"Late Show" host David Letterman, who recently announced he would be retiring in 2015, took time Tuesday to address the planned departure of another CBS veteran. Craig Ferguson, host of "The Late Late Show," said Monday that he would be leaving his show in December.
"Craig Ferguson announced that he will be leaving his show, 'The Late Late Show,' which comes on right after this show, at the end of the year, which is too bad," Letterman said to his audience at New York's Ed Sullivan Theater.
"He's been on that program, the star of the show since 2005. His show was unlike any other late-night show. I'm telling ya, to be unique in the world of television — virtually impossible. So, congratulations to Craig on a great run. And we all wish him well."
Ferguson, 51, announced that he and CBS are not getting divorced, but that they are "consciously uncoupling," to borrow the term used by Gwyneth Paltrow regarding the end of her marriage to Chris Martin.
Ferguson tweeted a link to a story in Variety, saying, "here's the truth if you're interested" about why he was done with the show now.
"It wasn’t contentious. I was just like, 'I feel like I’m done,'" Ferguson said. "We were all fine and were tying up loose ends. And then Dave surprised everybody with the (April 3) announcement and that threw a spanner in the works. And I had to sit and keep my mouth shut while speculation raged wildly."
Ferguson also addressed speculation that's he leaving because he was passed over for Letterman's seat when "Late Show" named Stephen Colbert as new host. Comedian and talk host Bill Maher was one to offer his take on the whole matter.
"It’s an inevitable thing when David announced his retirement, people are going to say, 'Oh he’s leaving because of that.'" Ferguson told Variety. "No matter what I say or what I do, they’re gonna say that. Well they can say what they like. It’s America. I understand."
He said he "wanted to leave the show before I stopped enjoying it. That was my goal. I didn’t want it to be a chore."
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