Gather around kids, let grampa Dan Barrett tell you about the best late night talk show there ever was*.

The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson.

(*Yes, this is hyperbole. But the show was very good and interesting and certainly one of the best takes on the format)

Starting back in 2005, the show aired after The Late Show with David Letterman in the prime 12:30am timeslot, replacing The Late Late Show with Craig Kilborn. No one ever thought of Craig Ferguson, who at that time was only really known for playing Drew Carey's boss on the sitcom The Drew Carey Show, as a talk show host. But after Craig Kilborn's departure, Ferguson appeared as a fill-in guest host and management liked what they saw.

Ferguson was a different type of host. Some may politely say the show had a 'devil may care' attitude, but it was really a 'who gives a f**k' attitude. Ferguson was playful with guests, asking silly and probing questions that seemingly weren't from cue cards. His monologue was a weird stream of consciousness conversation with the audience. And over the years Ferguson started introducing regular co-stars who were mostly just an assortment of puppets.

It was wonderfully strange, off-beat, entertaining TV. And then when David Letterman quit his show, Ferguson wasn't considered as his replacement, prompting the Scot to get a bit upset and so he left his own show too. In fairness, it was probably time for a change and I don't think Ferguson thought there was much merit in continuing to do that same after-midnight show after nine years.

News today is that Craig Ferguson is shopping around a series for syndication (ie the show would be sold not to a network, but rather to TV stations directly). It seems interesting to me that this is happening at the same time that NBC is considering exiting the 12:30am timeslot and that CBS is looking for a replacement to The Late Late Show with James Corden. I'm sure that isn't lost on the team shopping around the pilot, either.

The new show won't be a talk show in the style of The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson. Instead, it seems more like a panel version of The Soup, hosted by Ferguson. The premise:

“Channel Surf with Craig Ferguson” will review “the shocking, surprising and hilarious moments of the week’s shows,” joined by friends and guest stars.

Something that has me curious is this quote from Ferguson:

“I wanted to do Channel Surf because I think television is ready for the return of the silly/ funny/ occasional lip-synching puppet format. Also, it’s a TV show which contains clips of questionable moments from other TV shows thus creating a spectacular visual turducken of stupid,” Ferguson said.

Puppets? Could this see the return of his former robot sidekick Geoff Petersen and dancing horse Secretariat? Watch this space...

Craig Ferguson, Sony Hope to Chart Late-Night Return With Syndicated ‘Channel Surf’
Craig Ferguson, the comic who anchored CBS’ “Late Late Show” for nine years, is hoping to make a return to wee-hours programming. Sony Pictures Television aims to launch a new hal…
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