Late Late Show: Craig Ferguson Says Goodbye With Incredible Twist Ending

Craig Ferguson Last Episode

A massive musical number? Check. A casual, low-stakes chat with Jay Leno? Check. A surprise ending that will surely echo through the annals of television history? Oh my God, check.

Craig Ferguson spared no expense Friday during his final hour as the host of CBS’ Late Late Show, kicking things off with a star-studded (albeit pre-recorded) rendition of Dead Man Fall’s “Bang Your Drum.”

That was pretty much it for the evening’s big surprises, other than a phone call from “Bill Cosby,” who says he’s doing “pretty good,” in case you were wondering. The rest of the hour consisted of a chat between Ferguson and Leno, or as Ferguson describes them, “just two guys with nothing to do.”

Well… until the episode’s insane final minutes.

craig-ferguson-bob-newhartAfter nine years, Ferguson’s horse pal Secretariat finally removed its helmet to reveal who’s really been under there this whole time. Turns out, it’s been Bob Newhart all along — or was it?

In a follow-up nod to the series finale of Newhart, Ferguson then woke up in bed next to Drew Carey, who simply couldn’t believe the dream his bedside buddy just had. I mean, Ferguson as a late-night host? Carey as a skinny game-show host? That would be madness!

Wait, did I forget to mention that Ferguson and Carey were reprising their roles from The Drew Carey Show? That part’s pretty important. Also, if you were ever wondering what Drew Carey looks like in bed… you’re welcome:

craig-ferguson-drew-carey

That final twist aside, Ferguson’s last hour was relatively low key — especially when compared to Stephen Colbert’s free-for-all the night before — but it was true to the kind of show he’s delivered since he took the reins from Craig Kilborn in 2005.

No fancy bells, no expensive whistles. Just a wacky Scottish man with a killer sense of humor, a skeletal sidekick and a horse pal — who’s actually (maybe) Bob Newhart.

And now, in the words of Geoff, “Grandma can finally get some sleep.”

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89 Comments
  1. I wish he had a better, less extremely boring final guest. That whole section just made you forget the show was ending and took all the energy out of the show.

    • Andy Swift says:

      Most of the episode was boring — I’ll give you that — but the very end made it all worth watching for me.

    • ScrubsGuy says:

      Losing Colbert and Ferguson in the same week is really painful. Two of late night’s greats will be missed dearly.

      • M3rc Nate says:

        Eh, i’m really really excited for Colbert to take over the Late Show (cant stand Letterman, never have), i feel like he will be a VERY funny talk show host but also very smart and a great interviewer, potentially one of the best. I’m also quite excited for the new guy to take over on The Late Late Show. I have seen him multiple times on The Graham Norton show and man hes super funny. I really really wish he would bring the non-american style of interviewing with him, which is to say having all the guests out at once on a couch, its SO much more fun than 1 at a time.

        Though i admit that i would have been even more excited for a female late night talk show that isnt one of the crude women (Handler type, Natasha Leggero, Kathy Griffin, etc) but more someone like Aisha Tyler, or Amy Poehler. I particularly love Aisha as an option because shes modern. Shes funny, shes smart, shes a nerd (tv lover, movie lover, video game lover, comic con lover, etc) and loves men (her podcast) and of course loves women, but i feel like she would have a very very “real” feeling about her on her show, and could really connect to the younger people up at 1am.

        • Corey Bayless says:

          David Letterman’s show used to be as fresh, funny and as original as anything on tv back in the early 1980’s. A high school friend of mine used to tape every one of his shows. (Imagine that)

        • David4 says:

          Aisha Tyler would have been the perfect fit for 12:37, she is wonderful as the useless host of Whose Line.

        • The Beach says:

          Speaking of Graham Norton, I really like how be brings all his guests out at the same time and plops them down on that red sofa. It makes for some great interaction among guests instead of that one and done style on the other late night talk shows.

