With the release of his solo album, Aftermath Of The Lowdown, this past September, Bon Jovi guitarist Richie Sambora revealed another side of himself to fans. “During this whole period of time when I’ve been doing interviews, it’s given people a really good insight about who I am," Sambora tells The Hollywood Reporter. "I think I’ve been quite vulnerable in my music and through this record. I wanted people to get to know me [beyond] being the right-hand man in Bon Jovi.”
Empowered by the response, Sambora has opened the door even further by showing off his love of comedy. “I’ve always been a comedy buff,” he says. “I’m always watching Comedy Central and I love Colbert, Daily Show, Bill Maher -- all that kind of stuff. I think Louis C.K. is right up there, too.”
But as a childhood fan of Johnny Carson, Sambora holds a special place in his heart for late-night TV. So when CBS asked him which show he could be involved with, he immediately chose The Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson, where the guitarist has moonlighted all week as band leader.
“Richie, as far as late-night comedy goes, has low standards -- that must be it,” Ferguson joked. In all seriousness though, the two have developed an immediate rapport, as evidenced by their on-air banter.
Clearly, the two share similar philosophies.
“I love the spontaneity,” Sambora says of the show’s un-scripted approach. "For me, I get more anxiety from the scripted thing than having spontaneity. I don’t know what the f--k is going on and that’s the fun of it. You just gotta listen and engage him and wait for him to engage you.”
Though Sambora is a newcomer to the world of late-night, Ferguson says the guitarist gets it. “He understands and knows how to do a very loose kind of improvised show, which is how we approach it,” the host says. “There are a lot of people in this building, and in show business, that are not rock 'n' roll, but Richie is. And I think the show is kind of rock 'n' roll.”
THR spent the afternoon of Dec. 5 on the Late Late Show set with Sambora, Ferguson and pals (like Larry King, who sat in for a performance of the theme song). See the photos here, and check out a special edition of the song "I’ll Always Walk Beside You," featuring Alicia Keys on piano, at www.richiesambora.com. Proceeds from download sales will benefit the American Red Cross and ongoing Hurricane Sandy recovery efforts.