(born May 17, 1962) is a Scottish-American television host
, stand-up comedian
, writer, director and
actor. He is the present host of CBS's
The Late Late
, a role that earned him an
Emmy nomination in 2006
Before his career as a late-night talk-show host, Ferguson was best
known in the United States for his role as the office boss,
, on The Drew Carey Show
from 1996 to
He is the author of the 2006
the Bridge and the River
and his 2009 memoir American on
, which details his life experiences over several
decades. He co-wrote and starred in three films, including
The Big Tease
Ferguson's experience in entertainment began as a drummer in a rock
band called "Exposure." He then joined a punk
band called "The Bastards from Hell." The
band, later renamed "Dreamboys," and fronted by vocalist Peter Capaldi
, performed regularly in Glasgow
from 1980 to 1982. He credits Capaldi for inspiring him to try
After a nerve-wracking, knee-knocking first appearance, he decided
to create a character that was a "parody of all the über-patriotic
native folk singers who seemed to infect every public performance
in Scotland." The character, "Bing Hitler", premiered in Glasgow,
and subsequently became a hit at the 1986 Edinburgh Festival Fringe
recording of his stage act as Bing Hitler was made at Glasgow's
Tron Theatre and released in the 1980s; a Bing Hitler monologue ("A
Lecture for Burns Night") appears on the compilation cassette
Honey at the Core.
Ferguson also toured the UK during the late '80s under his own name
as a support act to Harry
Ferguson made his television debut in The Craig Ferguson
, a one-off comedy pilot for Granada Television
, which co-starred
and Helen Atkinson-Wood
. This was broadcast
throughout the UK on March 4, 1990, but was not made into a full
He has also found success in musical theatre. Beginning in 1991, he
appeared on stage as Brad Majors in the London production of
The Rocky Horror
, alongside Anthony
, who was playing Dr. Frank-N-Furter at the time.
The same year, he appeared again at the Edinburgh Fringe, as Oscar
Madison in The Odd Couple
opposite Gerard Kelly
as Felix; the
play, which was relocated to 1990s Glasgow, later toured Scotland.
Ferguson played "Father MacLean" in the highly controversial
production of Bad Boy Johnny and the
Prophets of Doom at the Union Chapel in London.
Because it was performed in a
practicing church, the production was closed down after just ten
After enjoying success at the Edinburgh Festival
, Ferguson made further
forays into television with appearances on Red Dwarf
, his own show 2000 Not Out
, and the
1993 One Foot in the
Christmas special One Foot in the
In 1993, Ferguson presented his own series on Scottish archaeology
for Scottish Television
Dirt Detective. He traveled throughout the country examining
archaeological history, including Skara Brae and Paisley
After cancellation of his show The Ferguson Theory
Ferguson moved to Los Angeles in 1994. His first U.S. role was as
baker Logan McDonough on the short-lived 1995 ABC
comedy Maybe This Time,
which starred Betty White
His breakthrough in the U.S. came when he was cast as the title
character's boss, Mr. Wick, on The Drew Carey Show,
a role that he
played from 1996 to 2003. He played the role with an over-the-top
posh English accent "to make up for generations of English actors
doing crap Scottish accents." His character was memorable for his
unique methods of laying employees off, almost always 'firing
Johnson', the most common last name of the to-be-fired workers.
Even after leaving the show in 2003, he remained a recurring
character on the series for the last two seasons, and was part of
the 2-part series finale in 2004.
During this time, he also wrote and starred in three films:
The Big Tease
, Saving Grace
, and I'll Be There
, which he also
directed and for which he won the Audience Award for Best Film at
the Aspen, Dallas and Valencia film festivals. He was named Best
New Director at the Napa Valley Film Festival.His other acting
credits in films include Niagara
, Lenny the Wonder Dog
, Lemony Snicket's
A Series of Unfortunate Events
, Chain of Fools
, and Born Romantic.
The Late Late Show
In December 2004, it was announced that Ferguson would be the
successor to Craig Kilborn
's The Late Late Show.
His first show as the
regular host aired on January 3, 2005. By May 2008, Ben Alba, an
American television historian and an authority on U.S. talk shows,
said Ferguson "has already made his mark, taking the TV monologue
to new levels with an underlying story.
But he is only just starting ...He is making up his own rules: It's
the immigrant experience."
The Late Late Show
averaged 2.0 million viewers in its
2007 season, compared with 2.5 million for Late Night with Conan
In April 2008, The Late Late Show with Craig
beat Late Night with Conan O'Brien
weekly ratings (1.88 million to 1.77 million) for the first time
since the two shows went head-to-head with their respective
By the end of 2009 Craig Ferguson tops Jimmy Fallon in the ratings
with Ferguson getting a 1.8 rating/6 share and Fallon getting a 1.6
His success on the show has led at least one "television insider"
to say he's the heir-apparent to take over David Letterman
's role as host of
Television and appearances
- Craig Ferguson has made guest appearances on The Tonight Show with Jay
Leno, the Late Show with David
Letterman, Late Night with Conan
Ray, Countdown with Keith
Olbermann, Howard Stern,
The Daily Show, The View, Loveline, Real Time with Bill Maher,
The Soup, and The Dennis Miller Show. He also
co-hosted Live with
Regis & Kelly with Kelly Ripa.
- Ferguson played Ted Truman in the indie film Trust
- Ferguson hosted the 32nd annual People's Choice Awards on January 10,
2006. TV Guide magazine printed a
"Cheers" (Cheers and Jeers section) for appearing on his own show
that same evening.
- From 2007 to 2009, Ferguson hosted the Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular on July 4,
broadcast nationally by CBS.
