More changes in CBS’ late-night lineup: Less than two weeks after it was announced that Stephen Colbert would replace David Letterman on The Late Show, Craig Ferguson will now leave The Late Late Show, the CBS talker he’s hosted for 10 years.
Ferguson told his studio audience Monday that he will step down in December. (Watch his announcement below.) Ferguson’s contract, like Colbert’s with Comedy Central, expires in 2015.
He had this to say in a statement: “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 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. Craig’s 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.”
The Scotland-born host earned Emmy and Peabody noms for hosting The Late Late Show, an irreverent program that was meant to buck the traditional late-night format. Ferguson eschewed a co-host and went with a talking robot, and his studio “band” was hidden behind a curtain. Two guys in a horse costume would routinely run on stage to get laughs.
Ferguson’s brand of talk made it fun for celebrities who had the gift of gab and hard for those who weren’t particularly funny. Ferguson doesn’t like to prepare questions and would routinely go in unexpected directions with his guests, often with great results.
In addition to hosting the show and performing stand-up comedy, Ferguson has written two books: Between the Bridge and the River, a novel, and American on Purpose, a memoir.