Craig Ferguson Quits Late Late Show, Says Plan Was in Place Before Letterman Announced Exit

Craig-FergusonThe Late Late Show is over for Craig Ferguson.

Ferguson announced during the taping of Monday’s program that he will step down as host of The Late Late Show in December 2014. The news follows CBS’ decision to tap Stephen Colbert — and not Ferguson — to succeed David Letterman as host of The Late Show. Ferguson, however, says he was already laying out his exit plan at the time Letterman broke his own news. He then agreed to push his exit date back from summer to December, at CBS’ request.

Regardless, because of the timing, Ferguson tells Variety, “[P]eople are going to say ‘Oh he’s leaving because of [Colbert getting Late Show].’ No matter what I say or what I do, they’re gonna say that. Well they can say what they like. It’s America. I understand.”

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In a statement issued Monday afternoon, Ferguson said, “CBS and I are not getting divorced, we are ‘consciously uncoupling.’ But we will still spend holidays together and share custody of the fake horse and robot skeleton, both of whom we love very much.”

“During his 10 years as host, Craig has elevated CBS to new creative and competitive heights at 12:30,” CBS Entertainment chair Nina Tassler said in a statement. “He infused the broadcast with tremendous energy, unique comedy, insightful interviews and some of the most heartfelt monologues seen on television. [His] versatile talents as a writer, producer, actor and comedian speak to his great days ahead. While we’ll miss Craig and can’t thank him enough for his contributions to both the show and the Network, we respect his decision to move on, and we look forward to celebrating his final broadcasts during the next eight months.”

A replacement for Ferguson is expected to be named in the coming weeks. Who do you think should take over The Late Late Show? Submit your suggestions in the comments section below.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. jimbo says:

    Why do good things always have to change :(

    • deja says:

      ReadyI love to watch craig and will miss him …chelsey handler , jimmy fallon,seth meyers, all not funny….!!! These stuffed shirts in broadcasting should get a clue and find a young talent no name and quit using unfunny snl alum enough already..the world has better comics than the ones that are already on tv….

      • JIM says:

        I agree with you 100%, CBS is gone to hell and hopefully stay there. Crappy unfunny shows like 2 and a half men where their laughs come from sex jokes and the same with 2 broke girls, shi–y sex oriented shows that are not funny. I’m not a prude, sex jokes can be funny but not every 4 seconds. I will miss Craig and Jeff and horsey. His humor was funny not scripted like the liberal fallon or myers (who?). I wih Craig all the best along with his racist (lol) producer.

    • rehabber says:

      Craig is the only late night show I ever watch.

    • naplespopp says:

      Joy Behar. I would watch everynight

    • VALERIE DOWELL says:


  2. LOL says:

    CBS should look into signing Aisha Tyler.

    • M3rc Nate says:

      I’d be VERY interested in watching that. Love her, but she does a LOT…The Talk, her podcast, Who’s line, and more…personally id hope for her to leave the Talk and be on Late Late.

    • Mark says:

      I stopped watching The Talk because of her. I find her so obnoxious and annoying. IF they want to go with a woman, Chelsea Handler is available and a lot funnier.

      • Available? Yes. Funnier? NOPE.

      • David says:

        Chelsea Handler is apparently close to or has signed on to do a show for Netflix.

      • Brooke says:

        And racist. So, no thanks.

      • Tania says:

        Good god NO! Chelsea Handler is obnoxious, annoying and completely unfunny.

      • G. says:

        This comment is all kinds of LOL.
        “I don’t like Aisha because she’s obnoxious and annoying. Instead, I recommend perhaps one of the ONLY women on television who is even more obnoxious, more annoying, toxic, untalented, and generally just a vile wretch.”

        Sorry … but try again with your suggestion. ALMOST any female name would be a better pick than Handler.

