Robert Downey, Jr. was a crack up from the moment he came out to greet Craig Ferguson. Playing to the audience, posing and eliciting massive amounts of cheer, Downey immediately established as strong rapport with everyone including the host. His casual, gum-chewing, jeans & jacket wearing persona is much more relaxed and much less cocky than previous talk show appearances and lends itself to accessibility, even while his intellect and quick wit kept Ferguson on his toes.
The discussion of his new film, Tropic Thunder, was interestingly handled in that it was talked about for several minutes without actually saying anything substantive other than Ferguson saying, about Downey’s character, “You can’t do that!” Then there much discussion about Downey’s new mustache (is it more “Star 80 porn” or “Super Mario Bros?”) but he further showed his non-stop entertaining qualities by easily slipping in and out of accents, winning much praise from the lucky studio audience.
Guest and host were so in sync that Downey even commented on it “…we have a spark going between us.” From “Googling” masquerading as “masturbation,” to thinly veiled allusions to Downey’s drug years, much ground was covered here – all of it with energy and style. I actually laughed out loud…twice! Not an easy feat at that ungodly hour.
You can’t buy good chemistry, but you can learn to play off the audience and your host by listening intently and drawing retorts from your arsenal well rehearsed anecdotes. For Downey, it just comes naturally. Probably just another reason why he’s such a good actor.