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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188 Comments
  1. lululime says:

    I remember when they had TRL’s Damian Fahey among others auditioning for this spot. I’m guessing this is an unpopular opinion, but I actually liked Craig Kilborn’s show.

  2. Who will get the TARDIS? And the mouth organs? who will keep an awkward silence when I can’t sleep? I sad….

  3. Sue Sommer says:

    I’m so disappointed, Craig is so funny. He is so talented I hope we’ll see him back doing something interesting. I’ll sure miss It’s a great day in America!

  4. D says:

    Neil Patrick Harris!!!!!!

  5. worthymagic says:

    This is a big mistake by Craig Ferguson. I’m sorry he was turned down for Letterman’s spot, but he has a nice thing going on The Late Show. I thought Josh Charles leaving The Good Wife was a horrible blunder. This one may turn out to be just as bad. I thought CBS was leaving the blundering to NBC, who will win the award hands down if they cancel Law & Order: SVU. Getting rid of The Mentalist would be a mistake by CBS, but the show is owned by Warner Communications and not CBS. Unfortunately, Mr. Ferguson won’t understand “what you’ve got til it’s gone.” Wishing him best of luck.

  6. Judy Tankoos says:

    This is a sad day, indeed! I enjoy watching Craig, even though I hv not been a regular viewer. As far as a replacement for him? So far, out of all the suggestions already posted,, I hvnt seen any names that jump out at me. I will say that I always enjoyed Craig Kilborn in that chair, but I suppose bringing him back is out of the question. Pooh, I know – how about Leno?? LOL

  7. J says:

    What did we learn from the show for 10 years? MEOW

  8. e says:

    joel mchale? he’s definitely wacky enough to bring something fresh and new to late night.

  9. Ginger says:

    Craig is the only reason I watched the show :’(

  10. Blinged Up says:

    Boo. I love Craig Ferguson and watch his show regularly. I’m going to really miss it.
    I don’t have any wishes/suggestions for who could take his place. Well, I do have just one — anyone but Chelsea Handler.

  11. GoGo says:

    I’ll be watching a lot of movies after the late news, or going to bed early. I don’t like any of the replacements. The only one I would have watched is leaving. Bye CF, will miss you,

  12. Maggie says:

    I’ll be sad to see Craig go. His show is really is unlike other late night talk shows. Who else has a skeleton robot as a sidekick, and talks about “Foyle’s War?”

  13. DavidSask says:

    Craig will be missed by I say give the show to WANDA SYKES!!!!

  14. Laura says:

    Nice site I like the information you have, but do you ever update it?

  15. Rod says:

    Craig would be fab on PBS…..or even CNN.

  16. Rod says:

    Moonves screwed up big time. CF is unique. Better than Colbert by far.

  17. big cheddar says:

    What about Sarah Silverman? I know she’s gravitated towards acting, but she’s just so funny when she’s doing interview.

  18. Janice Kelley says:

    Five years ago I had a hip replacement. I was in so much pain that I could not sleep. So I started watching Craig and would laugh at all his jokes and love all his guest’s interviews. Believe it or not the pain was almost nonexistent when I was watching Craig. Thank you Craig for helping me through a very painful time in my life. I will miss you!

  19. Chris Butler says:

    May I ask does Craig Ferguson, have his side of the story regarding, his release from ‘The Late, Late Show’ on CBS!

  20. GeoDiva says:

    Retta!

  21. PJ says:

    Sad to hear but he better have Peter Capaldi (new Doctor Who) before he leaves or I will be extremely peeved….

  22. Robby Horine says:

    If Fox signs Leno for a 11pm show, maybe they can sign Craig for a 12am show?

    Either that or let Craig host a syndicated Price is Right.

  23. Suzi G says:

    It’s a bad day for America. :(

    I agree with the person who said anyone but Chelsea Handler. Please.

  24. evelyn says:

    I think David Allen Grier would make a good replacement I remember years ago when he had a talk show and I liked it

  25. evelyn says:

    I loved his show too I liked when he said it is a great day for America everybody he is the only one who came up with that imagine a Scotsman who says it is a great day for America and not any of the other talk show hosts who are American even said anything any where near that they should feel ashamed of themselves we all will miss you Craig hope to see you on the boob tube you and Geoff we hope you can keep Geoff

  26. Jake says:

    I feel like Jim Norton would be a hillarious guy for a late night program if he was interested. He’s got the interview ability from his time on the Opie and Anthony show and he was a frequent contributor on Jay Leno’s Tonight Show and proved he could stray away from his dirty, more edgy brand of comedy. He would do a killer monolouge.

  27. shuayb says:

    Craig is good but that Horse and Robot were terrible. Loved his interviews with Betty White.

    • What!? Badmouthing Secretariat! Them’s fighting words ;)

    • Secretariat says:

      “that horse and robot” WERE AWESOME!!! That slapstick comedy and chemistry cannot be replaced any way you look at it. Genius comes to mind. Only freaking show I watched on any network other than sports. Whose idea was this???

  28. Apparently Ferguson wanted to quit earlier but the Letterman thing complicated matters (per Ferguson himself linking to a Variety article on twitter). Sounds like he just flat out felt like 10 years was a good run and wanted to move on with no drama but circumstances did not permit it.

  29. Jason says:

    Two words….

    Kevin Smith

  30. Fred Funk says:

    They should hire Wayne Brady.

