It's official: CBS is undergoing a complete late-night facelift.
Just a few weeks ago, David Letterman announced he would be stepping down from his 20-year-long reign as host of 'The Late Show.' And now word has spread that Craig Ferguson is jumping on the retirement bandwagon as well.
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Ferguson told his studio audience Monday that, come December, he will make his final exit from 'The Late Late Show' — a program which he has successfully hosted for the past 10 years. His contract with the network expires in 2015.
Undoubtedly, many fans will find this news to be a hard pill to swallow. Losing Letterman AND Ferguson around the same time definitely marks the end of a truly great era of television. The Scotland-born host has earned Emmy and Peabody nominations for his hosting duties on a show that constantly aimed to shy away from the traditional late-night format. (His co-host was a talking robot, after all.)
Even his celebrity interviews went refreshingly against the grain. Ferguson would often go off-script with his guests and shift the conversation in unique and sometimes highly bizarre directions. But that's what made the show so wonderful to watch. It reveled in its unconventionality and Ferguson made for a great ring leader.
“CBS and I are not getting divorced, we are ‘consciously uncoupling,’" Ferguson said in a statement. "But we will still spend holidays together and share custody of the fake horse and robot skeleton, both of whom we love very much.”
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CBS chair Nina Tassler also had a few words to say: “During his 10 years as host, Craig has elevated CBS to new creative and competitive heights at 12:30. 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.”
Unlike Letterman, who we already know will be replaced by Stephen Colbert, it's unclear who the network hopes will come forward to fill Ferguson's late-night shoes, though we're sure it's only a matter of time. But, in the meantime, let's all just take a moment for an awkward pause (or use of a mouth organ, if you prefer) to honor of a true comedic gem.