While Craig Ferguson is known well to American audiences as the host of The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, the actor, writer and comedian worked his way up the entertainment ladder in the United Kingdom. Ferguson was born in Glasgow, Scotland, in 1962 and got his first taste of the stage when he became a drummer for the band Exposure. In the early '80s, Ferguson joined a punk group called Dreamboys, which was fronted by vocalist Peter Capaldi. It was Capaldi who first convinced Ferguson to give standup a try, and after a few appearances on his own, Ferguson decided to create a character and stage name to set himself apart from the pack. "Bing Hitler" as he was called, was meant to be a farce of the patriotic folk singers of Scotland and began to become a hit at Scottish comedy festivals around the country.
Ferguson's first big break in television came in the early '90s when he was picked up for a pilot called The Craig Ferguson Show. The comedy, starring Paul Whitehouse and Helen Atkinson-Wood did make it on the air, but was never picked up for a full series. It was around this time that Ferguson became interested in musical theatre, appearing in productions like The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Bad Boy Johnny and the Prophets of Doom and The Odd Couple.
In the mid-'90s, Ferguson moved to Los Angeles where he acted in a number of small television roles before earning his breakout performance on The Drew Carey Show. As Carey's boss, Mr. Wick, Ferguson's over-the-top English accent and plucky demeanor endeared himself to audiences and opened up a world of new media opportunities. Even during his time on The Drew Carey Show, Ferguson found the time to write and act in a number of movies, including The Big Tease, Saving Grace, and I'll Be There. As a writer, actor and director, Ferguson showed that he had the big and small screen chops to be a major player in the entertainment industry.
In 2004, Ferguson was selected as the successor to Craig Kilborn on the The Late Late Show and he debuted as the new host in January of 2005. Ferguson's skills as a stand-up comedian translated seamlessly to the show's opening monologues and his hilarious interviews with celebrities. With his late night talk show host position secure and his stand-up comedy shows a major draw, Ferguson is a prime example of a Hollywood success story.