Ferguson, Craig 1962-

views updated

Ferguson, Craig 1962-

(Bing Hitler)


Born May 17, 1962, in Glasgow, Scotland; son of Robert and Janet Ferguson; divorced; children: Milo Hamish.


Actor, producer, writer, musician, comic, and television show host. Host of Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson (a late-night comedy and variety program), CBS Television, 2005—.

Television series appearances include The Ferguson Theory, 1994; Freakazoid!, 1995; Maybe This Time, ABC, 1995; The Drew Carey Show, ABC, 1996-2000; Hercules, syndicated, 1998; Buzz Lightyear of Star Command, 2000; and The Legend of Tarzan, 2001.

Appearances on episodic television include "Confidence and Paranoia," Red Dwarf, 1988; "Peeled Grapes and Pedicures," Chelmsford 1 2 3, 1988; Have I Got News for You, 1991; The Brain Drain, 1993; and "Suites for the Sweet," Almost Perfect, CBS, 1996. Other television appearances include Dream Baby, PBS, 1992; Drew's Dance Party Special, ABC, 1998, Life as We Know It, 2005; and American Dad!, 2006.

Film appearances include Modern Vampires, Sterling Home Entertainment, 1998; The Big Tease, Warner Bros., 1999; Saving Grace, Fine Line Features, 2000; Chain of Fools, Warner Bros., 2000; Born Romantic, 2000; Life without Dick, Columbia Pictures, 2002; I'll Be There, Warner Bros., 2003; Lenny the Wonder Dog, Winslow Productions, 2004; Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events, Paramount Pictures, 2004; Trust Me, Quadriga Production, 2005; and Niagara Motel, Muse Entertainment Enterprises, 2005.

Film work includes (executive producer) The Big Tease, Warner Bros., 1999; (coproducer) Saving Grace, Fine Line Features, 2000. Stage appearances include Bad Boy Johnny and the Prophets of Doom, produced at the Theatre at Union Chapel, Islington, London, England, 1994.


Audience Award for Best Film, Aspen, Dallas, and Valencia film festivals, for I'll Be There; Emmy Award nomination, 2006, for an episode of the Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson; Best New Director award, Napa Valley Film Festival.


(And producer) The Big Tease (screenplay), Warner Bros., 1999.

(And producer; with Mark Crowdy) Saving Grace, Fine Line Features, 2000.

(And director) I'll Be There (screenplay), Warner Bros., 2003.

Between the Bridge and the River (novel), Chronicle Books (San Francisco, CA), 2006.

Writer on television programs, including The Russ Abbot Show, 1986, The Ferguson Theory, 1994, The Craig Ferguson Show, 1990, The Craig Ferguson Story, 1991, Doc Martin, 2004-05, and Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson.


A longtime comic, stage performer, and musician, Scottish actor Craig Ferguson is perhaps best known to American television audiences for his portrayal of the obnoxious boss Nigel Wick on The Drew Carey Show. The versatile Ferguson is also a screenwriter, director, and producer. His film works include The Big Tease, in which Ferguson plays hairdresser Crawford MacKenzie. Under the impression that he has been invited to compete for the Platinum Scissors Award at the World Freestyle Championship in Los Angeles, MacKenzie flies out of Glasgow with a British documentary crew to follow his every move. As with another mock documentary about hapless Britons arriving on American shores, This Is Spinal Tap, things are not quite as MacKenzie expected: he has only been invited to the competition as a spectator. With the help of a Hollywood publicist played by Frances Fisher, however, "MacKenzie gets his chance to tease, comb, and mousse his way to the top," in the words of Los Angeles Times reviewer Susan King. Bob Campbell in the New Orleans Times-Picayune called The Big Tease "the snappiest comedy sleeper since South Park," and described Ferguson's portrayal of MacKenzie as "the most endearingly outrageous U.K. export since Austin Powers."

Equally outrageous is the plot of Saving Grace, the title of which refers to the name of Brenda Blethyn's character. Suddenly widowed when her husband falls out of an airplane, and faced with heavy bills created by her husband's failed investments, Grace joins forces with her soon-to-be unemployed gardener (Ferguson) to start a profitable home-based business—growing marijuana. As the plot unfolds, it becomes apparent that more than a few upstanding citizens of the sleepy Cornish coastal town like to light up now and then. But the story consists of more than just a few giggles over dope, according to Joe Leydon in Variety, who described it as "more character-driven than plot-propelled." "Although unlikely to prove this year's Full Monty," wrote Graham Fuller in Interview, the film "should bring a little high to the late summer box office." Striking a similar note, Richard Schickel in Time, while noting that it is "not as tightly wound as the best of its breed," called Saving Grace "a genial way to pass the time." Lisa Schwarzbaum of Entertainment Weekly also expressed reservations about the film, but conceded that it has "dopey good vibes." Leydon in Variety was more outspoken in his praise, comparing the movie to Local Hero and pronouncing it a "spiritedly daft and droll gem of straight-faced lunacy."

In January, 2005, Ferguson became the host of the late-night comedy and talk program on CBS Television, the Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, taking over from departing host Craig Kilborn. Ferguson serves as a writer for the program in addition to being its jovial frontman. "After a disastrous first few weeks he has made the program his own, with running gags and hilarious impressions of Prince Charles, Sean Connery, Dr. Phil, and Michael Caine in space," observed a biographer on NNDB. "Describing himself as a cheeky giant Scotsman, he displays an innate knack not just for comedy but for interesting and energetic interviews, where—unlike most chat show hosts—he seems genuinely interested in his guests," the biographer continued.

