Craig Ferguson is perhaps the most unguarded person working in TV today.
The host of CBS’ “Late Late Show” has garnered loyal and growing following with an on-air style that is unique among his latenight brethren: He’s a Scottish reincarnation of Jack Paar — candid and conversational, a born broadcaster with a flair for storytelling. He rarely seems to tell a joke; rather, he offers observations and anecdotes, with great wit and insight into the culture of his adopted homeland.
All of this helped make “Late Late Show” steadily more competitive with NBC’s “Late Night” since Ferguson took the helm in 2005. The gap narrowed considerably in the past year, with Ferguson frequently tying or topping his competish.
“What we’ve done here (on the show) is really out of necessity,” Ferguson says. “Latenight is so established as a television convention. Deconstructing it makes it fun for me.”
Ferguson has spent some time deconstructing himself for a memoir, “American on Purpose,” set for release in the fall. Even though he doesn’t hold much back on his show — Ferguson is admired for speaking frankly and frequently about his alcoholism, among other topics — the process of putting his life on paper was “an odd sensation,” Ferguson says. “I didn’t want to make it too jokey. I just told the truth as much as the law and decorum would allow.”