had visited the home of her ex-husband, Kevin Federline, asking to see their children. When he refused, she drove to a nearby hair salon while being trailed - as she always was - by swarms of paparazzi.
She was clearly in severe psychological distress.. But editors, TV hosts and their audiences were poised to point and laugh, not commiserate with a woman out of her depth and in desperate need of help.
"Tonight, no Britney Spears jokes, and here’s why…” Ferguson told his audience in a 13 minute monologue that's resurfaced in 2021.
Even at the name 'Britney' the crowd can be heard laughing. Ready to make the troubled popstar the butt of the joke.
Watch: Some of Ferguson's monologue. Post continues after video.
"No no... I'm not doing them," he insists.
"The kind of weekend she had, she was checking in and out of rehab, she was shaving her head, getting tattoos, that’s what she was doing this weekend. This Sunday, I was 15 years sober. So I looked at her weekend, and I looked at my own weekend, and I thought, ‘You know, I’d rather have my weekend.’ But what she’s going through reminds me of what I was doing. It’s an anniversary, you start to think about it, and it reminds me of where I was 15 years ago, when I was living like that," he continues.
"She clearly needs help," said Ferguson. “This woman has two kids. She’s 25 years old. She’s a baby herself. She’s a baby, you know. And the thing is, you can embarrass somebody to death."