      • jericho says:

        While I agree with you about Aisha Tyler being absolutely annoying, the ONLY part of Handler’s show that is remotely watchable is the round table portion and that is not funny because of her, its funny IN SPITE of her.

        Honestly, there is no “popular” woman out there that I can think of that would be able to fill a late night chair. I would have not been surprised if they had given Late Night to Ellen, but other than her there are no “already known” commodities that would take that job. That’s not to say there isn’t some woman ready for the job. Conan was an unknown, Fallon and Meyer came from Improve/SNL. Ferguson himself was “famous” for being a comedic actor not a standup/host.

        • April says:

          Hmmm.. What about Tina Fey? What is she up to now.

          • Jane says:

            WOW!!! Who doesn’t completely enjoy Tina Fey’s style of comedy! She has such control and very flexible. Her facial inflections and over-all timing always grabs you and has you laughing out of control. She is so sharp, intelligent and mature.

        • gdv says:

          I think there are plenty of viable female options. Just because someone isn’t a household name doesn’t mean they won’t have appeal. Personally, I’d love the spot to go to Retta! Though Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Mindy Kaling, etc., would all be a welcome change to the late night roundup if they didn’t already have regular movie and tv gigs.

      • I nominate Cathy Griffin!

        • justjack says:

          oh god no. Kathy Griffin makes Chelsea Handler look like Mary Poppins. Most obnoxious woman on the planet and not funny.

        • Mark says:

          I love Kathy Griffin! She’s definitely better than Chelsea. I would totally watch that show. Not sure what guests would agree to be on her show though.

    • ALL OF THIS! Bout time we had a woman in the hot seat. Either her, Chelsea, or someone else.

    • oh my, NO!! she ruined the awards show she hosted. she is beautiful but a train wreck at comedy.

  3. Angela says:

    Aw, man. This news saddens me! First “The Colbert Report” wraps up at the end of the year, now Craig’s show…argh. Such a shame.

  4. Chris from Raleigh says:

    Sounds like Craig wanted Letterman’s show after all.

    • JB says:

      If you read his book, it is true. He doesn’t come right out & say it, but it is implied.

    • Louise says:

      Is not just about that. He was on that network for 10 years and Les Moonves all but said that they wanted to replace him as well. Craig always knew his show wouldn’t work in Letterman’s timeslot and he didn’t care, which is why the show is good and why he always said that he didn’t do his job thinking about replacing Letterman.

      I like the idea of Colbert as Letterman replacement but anyone in Craig’s shoes would have done the same thing

    • S. says:

      Wow you weren’t paying attention at all. He didn’t want the job anymore and would’ve left sooner if CBS hadn’t asked him to stay more than once. This time, he couldn’t be talked into more than an additional 6 months. He certainly didn’t want to move it into Dave’s slot. On his goodbye monologue he talked about wanting to leave 2 years ago but CBS talked him into a 2 year extension. He didn’t want to stay. Is it so hard to believe he’s not greedy? You’re projecting what lesser people would want his circumstance.

  5. Steven says:

    If I were getting paid millions not to work, I’d do that too

  6. ggny says:

    im placing a 100$ bet that Chelsea Handler is gonna land this job

  7. annie says:

    This saddens me. I don’t even watch late night anymore but it comforted me to know Ferguson was there waiting for me on Youtube. He has always been in a class by himself in my book.

  8. Metoo says:

    I’ve never once watch Colbert but I regularly watch Craig. I think CBS made a mistake.

  9. Kris says:

    …someone was upset they didn’t get promoted.

    • Speculation. Don’t go down that round unless it’s confirmed.

    • Dan says:

      It has been widely reported that he had contractual right to replace Letterman. Since he didn’t get the job I assume CBS is paying him lots of money. He’ll be fine!

      • Maggie says:

        It’s been widely reported that Craig had the first right of refusal. Which means he had to have said no to the job before they could offer it to anyone else.

        • B.P. says:

          Craig’s current contract states that he would replace Letterman… however that contract is up this summer. CBS wouldn’t give him that clause again on his next contract because they wanted Colbert.

