For the hockey player, see Craig Ferguson (ice hockey).

Craig Ferguson (born 17 May 1962) is a Scottish-American[1] television host, stand-up comedian, writer, producer, director and actor. He is the host of The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, an Emmy Award-nominated, Peabody Award-winning late-night talk show that airs on CBS. In addition to hosting that program and performing stand-up comedy, Ferguson has written two books: Between the Bridge and the River, a novel, and American on Purpose, an autobiography.

Before his career as a late-night television host, Ferguson was best known in the United States for his role as the office boss, Nigel Wick, on The Drew Carey Show from 1996 to 2003. After that, he wrote and starred in three films, directing one of them.

UK career

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."[2] The band, later renamed "Dreamboys," and fronted by vocalist Peter Capaldi, performed regularly in Glasgow from 1980 to 1982.[3] Ferguson credits Capaldi for inspiring him to try comedy.[4]

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."[4] The character, "Bing Hitler" (actually coined by Capaldi as Ferguson started with the monogram of "Nico Fulton" but admittedly later stole the name for his "own nefarious ends")[3], premiered in Glasgow, and subsequently became a hit at the 1986 Edinburgh Festival Fringe. A recording of his stage act as Bing Hitler was made at Glasgow's Tron Theatre and released in the 1980s;[5] 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 Enfield.[citation needed]

Ferguson made his television debut in The Craig Ferguson Show, a one-off comedy pilot for Granada Television, which co-starred Paul Whitehouse and Helen Atkinson-Wood.[6] This was broadcast throughout the UK on 4 March 1990, but was not made into a full series.

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 Show, alongside Anthony Stewart Head, who was playing Dr. Frank-N-Furter at the time.[citation needed] The same year, he appeared again at the Edinburgh Fringe, as Oscar Madison in The Odd Couple, opposite Gerard Kelly as Felix and Kate Anthony as Gwendolin Pidgeon, who is now much better know as Aunty Pam in Coronation Street; The play, which was relocated to 1990s Glasgow, later toured Scotland.[7] In 1994, 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 practising church, the production was closed down after just ten performances.[citation needed]

After enjoying success at the Edinburgh Festival, Ferguson made further forays into television with appearances on Red Dwarf, STV's Hogmanay Show,[8] his own show 2000 Not Out, and the 1993 One Foot in the Grave Christmas special One Foot in the Algarve.

In 1993, Ferguson presented his own series on Scottish archaeology for Scottish Television entitled Dirt Detective.[9] He traveled throughout the country examining archaeological history, including Skara Brae and Paisley Abbey.

U.S. career

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 and Marie Osmond.

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." (At the end of one episode, though, Ferguson broke the fourth wall and began talking to the audience at home in his regular Scottish accent.) 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.[10] 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 production of The Drew Carey Show, Ferguson devoted his off-time as a cast member to writing, working in his trailer on set in-between shooting his scenes. He 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. These were among other scripts which "in the great tradition of the movie business, about half a dozen that I got paid a fortune for but never got made."[11] His other acting credits in films include Niagara Motel, Lenny the Wonder Dog, Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events, Chain of Fools, Born Romantic, The Ugly Truth, How to Train Your Dragon, Kick-Ass, and Totally Framed.

The Late Late Show

In December 2004, it was announced that Ferguson would be the successor to Craig Kilborn on CBS's The Late Late Show. His first show as the regular host aired on 3 January 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."[10]

The Late Late Show averaged 2.0 million viewers in its 2007 season, compared with 2.5 million for Late Night with Conan O'Brien.[12] In April 2008, The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson beat Late Night with Conan O'Brien for weekly ratings (1.88 million to 1.77 million) for the first time since the two shows went head-to-head with their respective hosts.[13]

By the end of 2009, Craig Ferguson topped Jimmy Fallon in the ratings with Ferguson getting a 1.8 rating/6 share and Fallon receiving a 1.6 rating/6 share.[14]

Ferguson's success on the show has led at least one "television insider" to say he is the heir apparent to take over David Letterman's role as host of The Late Show.[10]

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 O'Brien, Rachael 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.

On 4 January 2009, Ferguson was a celebrity player on Million Dollar Password.

In 2009, Ferguson made a cameo live-action appearance in the episode "We Love You, Conrad" on Family Guy.

