With a comedic campaign for honorary U.S. citizenship and his increasingly inspired monologue, CBS' The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson (weeknights at 12:35 am/ET) has really hit its stride. We spoke to the show's Glasgow-born host about what it's like working the night shift.
TV Guide: At nearly 15 minutes, your monologue is practically a stand-up gig.
Craig Ferguson: That's what we do — 10, 15 minutes of new stand-up every show. I have eight or nine writers, and we decide what subject it's going to be... and construct a set of bullet points. Basically, [the monologue] is just my life. It's a stand-up-slash-blog. But you know what the difference is? A lot of blogs are terrible.
TV Guide: The monologue really started to pop when you began talking more about yourself, including your battle with alcohol. Would you agree with that?
Ferguson: Absolutely! It became more open. But not everything in my life is in the monologue. I don't discuss my romantic life at the moment. I don't discuss my son. There are certain things that are just private.
TV Guide: What, in your opinion, makes for an ideal guest?
Ferguson: Someone who remembers to talk and not just plug their [project]. I don't think people appreciate you just saying the name of your book or your movie or your exercise machine over and over again. Not that we have many people [plugging] exercise machines....
TV Guide: Are there guests you particularly enjoy having on?
Ferguson: I have a good time with the oldsters. When [Don] Rickles is here, it's always fun. Regis is fun.... Michael Caine is a great interview. People who just know how to play — those are the people who come off best.
TV Guide: You famously said that you wouldn't joke about Britney when she was going through her head-shaving meltdown. So there is a line you won't cross?
Ferguson: I used to think there wasn't, but there is. But it's a line for me personally. I wouldn't do a joke about a human being who was so obviously in agony. Would I do a joke about her now? Yeah! If it was a good joke. But I'm careful, because often you run into these people, and I don't want to feel like an a--hole when I meet them.
TV Guide: What's the biggest Scottish stereotype you'd like to debunk?
Ferguson: The surly drunkenness. Actually, I don't know that I can dispatch the surly drunkenness so easily.
TV Guide: Whose Scottish accent was more authentic: Mel Gibson's in Braveheart or Mike Myers' Fat Bastard in Austin Powers?
Ferguson: Oh, definitely Mike Myers! That's a terrific Scottish accent. I ran into [him] at a comedy event and [told him so]. He said, "It's not as good as yours, but thank you."
TV Guide: But yours is phony, right?
Ferguson: That's right. I'm from Jersey.
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