  2. Angela says:

    That ending was fantastic :D. Loved it. Same with the opening performance. I also loved the monologue, and the little time flip of him over the years (aging like a fine wine, I say, but hey :p). Nice interview with Jay as well.
    I think both he and Colbert each stayed true to the spirit of their respective shows with their finales, and that’s the most important thing to me. Each one was very entertaining and sweet and goofy and all the things that made me love both shows. Just like with Stephen last night, I send thanks to Craig for a twisted, hilarious, and intelligent nine years worth of television. It’s been fun.

  3. Kerry says:

    Loved it so so much wonderful and I loved the Drew Carey show.. Well well done.. I’ll miss you Craig only late night show I cared about

  4. Donnarie2 says:

    Did you miss that there was also a nod to the final episode of “St. Elsewhere” with the snowglobe?

  5. patty says:

    We always watched craigs show a disappointment he did not do his theme song as that was a part of him think that was a big mistake as that was a good openi of his final week but tonights show was a big disappointment Thursday night show was very nice of Craig to acknowledge geoff

  6. Barbara says:

    I’m SO upset that I missed Craig’s finale! Unavoidable! Any possibility it will be aired again?? Craig is a great, unbelievable quick wit and will be missed in this role.He’s able to be hilarious, completely of the cuff, in a way in which few (no one comes to mind) can ever compare. Actually, I can’t think of anyone whose quicker and quirkier on their feet than Craig. Thanks for your time & timing Craig!

  7. Jim green says:

    Yeah! Who else warms their testicle (yell, just one) in front of the fire in front of millions of viewers? We were always forgiving when he wasn’t funny because his mischievous smile and childlike demeanor reminded us of how free spirited we would like to be. But, also the reasons why we loved him when he made us laugh.

  8. Ann says:

    I’ve watched Craig since he first took over the Late Late Show and it’s been interesting to see how it’s evolved over the years. He’s funny, interesting, smart and genuine. What more could you ask? I wish him all the best and I can’t wait to see what he does next. What a great ride! Thanks Craig!

  9. Sam says:

    Just to many commercials

  10. Sassy says:

    Awesome opening!! Great ending!! So glad I had the opportunity to sit down in time to watch it in its entirety! Totally enjoyed Craig’s last show with the exception of Jay Leno.

    Jay came off as being a bit bitter and negative towards his own guests who kept him in a talk host chair. What a contrast sitting next to Craig, who seems to be a natural at what he does, a genuine person, and truly appreciative towards his guests and fan base. Jay needed to keep the shop talk of the business off camera. Although the concept of two men retiring from talk show genre was good, perhaps there could have been a positive guest selection to be found. Continued discussion with Geoff would have been a great choice by comparison, at least Geoff is upbeat and funny!

    Craig has been a breath of fresh air in late night comedy with his creative and artistic twists to what everyone else was doing, and in my opinion making him appealing to a larger demographic …. way to go man!

    On a personal note, as a working, single mother who started back to school, no matter how challenging times have gotten over the past few years, Craig and Geoff was my “chill pill” I could always count on a smile and a giggle before I went to bed. Will truly miss my late, late evenings with Craig and Geoff … I can already feel the symptoms of withdrawal setting in.

  11. M3rc Nate says:

    Ending was cute, Leno as a last host was very “meh” cause all of his material i have heard before…its his standard go-to talk show guest material. I would have much preferred him trying to get one of the guests he clicked with most (thats the funniest). He’s had a bunch over the years.

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  13. Dan says:

    Gonna miss this show so much. The best talk show on TV, IMHO. Too bad the last interview was so incredibly boring. The whole side show was great, tho. But I just can’t shake the feeling that there was some background politics going on in this last episode. The last guest spot is supposed to be an honor thing and they call not Letterman, the creator of the show, but Letterman’s main competitor over the years? Not sure what that means, if it’s a nice nod to Leno, a sting on Letterman or something else. Anyway, hope to see Craig very soon doing something fun on TV.