          So from there it is speculation… but it can be assumed that this pissed off Craig.

          • S. says:

            It actually can’t be assumed. Craig flat out spelled out the reason and it was his choice–first to leave 2 years ago, then to leave this year after he really didn’t want to renew for sure this time. He’s only staying til December as a favor to CBS. He’s got other stuff going on with them. Nobody’s pitching a hissy and taking their ball and going home. He doesn’t want to do it anymore. If they had offered the Late Show to him, he wouldn’t have wanted to do it. He’s made it clear that that isn’t the right place for him and his material. Gotta respect someone who knows themselves that well. Fingers crossed he doesn’t mind 11:30 on Comedy Central. Material could be more adult and the slot will be open. I really hope he’s offered it and considers it.

  10. supertech14 says:

    Awww bummer-I’m going to miss him. He’s SO funny!

  11. henry says:

    great,the only late night talk show that was actually funny and different.

  12. Bummer, I love Craig’s show. But if he feels like he’s hit a brick wall with the network, with no room to grow, then he should branch out and try other things. I wish him the best of luck, and hope they find someone great to fill the position.

  13. Lysh says:

    I’ll miss hearing that it’s a great day for America.

  14. Katrinka says:

    I’ve been preparing myself for this news, but it sucks just the same. I love Craig’s sense of humor & his “fly by the seat of his pants” interviewing style. He gets his guests to talk about anything & everything, even when that wasn’t their intention. I guess I’ll be going to sleep at a more reasonable hour after December.

  15. Mare says:



  16. sara says:

    Knew this was coming, still sad to see him go though!

  17. webly3 says:

    Good for him! CBS has always treated him poorly. I’d be very offended if I hosted The Late Late Show for a long time and CBS planned to pick someone else for the spot in The Late Show.

    • A bunch of factors probably went into it. If there’s bitterness there it isn’t apparent so I’d discourage thinking that’s what’s up.

    • Cheryl says:

      He needs to go somewhere that truly appreciates him. Someplace where they don’t hide him so late at night I can stay awake! Scots rule!

  18. Logan says:

    That sucks… I really like Craig, I wanted him to take over after letterman

  19. christina says:

    WTF NO. i watched his show every night, even with guests I didn’t know or didn’t care for. I only watch the other late night shows when someone I really like is on. Craig had something special the other hosts didn’t have.

    I really hope he still decides to tour still – I’d love to see his stand up again.

  20. Lecholls says:

    No! I’m so sad.

  21. Ed says:

    This is not a great day for America…

  22. Walter Freeman says:

    Craig was the only late night personality that rose above “tolerable” in my book. Very sad to see his show drawing to a close, but entirely predictable given how Letterman’s retirement unfolded. *sniffle*

  23. Alichat says:

    Wh…..wha…..WHAT?!?!? No. Just…

  24. I hope he goes back on Hot on Cleveland, he was great on that. At least he has 5million to walk away with from that spot…

  25. TV God says:

    I smell a recurring role on Hot In Cleveland!!!

  26. dancmh says:

    I recorded this show every night…even the reruns. I guess I’ll have a lot more room on the DVR now.

  27. Linda Magoon says:

    I love Craig. I always looked forward to watching his show

  28. jenna says:

    Really saddened by this news, he is my favourite network host by far and I will definitely miss his show

  29. A. D. says:

    Thank God…he is horrible!

  30. Amanda says:

    Dang, he was unique and funny. I don’t think he would have fit with Letterman’s audience but I would have like to have seen CBS give him a chance there instead of losing him.

  31. LWolf says:

    So sad. I love his show.

  32. chloe says:

    Noooooo!!!! I love him.

