By Jami Smith
Originally published on Advocate.com September 04 2013 11:20 AM ET
As if making her network television debut wasn't nerve-racking enough, comedian Cameron Esposito had to perform her first late-night television routine on The Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson in front of not one but two comedy legends. Ferguson's other guest on the show was Jay Leno, who sat alongside of Ferguson as Esposito performed.
What happened next was a rare departure from the late-night show format (and truly adorable). Typically, when a new comedian appears, they give a sleek five-minute set and quickly shake hands with the host as the show fades to commercial. In the middle of Esposito's hilarious set about getting engaged to a woman, though, she interjected a witty aside about how Leno shares her love of wearing denim. Surprisingly, both Leno and Ferguson joined the conversation and invited Esposito to abandon her set and banter on the couch with them instead.
It is a rare television moment when not only does a young comedian get to do a set of jokes focusing mostly on LGBT themes but is also publicly encouraged by two legendary talk show hosts. Leno called Esposito "the future." And he's right.
See why in the full clip here as Esposito gets taken by surprise.