Ferguson hosted the 32nd annual People's Choice Awards on 10 January 2006.[15] TV Guide magazine printed a "Cheers" (Cheers and Jeers section) for appearing on his own show that same evening.[citation needed]

From 2007 to 2010, Ferguson hosted the Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular on July 4th, broadcast nationally by CBS. On the April 25, 2010 episode of 'The Late Late Show,' he stated he is to return for 2010, but that he could not 'officially' announce it.

Ferguson was the featured entertainer at the 26 April 2008 White House Correspondents' Association dinner in Washington, DC.[16]

Ferguson co-presented the Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama with Brooke Shields in 2008.

He has done voice work in cartoons, including being the voice of Barry's evil alter-ego in the "With Friends Like Steve's" episode of American Dad, in Freakazoid! as Roddy MacStew, Freakazoid's mentor and on "Buzz Lightyear of Star Command" as the robot vampire NOS-4-A2. Most recently, he was the voice of Susan the boil on Futurama, which was a parody of Scottish singer Susan Boyle.

He makes 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 22 March 2009.

British television comedy drama Doc Martin was based on a character from Ferguson's film Saving Grace - with Ferguson getting writing credits for 12 episodes.[17]

On 6 November 2009, Ferguson appeared as himself in a SpongeBob SquarePants special titled SpongeBob's Truth or Square.[18]

He hosted Discovery Channel's 23 season of Shark Week in 2010.


Ferguson's novel Between the Bridge and the River (ISBN 9780811853750) was published on 10 April 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."[19] 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."[citation needed] His novel Between the Bridge and the River is dedicated to his son and to his grandfather, Adam. Ferguson revealed in an interview that he is writing a sequel to the book, to be titled "The Sphynx of the Mississippi".[20] He also stated in a 2006 interview with David Letterman that he intends for the book to be the first in a trilogy. [21]

Ferguson signed a deal with HarperCollins to publish his memoirs.[22] The book, entitled American on Purpose: The Improbable Adventures of an Unlikely Patriot, focuses on "how and why [he] became an American" and covers his years as a punk rocker, dancer, bouncer and construction worker as well as the rise of his career in Hollywood as an actor and comic. It went on sale 22 September 2009 in the United States.[23][24]

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 Ferguson because she was such a fan of him and his show.[25]

Personal life

Ferguson was born in Glasgow, Scotland, to Robert and Janet Ferguson, and raised in nearby Cumbernauld, growing up "chubby and bullied."[4]

In an episode of The Late Late Show which aired 8 December 2008, a somber Ferguson talked about his recently deceased mother, Janet (3 August 1933–1 December 2008). He ended the program by playing her favorite song, "Rivers of Babylon" by Boney M.[26]

Ferguson has two sisters (one older and one younger) and one older brother.[27] His elder sister's name is Janice and his brother's name is Scott. His younger sister, Lynn Ferguson, is a successful comedian, presenter, and actress, perhaps most widely known as the voice of Mac in the 2000 stop-motion animation film Chicken Run. She is currently a writer on The Late Late Show.

Ferguson once stated he was confused by a request made for him to speak at his old high school, since he dropped out at the age of 15 and never graduated or attended college.[28]

His first visit to the United States was as a teenager to visit an uncle who lived on Long Island, near New York City.[29] 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."[30]

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 Los Angeles, and remain good friends. On 21 December 2008, Ferguson married art dealer Megan Wallace-Cunningham in a private ceremony on her family's farm in Chester, Vermont.[31] Ferguson announced 14 July 2010 on Twitter that they are expecting a child. He wrote: "Holy crackers! Mrs F is pregnant. How did that happen? ...oh yeah I know how. Another Ferguson arrives in 2011. The world trembles." [32]

A recovering alcoholic, Ferguson has been sober since 18 February 1992.[33] He said he had considered committing suicide on Christmas Day 1991, but when offered a drink by a friend, Tommy the Irishman,[34] for celebrating the holiday, he was distracted from jumping off Tower Bridge in London as he had planned.[34][4]

As mentioned on The Late Late Show on 3 August 2009, Ferguson holds an FAA Private Pilot License issued on 31 July 2009.[35]

Ferguson is also a fan of Scottish football team Partick Thistle F.C. [3]

Ferguson has three tattoos: his latest, the Join, or Die political cartoon on his right forearm;[36][37] a Ferguson family crest with the Latin motto Dulcius ex asperis ("Sweetness out of [or from] difficulty") on his upper right arm in honour of his father;[38] and the Ingram family crest on his upper left arm in honour of his mother.