  33. Yo Momma says:

    One American Dollar says he takes the Colbert Report slot on Comedy Central

    • Angela says:

      Ha, now THAT I would be interested to see :D!
      The mention of Colbert reminds me of another reason I’m sad about this news-I was really looking forward to the idea of Stephen and Craig perhaps having their own little “from one show to another” banter going on. Yes, they’d be on opposite ends of the country, but still, it would’ve been fun to see them interact somehow or something.

  34. Paul Rickelton says:

    How about we get Chris Hardwick, with Matt Mira and Jonah Ray switching out as sidekicks?

  35. Dan says:

    Nobody does what Craig Ferguson does, period. While pretty much all other talk show hosts are replaceable due to their formula and staff of writers, Ferguson’s style is completely his. Whoever comes to fill that hour will probably not be as original, whatever name the show comes to have (because, honestly, the titles are absolutely irrelevant). And I hope he can keep doing what he does at some other place, otherwise he’ll be missed.

  36. Michelle says:

    Craig is my favorite lat night host! This sucks!

  37. Zoran Milosavljevic says:

    There is nobody who can replace Craig, I guess there is no point instaying up late anymore, unless Fox is smart enough to scoop him up or even better HBO or Showtime where Craig can be himself!

  38. Suzi G says:

    I’m heartbroken! Craig is so talented and has made a unique and hilarious show. I was hoping it would on for years to come. I’ll miss him, Geoff Peterson and Secretariat for a very long time. Damn.

  39. Matt says:


    • Blondie1960 says:

      I hadn’t thought of Ricky Gervais… Good one! Love him, love Russel Brand. That’d never happen… i remember what happened with the granddaughter of the BBC guy–LOL! A girl can dream…

  40. michelle says:

    Of course he did – it’s even in his contract – if they didn’t choose him, they’d have to pay him millions. So that’s what will happen.

    He’s so talented, I’ll miss him.

  41. Ram510 says:

    Who is this guy???

  42. Andrew Hass says:

    I’m not surprised Craig Ferguson is leaving and now CBS can start anew on late night.However i’m also sure another network will pick up Ferguson.

  43. StupidPeopleShutUp says:

    I never cared for the show, but I do think he’s talented and unique. Definitely think it’s a shame that something unconventional is ending, but then again, now the space is there for someone else oddball to do their thing.

  44. Shawn says:

    They should get Chris Hardwick or a Brit.

  45. J. S. Mall says:

    In my opinion, Ferguson was second rate at best…good ridence

    • J says:

      Craig has NEVER been second rate…he just has a different style that personally I LOVE! But I’ve always had a quirky sense of humor, so he fit with me from the beginning! Apparently lots of other people appreciate that too, even if you don’t. He has never had a shortage of fans, though, & you are entitled to your opinion. But his off the wall humor is what makes him unique. I will miss him but I wish him continued success! I just wish he’d announced it before Dave did, so the “sour grapes” rumors wouldn’t be there. He is making a change that is right for him at this time in his life & apparently understands the “always leave ’em wanting more” philosophy! I know I do…I just hope he does something that showcases his personality & specialness the way this show did! Love him!

    • Secretariat says:

      JS Mall, You are a first rate nimcompoop.

  46. Michael Grooms says:

    Nooooooooooooooooooo! Craig Ferguson is the greatest late night host there is. He is honest and warm and funny. I guess I will be getting to bed a bit earlier now.

  47. Kenny says:

    Whitney Cummings…. Lol no

  48. Tony Lang says:

    I would sell my left nut at a discount for CBS to even CONSIDER the awesome Eddie Izzard as a replacement!

    • S. says:

      Eddie wants to run for Parliament in the next few years. He wouldn’t be around long if he did do it. Besides which, he loves to tour and do his show in foreign languages. I get the idea and would enjoy it, but it’s unlikely. If it didn’t take Stephen Fry away from things like QI, I’d love to see him on American tv regularly. A very witty man.

  49. syb says:

    Chelsea would be good at the late night spot. I did like Craig, but he was a little off the rails for me lately.