  14. eireannach9 says:

    Stompin’ opening. Great video clips. Gospel choir. Fetching lead vocalist. Assorted weird characters. Fekkin’ brilliant, it was! Too bad CBS didn’t support Craig like this earlier and let him be his true self. This is the type of late night show we really need. More Mohawk, less anchorman. To hell with formulas! We will really miss his late night show because there’s nothing else like it. Craig Ferguson is one of a kind, and the only person who comes close to filling the void that Robin Williams left behind. Ferguson is unique, and underneath his persona beats a real heart.a 52 year old punk with a spirit of a child.thanks Greg for some very interesting years, & I look forward to seeing where your next vehicle will take you. Now go solve some crime. And take care of Geoff.

  15. eireannach9 says:

    Stompin’ intro. Sizzling video clips. Rocking gospel choir. Fetching lead singer. Wacky assorted characters. That’s the way it should be, and that’s the way it was. Too bad CBS didn’t support Craig like this more often and let him be his true self. His show really was like nothing else, and it will be sorely missed by us late night insomniacs. His timing is brilliant, and yet underneath his persona beats a real heart. That’s what makes him truly unique; he’s the closest thing to fill the void that Robin Williams left behind. Yes, more Mohawk, less anchorman. Strong sox, please! Thanks for 10 years of truly fun filled nights, Craig! I look forward to seeing your next vehicle of creativity. Now get out there and solve some crime–of boredom and take good care of Geoff.

  16. crashburn32 says:

    Craig’s version of “Bang Your Drum” to start the show is as good as it gets. And, like he said once during the show, “People tuning in for the first time are going……WHAT???” But that’s what made his show great. You felt like, while the rest of the world was watching those stupid late night shows like Letterman, Kimmel, Fallon, ETC., you had your own little, TOTALLY ORIGINAL and FUNNY show that no one else knew about.
    With 1/100th the advertising and 1/100 the budget, Ferguson made a “Late Night” show that so, so, SOOOO much funnier and original. – I’ll miss the show very much, and you can bet that whatever “project” Fergie takes on next, I’ll be right there cheering him on….

    SCOTLAND!!!

  17. Drew and Wick must have re-married

  18. Debbie Thomas says:

    What a loss!! I will truly miss all the laughs he gave me with his extrodinary sense of humor!!, wishing nothing but the best for him and hope to see him on tv soon!!!!!

  19. Tammy says:

    You kind of missed all of what happened in the ending…. he did a tribute to a few famous last episodes…. Bob Newhart, St. Elsewhere and Sopranos. There was a snow globe on the night stand – St Elsewhere and they were playing Don’t Stop Believing in the background – Sopranos and then went to black.

    For some odd reason, my DVR recording started late or our local network started early. I have been recording this for a long time and this is the first time this has happened. I hope to find the opening online.

    • barbara barrow says:

      My DVR totally missed the whole show. Someone in this thread said it’s available on CBS on-line. Hope so. Do you have Time Warner by any chance?

    • Dunno why people keep saying cutting to black is an homage to the Sopranos. EVERY show cuts to black at the end of every episode. The Sopronos ending is unique in that it cuts to black in the middle of a scene with no conclusive narrative ending and making it extremely open to interpretation, whereas Craig ended on an end note, cutting to black on a specific final image.

  20. Bob Collins says:

    I started watching the Late, Late Show about two years ago. It was like, holy crackers, a crazy Scotsman, a smartass robot and a pantomime horse, this crap has got to good! I was there to stay, when he did the bit with the desk bell, one ring, we’re german, two rings, still german and so on. He was funny. It sure hell beat the heck out of Fallon.
    The last show was awesome. Loved and hated every minute of it, knowing that was the last. I was dreading 19 Dec from the moment he announced leaving. I understand his reasoning but I didn’t like it. It was fun while it lasted
    CRAIG, WHO’S GOING TO PROTECT US FROM THE LATE NIGHT DOUCHES, NOW THAT YOU’RE GONE???

