Craig Ferguson Wanted To Leave CBS Before It Was Cool, Never Wanted That Letterman Seat
In all the fuss that followed when David Letterman announced his retirement, there was one late night elephant in the room. While the Stephen Colbert and Chelsea Handler rumors were being thrown around, Craig Ferguson was sitting at his 12:30 time slot being painted as the man late night left behind. According to what Ferguson recently said about his position, though, that's not exactly the case.
Ferguson, who announced his own impending departure from The Late Late Show on Monday, set the record straight with Variety over those rumors that he was being pushed out. In fact, according to him, he wanted out before all of the hoopla even began:
It wasn’t contentious. I was just like, ‘I feel like I’m done. We were all fine and were tying up loose ends. And then Dave surprised everybody with the announcement and that threw a spanner in the works. And I had to sit and keep my mouth shut while speculation raged wildly.
As for if he ever had his eye on that Letterman seat the answer seems to be a resounding "oh hell no":
I had no desire — none — to do that job. I could barely keep it together at 12:30, never mind 11:30. Nobody wants to hear it. It’s so bizarre. People want it to be Jay and Dave or Jay and Conan or some kind of big story. That’s not me, that’s not what I want. I think what happens is that certain people want you to want it, and they want you to not get it. If that makes ‘em happy, well...It really wasn’t what I aspired to. Doing this job wasn’t something I aspired to, either. I kind of fell into this.
Well there you have it: Craig Ferguson is very much content to be pulling himself out of the late night circus. It's entirely possible these comments are about saving face, of course — but we doubt it. As he noted himself, nearly everyone else in late night's made themselves more part of the public story than he has. As for what he'll do next and/or what he'll find more fulfilling than a late night seat? That's yet to be seen.
As for CBS? Well that's your move, Chelsea Handler.