With Between the Bridge and the River, Ferguson makes his initial bow as a novelist. The book is a "Jungian jaunt through evangelical extremism, terminal illness, fleeting love and Hollywood excess," observed reviewer Nick Madigan in the Baltimore Sun. It is, Madigan continued, "a tale of spiritual rebirth, a journey of lost souls seeking light." Ferguson "displays hyperkinetic chops in his first novel, a witty, furiously paced and frequently hysterical account of showbiz redemption," commented Jonathan Durbin in People. The cast includes half-brothers Saul and Leon, illegitimate sons of Peter Lawford and Frank Sinatra, respectively, and corrosive, difficult Hollywood moguls. Scotsman George is a lawyer dying of cancer, and his old friend Fraser has become a televangelist with a sex-addiction problem. The four disparate characters move toward a "cosmically intertwined awakening via the dark paths of the collective unconscious," remarked Scott Brown in Entertainment Weekly, which will involve the appearances of psychoanalyst and dream analysis pioneer Carl Jung. Ferguson's "first novel may surprise those who haven't already seen past the ‘cheeky wee monkey’ endearments to the thoughtful, complicated guy increasingly on display in his nightly monologues, but it's likely to be welcomed by those who have—or who, like Ferguson, are more likely to spend their late nights reading," observed Ellen Gray in the Philadelphia Daily News. "Ferguson knows how to keep people awake," commented Bob Lunn in the Library Journal, "and he does just that with his lively first novel."



Contemporary Theatre, Film, and Television, Volume 33, Thomson Gale (Detroit, MI), 2001.


Atlanta Journal-Constitution, February 25, 2000, Eleanor Ringel Gillespie, review of The Big Tease, p. 11.

Baltimore Sun, May 10, 2006, Nick Madigan, "Funnyman Ferguson Goes Deep in New Book," review of Between the Bridge and the River.

Boston Globe, February 11, 2000, Jay Carr, review of The Big Tease, p. C6.

Broadcasting & Cable, April 10, 2006, Joel Topcik, "Flash!," review of Between the Bridge and the River, p. 8.

Chicago Tribune, May 26, 2006, Terry Armour, "Late Late Host Hitting Zanies," interview with Craig Ferguson.

Daily Variety, January 7, 2005, Brian Lowry, review of the Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, p. 10; March 15, 2005, Michael Learmonth, "Scot Takes Late Rates to Highland," profile of Craig Ferguson, p. 28.

Entertainment Weekly, February 4, 2000, Lisa Schwarzbaum, review of The Big Tease, p. 48; August 11, 2000, review of Saving Grace, p. 52; March 31, 2006, Scott Brown, review of Between the Bridge and the River, p. 67.

Interview, August, 2000, Graham Fuller, review of Saving Grace, p. 39.

Library Journal, March 15, 2006, Bob Lunn, review of Between the Bridge and the River, p. 62.

Los Angeles Magazine, April, 2006, "Q&A: Questions, Answers, Dish. It's All Here," interview with Craig Ferguson, p. 168.

People, January 17, 2005, Laura J. Downey, "Craig Ferguson Sounds Off," interview with Craig Ferguson, p. 43; March 7, 2005, Terry Kelleher, review of the Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, p. 40; May 1, 2006, Jonathan Durbin, review of Between the Bridge and the River, p. 52.

Philadelphia Daily News, April 17, 2006, Ellen Gray, "TV's Ferguson Is a Reader and a Writer," profile of Craig Ferguson; May 17, 2006, Ellen Gray, "Late Late Show Host Makes His Debut as a Novelist," review of the Between the Bridge and the River.

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, March 16, 2000, Susan King and Mitchell Hill, "A Quest for Stardom: Craig Ferguson, Who Left Scotland for Filmdom, Writes Screenplays between ‘Drew Carey’ Jokes," p. B5.

Time, August 14, 2000, Richard Schickel, review of Saving Grace, p. 78.

Times-Picayune (New Orleans, LA), April 14, 2000, Bob Campbell, review of The Big Tease, p. L32.

Variety, January 31, 2000, Joe Leydon, review of Saving Grace, p. 33.

World Entertainment News Network, April 16, 2006, "Craig Ferguson ‘At Home with Weirdos,’" interview with Craig Ferguson, and "Craig Ferguson's Novel Autobiography," review of Between the Bridge and the River.


Craig Ferguson MySpace,http://www.myspace.com (December 5, 2006).

Craig Ferguson Online,http://severed-dreams.net/craigferguson (December 5, 2006).

Internet Movie Database,http://www.imdb.com/ (December 5, 2006), filmography of Craig Ferguson.

Late Late Show Web site,http://www.cbs.com/latenight/latelate/ (December 5, 2006).

NNDB,http://www.nndb.com/ (December 5, 2006), biography of Craig Ferguson.

Reel.com,http://www.reel.com/ (December 5, 2006), Pam Grady, "The Big Teaser: Craig Ferguson Lets His Hair Down," interview with Craig Ferguson.

Scotland on Sunday,http://news.scotsman.com/ (November 20, 2005) "The Eligibles 2005—Top Fifty Men," profile of Craig Ferguson.