The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson: Host Doesn’t Want Letterman’s Job

Craig FergusonThe recent NBC late night debacle seems to be scaring others away from anything similar. Craig Ferguson has never really relished being called a late night talk show host, but now he seems even more determined than ever to keep his distance.

Ferguson has hosted The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson since 2005. His is the third Late Late Show program to lead out of CBS’ Late Show with David Letterman. The Late Late Show with Tom Snyder lasted for four years and The Late Late Show with Craig Kilborn lasted for five. In a month or so, Ferguson’s show will surpass Kilborn’s number of original episodes.

In light of what happened at NBC, Ferguson was asked if he would consider moving up to the 11:35pm time on CBS when Letterman retires. Ferguson refuses to even consider it. Even back in 2007, he didn’t enjoy the fame that came along with the late night chatfest, saying, “I just don’t know if I like being that visible.”

Nearly three years later, he seems to feel even more strongly about making a move up. He says, “As I watched that, whatever that was, unfold, I realized that I am not part of this — I am not part of the late-night clubhouse… Don’t ever rope me in as a late-night talk show host. I don’t want to be one.”

When Letterman retires, Ferguson has no intention of taking his place. “I neither care nor have any ambition about that,” he says.

Ferguson feels that it would be a mistake to try to take his unique show and move it into the Letterman spot. He cites the recent Conan O’Brien debacle as a good example that CBS should learn from.

He adds, “I do a show. It comes on late at night on TV. And if that means I’m a late-night talk show host, then I guess I am, but in every other regard I resign my commission, I don’t care for it.”

What do you think? Do you think Ferguson would be a good replacement for Letterman? How should CBS plan to replace Letterman?

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20 Comments · Read them below or add one

  1. raul says

    i don’t think it’ll be a good idea for him to replace letterman. cuz then his show might not be as funny. the thing i like about craig’s show is that he’s not like the other late night hosts. with being on late late. he can break some rules and all. and when the guests get there. they don’t talk about their movies much. they have more of a normal conversation instead of promoting films. and i think if he moves to lettermans spot. they’ll probably make him ask those question he always tears up when each guests arrives, and follow rules more and all. and then it’ll just be the same kinda interview u see on everyone elses show.

  2. SteveHC says

    Well, regardless of what Ferguson says, eventually *somebody” will have to replace David Letterman and I can’t think of anyone other than Craig who could possibly be considered good enough to replace Dave when the time comes, not a one. So let’s just hope that by then Craig doesn’t totally burn out on the prospect…

  3. dlsarapina says

    I not only watch Craig every nite but watch clips 2 -3 times a day for a pick-me-up. I agree with the others about Craig not wanting the hazzle of new “management” by taking over something that isn’t “his”. He gave up making movies when the producers had more control over the movie HE wrote than he did (although “I’ll be There” is a sweet movie). He is more than talented enough to make it without the LLS, so he must be doing it for the joy. Leave him to do it.

  4. 24hrlib says

    I often wish Ferguson was in Letterman’s spot. I can’t stay up that late anymore. ;(
    Old age dreds!

  5. Anonymous says

    When Jay Leno leaves “Tonight” in the next five years or so, I think Craig Ferguson could be his successor.

  6. Adam Decker says

    I like both shows. I don’t know what I would do in Craig Fergeson’s case. I mean, now, isn’t Letterman his boss? It would just seem to weird for me.

    Also, it will be a problem replacing either of these great hosts. Besides, if Craig wanted the job, I’m sure he would take it.

  7. Joey ZaZa says

    Fergie is the best late nite show on TV. He’s the funniest of them
    all. He should do whatever he wants and if he wants to stay put
    that is fine with me…..

  8. Fern Shaw says

    I don’t think Craig would be a good candidate for Late Night instead of Late, Late Night.
    He would be restrained and unable to perform because he would be on earlier which would mean he would have more censorship. Letterman is an entirely different host from Craig. I think Craig enjoys the extra freedom he has because his show is on later.

  9. Tom The Bomb says

    Craig Ferguson is primarily responsible for making me a very tired person. I have been a Letterman fan ever since he came on the air when I was just becoming a teen (for Late Night on NBC). It will be a sad day when Letterman retires but when he does I feel that the next best person to take over the show ( and keep it in NYC ) would be Craig Ferguson. He ( like Letterman) are naturally likeable, funny, witty people who dont have to look far to make jokes and keep people entertained. He far outshines all of the other nightly talk show hosts including Jay Leno ( who has lost his luster with the whole Conan debacle). PLEASE Craig reconsider coming to NYC ! (I’d be happy to work for you !)

  10. Melissa says

    I think Craig is happy where he is…he’s not greedy, he’s been through enough in life to realize what true happiness is. He has it all…and he’s HAPPY. That’s all anyone needs in life.

  11. JoeAnn Sause says

    I believe that Craig is above the last-night talk show host status and it would be detrimental for him to be in an earlier time slot. It would definitely impact his creative and humorous genius. He is like no other late night show and that is what sets him apart. After all, he is a comedic genius who won the Peabody for an INTERVIEW with Desmond Tutu! There is no comparison for this man. He is in a league of his own and I will follow him and be a fan always!

  12. Batsheva says

    I think Ferguson is smart enough and talented enough to adapt to any time slot. I can’t figure out what’s going on with these “I’m not a late night host” comments. He IS a late night host and a damn good one. These statements about not caring about getting Letterman’s job are almost preemptive “sour grapes” in case he doesn’t get it. Does he know something we don’t?

    • says

      @Batsheva: I think he means that he doesn’t want to be a typical talk show host and have to follow the traditional format. I think he’ll stay only as long as he’s having a good time.

    • Nick Lepa says

      He wants to be a comedian not a talk show host. I know it doesn’t make any sense but if you think about it and look into his background you will understand. The main reason I think he doesn’t want to bother with Letterman’s job is because he is starting a family (his dad neglected him as a kid, as he became older he was going to commit suicide but was to drunk to do so. There is a whole book about his early life. But he doesn’t want his kid to go through that.) and because he may be in fear of being “Lenoed”

  13. says

    At the end of the day I think Craig should take it. Simply because he’ll funny enough to handle 11:35 and he’ll just wonder what if. On the other hand I think he has a good point concerning with what happened with Conan. Or maybe it really is nice just to be asked. Who knows?

  14. Meli says

    I don’t think Craig wants Letterman’s job as much as he wants the right of first refusal. In other words, I think Craig thinks he’s earned the respect of CBS and Worldwide Pants to be at least offered the position if he wants it, and then he can decide to say no. As far as whether Craig’s format would work at 11:30, I’d say no. At 12:30 Craig has the creative freedom to do what he wants (within limits), and there would be too much network interference to keep the 11:30 show palatable to the lowest common denominator. That’s what happened with Conan and NBC–the network essentially told him he couldn’t do his show at 11:30 and without having the creative freedom to be funny, he simply wasn’t.

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