The Late Late Show (CBS TV series): Wikis


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The Late Late Show
The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson intertitle.jpg
current logo/title card
Format Talk show
Variety show
Created by David Letterman
Presented by Craig Ferguson
Craig Kilborn
Tom Snyder
Country of origin United States
No. of episodes 2,952 (as of November 20, 2009)
Location(s) CBS Television City
Los Angeles, California
Running time 62 min. (with commercials)
Original channel CBS
Original run January 9, 1995 – present
Preceded by Crimetime After Primetime
External links
Official website

The Late Late Show is an American late-night television talk and variety show on CBS hosted by Craig Ferguson since 2005. It immediately follows Late Show with David Letterman and is produced by Letterman's Worldwide Pants Incorporated. It originates from CBS Television City and is shot in High Definition, as of August 31, 2009. The program dates to 1995, and has had three permanent hosts.

Occasionally, the show is split into 15- and 45-minute segments when CBS airs a daily late night highlight show for either The Masters, other PGA Tour events with rights owned by CBS, or tennis' U.S. Open. The show then has a monologue to start, followed by sports highlights, and then the guest segments. Since mid-2007, however, the highlights show has aired first, followed by the full hour of The Late Late Show.



Host From To Number of Shows
Tom Snyder January 9, 1995 March 26, 1999 777
Craig Kilborn March 29, 1999 August 27, 2004 1,190
Craig Ferguson January 3, 2005 Present 1003 (as of December 18, 2009)



Tom Snyder (1995–1999)

Tom Snyder hosted the program from its inception in January 1995 until March 1999. The choice of Snyder as host was apparently made by David Letterman, whose contract with CBS gave him the power to produce the show in the timeslot immediately after his own program; previously the slot had been taken up by repeats of Crimetime After Primetime.

Letterman and Snyder had a long history together: a 1978 Tomorrow episode hosted by Snyder was almost exclusively devoted to a long interview with up-and-coming new comedy talents Letterman, Billy Crystal and Merrill Markoe. And in 1982, when Tomorrow was canceled by NBC, Letterman took over Snyder's timeslot with his own NBC show Late Night with David Letterman. Because of this, some have speculated that Letterman simply wanted to give Snyder—whom he had long idolized—another chance in the late night arena, as a sort of repayment of an old debt.

Snyder's show featured a mix of celebrities, politicians and other newsmakers, but was otherwise quite unlike the program hosted by Letterman. Snyder was a former newsman, not a comedian, and his show featured an intimate interview format with no studio audience present, similar to his old Tomorrow show of the 1970s, or to the then-current Charlie Rose show. Throughout most of the show's run, it was also simulcast over some CBS Radio stations, and Snyder accepted calls from viewers/listeners somewhat in the manner of Larry King.

Jazz musician David Sanborn composed the theme music and several other songs featured on the show.

Snyder was originally scheduled to broadcast his last Late Late Show on March 19, 1999. However, his replacement Craig Kilborn was still working out the kinks in the new show's format, so the 62-year-old Snyder amiably agreed to "help out the new guy" by filling in for another week.

Craig Kilborn (1999–2004)

When Snyder announced he was leaving, the show was reformatted to resemble Letterman and other major late-night talk programs. Craig Kilborn took over in March 1999, having left The Daily Show to become the new Late Late Show host.

When Kilborn was on the show, it began with a haunting full moon wavering behind gray stratus clouds on the screen to the tuning of an orchestra, while the announcer—the recorded, modulated voice of Kilborn himself—blurted out, "From the gorgeous, gorgeous Hollywood Hills in sunny California, it's your Late Late Show with Craig Kilborn. Tonight [...]", and then the guests were announced with the show's theme song composed by Neil Finn. Then Kilborn was presented, "Ladies and gentlemen, *pause* Mister Craig Kilborn", with the 1970s disco band Wild Cherry song "Play That Funky Music".

After Kilborn's stand-up monologue, he walked to his "Bavarian oak desk" while Finn's theme song continued playing with the chorus "The Late Late Show is starting. The Late Late Show is starting now." The "Desk Chat" was said to be Craig's favorite part of the show.

During later seasons, the opening consisted of shots of various Los Angeles hotspots accompanied by a new theme song performed and written by Chris Isaak. For this new theme song, Kilborn would be played to the desk with a chorus of "The Late Late Show is starting".

Segments included:

  • In the News: A news segment, whose theme song was Survivor's "Eye of the Tiger", where Kilborn would provide a humorous overview of the day's events. It was briefly called "The World of Whimsy" following the September 11th attacks. The segment also included characters such as the hoary and cherubic "Ewok Guy" or the rapping "PG&E" Lady.
  • What Up?: A Friday segment where Kilborn and three other panelists discussed and joked about the news.
  • To Blank with Love: Kilborn dedicated verses to different people and things
  • Five Questions: Kilborn asked a geography question, a Match Game-style "blank" question where the guest had to fill a blank with a word related to the guest, a "Now think of other one" question in which the guest had to guess what Kilborn had in mind. This segment was a holdover from Kilborn's previous job as the host of The Daily Show.
  • Tuesdays with Buddy: Featuring Buddy Hackett
  • Yambo: An elimination game between two guests
  • The Weather with Petra Nemcova: Craig and Goldy would sometimes do a weather report with model Petra Nemcova. The theme song was: "Petra, Petra tell us the weather, Tell us the weather to make us feel better. Petra, Petra, tell us whether we need to bring a jacket, or not."

Kilborn left the program on August 27, 2004, following negotiations which ended unexpectedly when he opted not to renew his contract.

Craig Kilborn has promised his fans that when the Minnesota Timberwolves, his favorite NBA team, win the NBA championship, he will return for one guest host episode.


Subsequent new shows featured guest hosts, culminating in week-long showcases for four finalists: Craig Ferguson, D. L. Hughley, Damien Fahey, and Michael Ian Black. It was announced on December 7, 2004 that Ferguson, a Scottish comedian best known from his role as Mr. Wick on The Drew Carey Show, was to become Kilborn's permanent replacement. David Letterman made the selection based on the recommendation of Peter Lassally.[1]

Craig Ferguson (2005–present)

Changes to the show during Craig Ferguson's tenure as host have included a more improvisational opening monologue and the addition of short comedic sketches starring Ferguson and other semi-regular guests. Upon occasion, Ferguson has delivered monologues more serious in tone; he was nominated for an Emmy Award for one such show in which he eulogized his father. Ferguson's tenure included the show's first high definition broadcast, on August 31, 2009.


  1. ^ Dave at Peace: The Rolling Stone Interview, a September 18, 2008 interview from the Rolling Stone website

External links


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