This week, Craig Ferguson announced he would step down from his role as host of the “Late, Late Show” on CBS at the end of the year. With his contract up and the apparent desire of CBS to completely overhaul their late night schedule after the departure of David Letterman from the 11:35 p.m. timeslot, Ferguson said this decision was a “conscious uncoupling” from the job he has held since 2005. While he will be missed at the 12:35 a.m. timeslot, Craig Ferguson is much more than the average late night talk show host. In fact, he is a national treasure. Here are the top six reasons why.
1. He is smarter than you think. Ferguson has written books and co-created the character Doc Martin which became the hit British TV series of the same name. The character Doc Martin, played by Martin Clunes, first appeared in the film “Saving Grace” starring Brenda Blethyn. The film was written by Mark Crowdy and Craig Ferguson.
2. Craig’s memoir “American on Purpose: The Improbably Adventures of an Unlikely Patriot” is so well-written it makes you laugh and cry and realize that if you had to take the citizenship test right now you would probably fail. The book also reminds us of why in spite of all its faults, the United States is where people can follow their dreams, why our parents, grandparents or great-grandparents decided to chuck it all in and head for the New World. It’s something that people born here often take for granted and in his brilliant, funny way, Craig Ferguson calls us on it.
3. His novel, “Between the Bridge and the River” may not be for everyone; people who don’t get satire be warned. Hollywood and religion get knocked around a bit in this book, but any novel that includes Socrates, Virgil, Carl Jung and Fatty Arbuckle must be worth a read.
4. Craig, ex-punk band member, also wrote “I’ll Go to T’Foot of Our Stage: The Story of Yorkshire Pop Music” published in 2012. David Bowie features prominently in this history of the music scene from the 1960’s to 2010. Also mentioned, Human League, Def Leppard and Kaiser Chiefs.
5. Showing incredible good taste, Craig is a fan of “Foyle’s War” the British TV series that aired on PBS here in the States. The show follows Detective Chief Superintendent Christopher Foyle, played by the superb Michael Kitchen, as he solves mysteries in the seaside town of Hastings during World War II. Check it out on DVD, or check your local PBS listings, since the reruns air periodically.
6. A master interviewer, Craig won a Peabody Award for interviewing Bishop Desmond Tutu. Though Craig will be sorely missed from the “Late, Late Show,” rest assured, he’ll do just fine, and no doubt greater things await in the wings.