    • Angela says:

      I started watching regularly in 2008-what hooked me was hearing Craig’s commentary on the country during the U.S. elections that year, and his rant about how so many citizens don’t vote. And then he’d be doing monologues on notable philosophers, or historical celebrations, or things of that sort. For all his wacky, insane goofiness (which I adored), there was also always an intelligence and thoughtfulness about the show, too (demonstrated even further by the amazing interview Craig had with Desmond Tutu, and the discussion he had with Stephen Fry). Add in the moments where he had some moving speeches after things like the Aurora shootings or the Boston Marathon bombing, or his tributes to his parents when they passed, and his notable monologue during Britney Spears’ downward spiral, and it all definitely added something special to the late night field, something rarely ever seen, if never before seen, elsewhere.

    • Kem Hayes says:

      Agree 100% about yor Fallon statement. I have not watched since Leno left. Does anyone else notice Fallons creepy/sleepy eyes? Not funny, booorrriinnngg! Ratts I am gonna miss Craig, This is a sad day for America.

      • Jack says:

        If you have not watched it since Leno left, how can you say that the Tonight Show with Fallon is not funny?

        Although, if you actually liked Leno, then you are probably right in not watching. He is definitely not Leno. And this is a good thing.

        • Kem Hayes says:

          I watch it long enough to get bored while Kimmel is showing commercials, or doing something uninteresting. Kimmel is so much better. But more than a few minutes is more than I can stand of Fallon. Fallon tries so hard to be funny. He isn’t fit to lick Craigs shoes. Conan should have had that timeslot. NBC screwed up royal with Fallon. People watch it because it’s the tonight show, the late night icon. A box of rocks would be more entertaining than Fallon.

      • flutiefan says:

        you’re making fun of Fallon’s appearance (“creepy/sleepy eyes”)??! what a sad do for YOU.

  21. John says:

    The interview took some of the wind out of the show’s sails, but on any other episode it would have been interesting to get Leno out of hibernation. I won’t lie…got choked up a bit on the opening. And the ending? My head was spinning. Good stuff!

  22. Nadine says:

    I loved the musical open and hommage ending, will miss
    Craig’s show very much…

  23. Marion Whitaker says:

    Can I please – Please – PRETTY PLEASE – have the curtains when you take them down? I use velvet to make baby blankets for donation. I am gonna miss Craig too! If anyone else wants to send me velvet – of any kind – will take it. Oh, and I will miss Craig

  24. Joe Kent says:

    The next time I see Craig Ferguson it will be ” A GOOD DAY FOR AMERICA “

  25. The World says:

    WHO??

  26. Rick Rieckenberg says:

    Craig took chances every night. No net . My favorite part of the show was always the opening segment, prior to the first guest. The interaction between he and Geofrey Peterson was classic, coming up with ideas on the spot and running with them. How good was the Jay Leno fly? Craig risked it all, 5 nights a week, having the self confidence in himself to pull it off…and , more often than not, he did. In the vein of Robin Williams and Jonathan Winters. Maybe, after some time off from the show and the tediousness of the Celebrity Game show he is “hosting”, he will reappear. We love you, man…you will be missed.

  27. Tran says:

    I give the final episode of The late Late Show with Craig Ferguson an A. The ending was great when all of a sudden, Craig was dreaming and out of nowhere…Drew BLEEP-ing Carey. These two were hilarious during the heydays of The Drew Carey Show (CLEVELAND ROCKS). Can’t wait when weekly guest hosts takes the reins on The Late Late Show starting January 5th beginning with Drew Carey (doing a talk show is way better than hosting a boring game show in The Price is Right). As for James Corden, he’s going to do a great job when he takes over on March 23rd (which was supposed to premiere on March 9th). Really going to miss not only Craig but Geoff the robot (voice by John Robert Thompson) and Secretariat the horse and Mr. Ferguson has got Celebrity Name Game to deal with. The final moment when they shown the snow globe was an homage of the final scene of The Sopranos and of course Don’t Stop Believing by Journey. Goodbye to the Scottish. Hello to the British.

  28. Duck says:

    Thank you Craig, your fantastic crew, and even the racist director. I have already watched your finale three times and is a permanent KEEP on my DVR.

