© 2024 Milwaukee Public Media is a service of UW-Milwaukee's College of Letters & Science
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Craig Ferguson on Life Before and After Late Night Television


Leading up to his retirement, there were many stories about David Letterman's 30-years in late night TV, which pointed to his skill at deconstructing the very concept he was a part of.

But it was another host that often gets credit for truly hosting the "un-talk show," talk show. Craig Fergusonleft his ten year role as host of the Late Late Show last December. It was a program that showed Ferguson's creative and entirely offbeat sense of humor, but also his skill as honest conversationalist – he won a Peabody Award for his interview with Archbishop Desmond Tutu and won praise for an episode in which he eulogized his late father.  However, after ten years, Ferguson knew it was time to move on in his career.

"It was a long time doing the same thing," says Ferguson. "I think if I'm really honest I probably stayed at that a couple years too long. But it's hard to leave a comfortable place like that, but it was time."

Ferguson was born in Scotland and became an American citizen – a process he wrote about in a memoir called "American On Purpose." Becoming a citizen also figures into his standup comedy work, which now takes him around the country. Ferguson will be at the Pabst Theateron Saturday, April 8, 2017.

In addition to his current standup tour, Ferguson is the host of a game show called The Celebrity Name Game and is working on the pilot of a sitcom.

"I'm not a journalist, I'm not an interviewer, and so I don't miss [The Late Late Show.] I can still continue to interact in my life much the same way as I did when I was having paid conversations on television," says Ferguson.

This piece was originally posted May 23, 2015.

Audrey is a WUWM host and producer for Lake Effect.