  31. Danny Las Vegas says:

    I think it’s time for a female host. Amy Poehler would be great. Tina Fey would also be a good host.

  32. Christine Von Lossberg says:

    Sure am going to miss Craiger’s. He is so funny and wonderful. Going to miss Geoff and Secretariat too. Geoff is so funny playing off Craig. My mom and sister went down to see his show. That was fun. Very small setup. I wish him all the best in what he wants to do.

  33. SD says:

    I’m sure Jay Leno will try to steal the slot — just to do it. I’d love to see BJ Novak take the slot. Or Wyatt Cynac if they’re looking for an inspired, Conan-ish Hail Mary choice that pays off. Someone with the biting wit needed to transform this slot into something more than filler.

  34. SD says:

    Or Amy Sedaris. That is an inspired choice, Letterman approved.

  35. Andreea says:

    How about the Geoff, the robot, taking over! Like that, Craig fans will stick around and the show may gain some new ones – plus the uniqueness :) and original humor of the show would be kept, at least in part. Craig did an awesome job at being ‘not like any other late night show’ – sury CBS wouldn’t want to lose that!?!

    Also, Mr. Ferguson’s style was never suited for Mr. Letterman’s slot – and he knew and never cared, as he is not one to compromise on such issues (or others). If you ever watched the show, you know.

    Good luck to Craig Ferguson, no matter what he decides to do next and we all owe him a big thank you! 👏

    • Secretariat says:

      Absolutely Andreea, give Geoff the show or I am done watching TLLS. CF has had a cult following in our hood. Only show on late night that is non scripted improv. Kimmel practically sells cars with his lame scripted show. Don’t even get me started with how commercial NBC is either. All good things must come to an end, but WE LIVE YOU CRAIG GEOFF SECRETARIAT AND RACIST MICHAEL.

  36. Bonnie J says:

    Craig F is the funniest Stand Up around. He is wicked smart, lightning speed wit and a physical comic to boot. No one can hold a candle to him and he needs to do stand up which is where he shines. Big mistake not tapping him to replace Letterman.. Handler is horrible… NO!!

    • Secretariat says:

      Letterman has been an old fogey for years now. He was almost as “out of touch” as Leno. The time slot would never have worked for CF’s raucous late late show. The funniest show since Mad Tv. Get Craig somewhere he can flourish and away from CBS, NBC and ABC. YouTube: Craig Ferguson Robin Williams 2013, fire up that doobie and laugh like hell.

  37. Polly says:

    I can’t lose both Dave and Craig. :(

  38. Gayle Johnson says:

    Love the show. Will miss Craig, Geoff, and Secretariat. All so very talented and freakin’ hilarious. Love all of you.

  39. Susan says:

    Craig is irreplaceable. He is brilliant, crazy, beyond funny and a very “real” person. I have loved watching him; he is my favorite television personality. TV will never be the same without him. He can’t be replaced, but the best person to take over the show best would be someone without the a big name, John Robert Thomas, otherwise known as Geoff the skeleton robot. He is the only person that could ever keep up with Craig and he has the same freewheeling sense of humor.

  40. KathyV says:

    I will truly miss Craig… my heart is breaking over his imminent departure. Here’s a man who dropped out of high school and yet is one of the smartest people on TV because he’s read and educated himself. While most of his interviews are funny, they’re all insightful and, when he gets a “serious” guest, he does a magnificent job of getting them to talk so that all of us can understand what they’re talking about. When he talked about his mother and father passing away, he brought tears to my eyes. When he’s talked about other serious topics in his monologues, he’s always moved me. He can do that and then still be so damned funny about everything else! Although I haven’t seen Sidney the rabbit puppet in a while, I will never forget him (he was my favorite puppet!). I will also miss Secretariat and the rapid fire exchanges between Geoff and Craig (two very bright minds doing battle). There just won’t be any reason to stay up and watch late night talk any more. Don’t leave us, Craig!

  41. Jaka says:

    I will miss Craig – I can understand that he may have become bored with the same job, a person of his wit needs to be challenged. That said I will miss his monologues most of all, so perhaps his standup is more up my alley.

  42. D. says:

    Joel McHale FTW *bows*

    • Sara says:

      Joel would be amazing but I doubt if he’s still under contract with NBC especially if they pick up Community for another season, that they would ever let him host a late night show on another network.

    • Secretariat says:

      If they can’t make the robot the host, Joel would be an ok fit. Probably better than anyone else.

  43. C. Mills, Dayton, Ohio says:

    Not my Craig!!! He is my favorite… I wanted to cry last night.

  44. Mark says:

    It’s a shame that Andy Cohen is alligned with NBC cause he’d be a good replacement.

  45. Ezzy says:

    I nominate Jeff Dunham and Peanut as the replacement :)

  46. Mike Smith says:

    Personally I think this guy is great and I look forward to seeing whatever he does next. HOWEVER, CBS doesn’t seem too overjoyed with him. They said they “look forward” to his final episodes. If they thought he was so great wouldn’t they be saying they are going to be saddened to see them?

  47. Tran says:

    Drew Carey. Imagine if he’s going to pulled double duty on The Price is Right and The Late Late Show.

  48. Secretariat says:

    Nobody is saying this, but what about Geoff Petersen replacing Craig? He’s pretty damn funny.

  49. JIM says:

    YOU’VE SENT ME ’7′ NOTICES ABOUT FERGUSON LEAVING…ENUFF IS ENUFF

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