Holding 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, used The Late Late Show as a forum for seeking honorary citizenship from every state in the U.S. He has received honorary citizenship from Nebraska, Arkansas, Virginia, Montana, North Dakota, New 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 Navy.[39] Governors Jon Corzine (New Jersey), John Hoeven (North Dakota), Mark Sanford (South Carolina), Mike Rounds (South Dakota), Rick Perry (Texas), Sarah Palin (Alaska) [40] and Jim Gibbons (Nevada) 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 1 February 2008.[41] He has often stated that his Join, or Die political cartoon on his right forearm is to signal his patriotism.[42]





  • Live At The Tron (as Bing Hitler). Jammy Records, 1986. Catalogue number JRLP 861.


  1. "Craig Ferguson passes citizenship test". USA Today. Retrieved 2007-04-07. 
  2. "Craig Ferguson". NNDB. Soylent Communications. Retrieved 2008-10-22. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Script error
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 Andy Borowitz (1 October 2009). "The Scotsman". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-11-06. 
  5. "Live At The Tron Discogs entry". Retrieved 2010-02-21. 
  6. "The Craig Ferguson Show: listing at imdb". Retrieved 2009-11-6.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  7. Carter, Bill (29 September 2009). "Late Night Transplant Looks Back At His Path". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-11-06.  "We did it exactly the same except for soccer references instead of baseball, and we brought down the house every night."
  8. "Craig Ferguson stand-up comedy clip". Scotland on TV. SMG Productions. Retrieved 2008-10-23. 
  9. "Craig Ferguson in Dirt Detective". Scotland on TV. SMG Productions. Retrieved 2008-10-22. 
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 Craig Ferguson 'may be next Letterman'. The Sunday Times.
  11. Conversations with Michael Eisner
  12. "Jay and Conan Rule The Late-Night Week, Stretching Their Year-Ago Leads". NBC Universal. Retrieved 2007-05-18. [dead link]
  13. "Ferguson beats Conan in ratings for 1st time". Archived from the original on May 12, 2008. Retrieved 2008-05-03. 
  15. "Ferguson to host U.S. "People's Choice Awards" show". The America's Intelligence Wire. 26 October 2005. Archived from the original on 2013-01-16. Retrieved 2008-06-01. 
  16. "Bush pokes fun at his successors". BBC News. 2008-04-27. Retrieved 2008-04-27. 
  17. "Craig Ferguson (I)". Retrieved 2009-09-30. 
  18. "SpongeBob and Sandy to Tie the Knot". 
  19. Steinberg, Jacques (4 April 2006). "From Craig Ferguson, a Novel Born of Literary Rambles". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-10-20. 
  21. "Letterman interviews Ferguson about Novel, 2006". 
  22. "Craig Ferguson set to pen memoirs." Variety. May 2008.
  23. "American on Purpose: Book Description". Retrieved 2009. 
  25. "21 July 2009". The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson. CBS. 21 July 2009.
  26. "8 December 2008". The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson. 2008-12-08.
  27. "Craig Ferguson Biography". Yahoo!. Retrieved 2007-04-24. 
  29. "Craig Ferguson Eulogizes his Father". YouTube. Retrieved 2008-08-17. 
  30. Craig Ferguson on The Late Late Show, 10 October 2006
  31. "Craig Ferguson Biography". Retrieved 2009-01-06. 
  33. "Craig Ferguson interview". CBS News. 20 February 2007. 
  34. 34.0 34.1 "Ferguson Speaks From The Heart". YouTube. Retrieved 2008-09-11. 
  35. "FAA Airmen Certification Database". Federal Aviation Administration. 
  36. "22 September 2009". The View. ABC. 22 September 2009.
  37. "The Rallying Cry of the Robot Skeleton Army". tweetphoto. 2010-02-11. 
  38. American on Purpose, p. 259
  39. "Nebraska honors 'Late Late Show' host Craig Ferguson.", AccessMyLibrary
  41. "Craig Ferguson passes citizenship test". USA Today. Retrieved 2007-04-07. 
  42. "22 September 2009". The View. ABC. 22 September 2009.
  43. November 18 2009. Retrieved September 7 2010.

External links

Media offices
Preceded by
Craig Kilborn
Host of The Late Late Show (CBS TV series)
Succeeded by
it:Craig Fergusonno:Craig Ferguson

pl:Craig Ferguson ru:Фергюсон, Крейг fi:Craig Ferguson sv:Craig Ferguson zh:克雷格·费格斯

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