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Craig Ferguson praised for 2007 clip when he refused to joke about Britney Spears

The clip of the talk show host is making the rounds on social media.
Many celebrities have spoken out to support Spears following the release of a new documentary about the singer.
Many celebrities have spoken out to support Spears following the release of a new documentary about the singer.Courtesy Getty Images
/ Source: TODAY

As celebrities continue to rally around Britney Spears following the release of a New York Times documentary about her life, an old clip of Craig Ferguson explaining why he won't tell jokes about the pop star has resurfaced online.

In the 2007 video, the former host of "The Late Late Show" gives his nightly monologue and reflects on what it's like to meet celebrities after he's made fun of them on air. While describing one such encounter with Kevin Costner, Ferguson recalled that the actor didn't explicitly address the jokes he'd previously made about him, but Ferguson could tell that Costner was aware of them.

"I began to think, 'At what price am I doing this stuff?' And I started to think about the effect it's been having on real people, and it's been needling at me a little bit ever since," the Scottish comedian said.

Ferguson then announced that he wouldn't be telling any jokes about Spears and suggested other members of the media handle the pop star in a more delicate manner.

"People are falling apart, people are dying. That Anna Nicole Smith woman, she died. It's not a joke. It stops being funny then," he said.

During his monologue, which recently went viral on Twitter, Ferguson also compared the experience of seeing celebrities break down in the public eye to watching "America's Funniest Home Videos."

"You'd be laughing at the kid falling over. Then you'd go, 'Wait a minute put down the damn camera and help your kid. What the hell is wrong with you?'" he said.

Ferguson admitted that he was starting to feel uncomfortable making fun of celebrities who seem to be crying out for help, like he believed Spears was at the time.

"For me, comedy should have a sentiment of joy in it," he said in the clip. "It should be about us attacking the powerful people, attacking the politicians and the Trumps. ... We shouldn't be attacking the vulnerable people."

Ferguson also took the time to apologize for any Spears jokes he'd told in the past and explained why comedians should be a bit kinder.

"I think my aim's been off a bit recently. I want to change a bit. So tonight, no Britney Spears jokes. This woman has two kids. She's 25 years old. She's a baby herself," he said.