- Ferguson was the featured entertainer at the April 26, 2008
Correspondents' Association dinner in Washington, DC where he
criticized the New York Times for not sending a
representative to the banquet and told them to "shut the hell
up...you sanctimonious, whining jerks."
- Ferguson co-presented the Emmy Award
for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama with Brooke Shields in 2008, where Ferguson was
involved in a joke about the touching of Shields' butt. When asked
a few days later by Denis Leary, Craig
confirmed that he did in fact have his hand on Shields' behind
during the joke (although it remains to be seen if he was actually
continues to make standup appearances in Las
Vegas and New York
City. He headlined in the Just for Laughs festival in Montreal and in
October 2008 Ferguson taped his stand up show in Boston for a
Comedy Central special entitled A
Wee Bit o' Revolution, which aired on March 22,
- Ferguson's novel Between the Bridge and the
River (ISBN 9780811853750) was published on April 10,
2006. Ferguson appeared at the Los Angeles Festival of Books, as
well as other author literary events. "This book could scare them",
Ferguson said. "The sex, the violence, the dream sequences and the
iconoclasm. I think a lot of people are uncomfortable with that. I
understand that. It was very uncomfortable to write some of it."
Publishers Weekly called
it "a tour de force of cynical humor and poignant reverie,
a caustic yet ebullient picaresque that approaches the sacred by
way of the profane." His novel Between the Bridge and the
River is dedicated to his son and to his grandfather, Adam.
Craig revealed in an interview that he is writing a sequel to the
book, to be titled "The Sphynx of the Mississippi"
- In July 2009, Jackie Collins was
a guest on The Late Late
Show to promote her new book Married Lovers.
Collins said that a character in her book, Don Verona, was based on
Craig because she was such a fan of him and his show.
was born in Glasgow, Scotland, to Robert
and Janet Ferguson, and raised in nearby Cumbernauld, growing up "chubby and bullied."
in one episode of the Late Late Show
to have been raised
In an episode of The Late Late Show
which aired December
8, 2008, a somber Ferguson talked about his recently deceased
mother, Janet (August 3, 1933–December 1, 2008). He ended the
program by playing her favorite song, "Rivers of Babylon
" by Boney M.
Ferguson has two sisters (one older and one younger) and one older
brother. His younger sister, Lynn
, is a successful comedian, presenter and actress,
perhaps most widely known as the voice of Mac in the 2000 stop-motion animation
. She is currently a
writer on The Late Late Show
. His brother, Scott, worked
, and is married to actress Teri Lally.
His elder sister, Janice, is a successful businesswoman and
fellowship member of the Institution of
Occupational Safety and Health
Ferguson stated confusion at having once been asked to speak at his
high school because he dropped out at the age of 15 and
subsequently never finished it or attended college.
visit to the United
States was as a teenager to visit an uncle who lived on
Island, near New York City. Later, he lived in New York City, where he
worked in construction in Harlem.
Ferguson said that he "used to be a bouncer at a cool club in New
York called 'Save the Robots'. That was the name of the club. I was
the bouncer the first couple of weeks. I got fired. I was
power-crazed. I was acting like a goblin from The Lord of the Rings
Ferguson has married three times and divorced twice as a result of
what he describes as "relationship issues." His first marriage was
to Anne Hogarth from 1983 to 1986, during which time they lived in
New York. From his second marriage (to Sascha Corwin, founder and
proprietor of Los Angeles' SpySchool), he has one son, Milo Hamish
Ferguson, born in 2001. He and Corwin share custody of Milo, live
near each other in LA and remain good friends. On December 21, 2008,
Ferguson married art dealer Megan Wallace-Cunningham in a private
ceremony on her family's farm in Chester, Vermont.
A recovering alcoholic, Ferguson has been sober since February 18,
said he had considered committing suicide on Christmas Day 1991, but
when offered a drink by a friend, Tommy the Irishman, for
celebrating the holiday, he was distracted from jumping off
Bridge in London as he had
As mentioned on The Late Late Show
on August 3, 2009,
Ferguson holds an FAA Private Pilot License
issued on July
Ferguson is also a fan of Scottish football team Partick Thistle F.C.
Ferguson has three tattoos: his latest, the Join, or Die
political cartoon on his right
forearm, a Ferguson family crest with the Latin motto Dulcius
("Sweeter after difficulty") on his upper right arm
in honor of his father, and the Ingram family crest on his upper
left arm in honor of his mother.
dual citizenship, he is
currently both a naturalized citizen of the United States and a citizen of the United Kingdom.
During 2007, Ferguson, who at the time held only British citizenship
The Late Late Show
as a forum for seeking honorary citizenship
every state in the U.S. He has received honorary citizenship from
Nebraska, Arkansas, Virginia, Montana, North
Jersey, Tennessee, South
Carolina, South Dakota, Nevada, Alaska, Texas, Wyoming, Pennsylvania and Indiana, and was "commissioned" as an admiral in the tongue-in-cheek Nebraska
Governors Jon Corzine
, Mark Sanford
, Rick Perry
, Sarah Palin
sent letters to him that made him an honorary citizen
of their respective states. He received as well similar honors from
various towns and cities, including Ozark, Arkansas, Hazard,
Kentucky and Greensburg, Pennsylvania.
Ferguson became an American citizen on February 1, 2008.
27, 2009, after a USO-tour performance in Kosovo, he was given
honorary citizenship to Camp Bondsteel there.
- "We did it exactly the same except for soccer references
instead of baseball, and we brought down the house every
- Craig Ferguson 'may be next Letterman'.
- "Craig Ferguson set to pen memoirs." Variety.
- Craig Ferguson on The Late Late Show, October 10,
- American on Purpose, p. 259
- "Nebraska honors 'Late Late Show' host Craig