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Who is Craig Ferguson? A brief biography about the talk show host


Talk show host Craig Ferguson
Michael Caulfield / Staff / Getty Images

Craig was Born ...:

... on May 17, 1962, in Glasgow, Scotland, but grew up in Cumbernauld, Scotland, a nearby town built specifically to house the overflowing Glasgow population. He has two sisters.

Growing Up with Craig ...:

... You would have no doubt listened to a lot of punk music. Once he was able, Craig moved to London and hooked up as drummer with a number of punk bands.

Craig's First Job:

If you don't include punk band drummer, it would most likely be as a bartender and bouncer, two roles he regularly played in pubs across Scotland. And then there's his stint as underground comic "Bing Hitler," a stage-name he used while touring the United Kingdom. His success as Bing prompted him to try his luck in the States, so he hopped a flight ...

The Early Years:

... And landed in Los Angeles. Once there, he quickly landed a role on a short-lived sit-com, Maybe This Time. But it's his turn as the wickedly funny, wickedly nasty, wickedly perverted Mr. Wick on The Drew Carey Show that secured his spot on ... well, on the B-list anyway.

That led to a number of opportunities, namely writing and directing his own low-budget films, including the popular Saving Grace.

Becoming a Talk Show Host:

When Craig Kilborn left The Late Late Show, a series of hosts filled in, essentially trying out for the part. Perhaps surprisingly, Ferguson was one of them, and his stint won good reviews. Eventually the filed of potential hosts whittled down to Ferguson and he was awarded the program in January 2005.

The show has greatly evolved since its debut, and there’s no question Ferguson has made it his own (and won critical raves in the process). Early on Craig eschewed the written monologue told by most late night hosts in favor of improvisation, story telling and interaction with his audience. His impersonations are laced with Scottish humor, he has no house band per se (instead writing and singing the lyrics to his own theme song), and his skits ooze with a somewhat Monty Python piquant.

A Key Moment in His Career:

It could possibly be the night he eulogized his father during his opening monologue. The often irreverent and off-the-wall comic became quite human and decidedly adult in those few minutes, sharing with his audience a personal depth they hadn't seen before. It was a milestone moment for the program, anchoring the giggles and guffaws to the real world - and showing everyone that in pain and sorrow there are moments of good spirits and laughter, too.

What Does the Future Hold?:

More of the same, no doubt, peppered with a bit of moonlighting either as an actor, director, writer or musician. And maybe – just maybe - when Letterman steps down from the Late Show throne, Craig will be there to slide behind his desk.

And Just for Fun:

  • Craig is a published novelist, receiving accolades for his first book Between the Bridge and the River

  • He is a father. His son, Milo, was born in 2001.

  • When Craig started not wearing a tie while hosting, he was the focus of a bit of backlash - but his laid-back style has proven that without the tie, he's just as funny.

  • Impersonations include Prince Charles, Sean Connery and - surprisingly - Dr. Phil.

  • Became a U.S. citizen in late 2007.
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