  29. Yak says:

    Loved the opening song, best cold open ever. Leno ruined it for me though. He’s just not funny to me and if I never saw him again, I would be just fine. I think Letterman should have been the final guest (maybe he was on an earlier recent episode, I’m not a regular viewer). The ending fell flat for me, I did not watch Newhart or Drew Carey so the joke was lost (again, for me).

  30. PJ says:

    Havent watched yet, but kinda disappointed they went with the old Newhart ending dream gag. Its been done a few times over the years. Love Newhart so no offence to him. Was sort of expecting the TARDIS would show up and Craig leaves with The Doctor (played by his old friend Peter Capaldi). Oh well. Guess I’ll watch it eventually. I almost didn’t tape it because of Leno.

  31. drewzuhoskydaily says:

    Reblogged this on DrewZuhoskyDaily! and commented:
    An epic end to an epic late night talk show.

  32. Kem Hayes says:

    Man, I am so sad today. I was hoping his leaving was just a long playing joke, and he would be back on Monday night with a new show. From Jack Parr to Letterman, and all those in between, Ferguson was the best. I hope he turns up and guest hosts the show sometimes, with Geoff and the fake horse. It was the only show on TV I made a point to watch. He was the best, the absolute best. TV will never be the same.

  33. Bacon Heart says:

    The show had a GREAT opening and a GREAT ending; however, Jay Leno literally sucked all of the energy out of the show—- Leno was total bust. So I wonder, is Leno going to produce a new show with Ferguson next year? I wonder….

  34. Gonna miss that wild and crazy guy. But what about Geoff? What will he do?

    • Jack says:

      Geoff will be put in storage. The gentleman who voices him, though,(Josh Robert Thompson) has a number of projects in development.

    • Kem Hayes says:

      Geoff, the horse, and the racist floor director will be all back together on Craigs new show in 2015 or 16, from what info I have dug up. Can’t wait!!!!

  35. j kanu says:

    He will be missed. He was the best out there.

  36. lkh says:

    I bid them all adieu!–especially Secretariat! :[
    (ugh to Jay Leno)

  37. Isabelle says:

    Why on earth would he call Bill Cosby?! He’s worried about how Cosby is, dismissing the dozens of women Cosby drugged and raped.
    I like Ferguson, but what terrible aftertaste to side with a serial rapist.

    • Angela says:

      He didn’t call Cosby. “Cosby”, as impersonated by the guy who did the voice of Geoff, called him. And he ended the call and the bit rather quickly, and gave no impression that he sided with the guy at all. I don’t think he was expecting that bit to unfold as it did.

    • Jack says:

      Did you actually watch it, Isabelle? It wasnt Cosby. Just like it was not all the other stars that have been calling him for years during the emails segment. It was all the voice of Josh Robert Thompson, AKA Geoff Peterson…

  38. Natalie says:

    I will miss this show – great guests and lots of laughs which we all need agt this time

  39. Linda Schmaelzle says:

    It was a SAD day for America! Such positive patriotism has not been equaled. Will truly miss him.

  40. Luis says:

    A finale that was true to Craig’s nature – a subversive but loving tribute to TV and some of the great finales of all time. The only thing missing was “GOODBYE” spelled out in rocks.

  41. Steve says:

    Did anyone catch the fact that the end of the show was like the sorprano’s ending AND also if anyone remember’s this far back but also a saint elsewhere ending. St elsewhere was a hospital show in the 80’s on NBC that ended with the autistic child shaking a snow globe that had the st elsewhere hospital inside it. That telling us the whole run of the show was the kid’s imagination and none of it was real. Pure genious!

  42. Kem Hayes says:

    Will CBS be running reruns starting 12/22? Man, late nights will never be the same with Craig not being there with me 5 nights a week. An era has ended. It’s not a great day for America any longer. Come back for some guest hosting duties on the new Late Night show Craig. ……man….this sucks. So sad…

    • Jack says:

      Only for a few weeks. James Corden is not set to take over until the end of February or beginning of March. In the meantime, they will have a revolving door of guest hosts. Not sure exactly when that will start. I would imagine after the new year…

  43. marilyn says:

    love him! iam gonna miss him latenight but i still watch him daytime