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Craig Ferguson Has Announced He’s Leaving CBS’ ‘The Late Late Show.’ Who Should Take Over His Slot?

Craig Ferguson Has Announced He's Leaving CBS' 'The Late Late Show.' Who Should Take Over His Slot?

Craig Ferguson announced yesterday that he will bow out as host of CBS’ The Late Late Show in December. 

At the end of this year I will be stepping down as the host of the show,” he told his shocked studio audience. “Then I’ll go and do something else, probably I’m thinking carpentry. But I haven’t made my mind up yet.

This comes just a few weeks after David Letterman, who’s show airs before Ferguson’s daily, late night, announced his retirement as well. Stephen Colbert was soon named Letterman’s replacement, to the consternation of some who hoped that a woman, or a personality from one of many under-represented groups (specifically African American) would be given the opportunity, and, in effect, add some much needed *color* to the late night talk-show space.

Although I wasn’t surprised by the Colbert pick. But might CBS execs consider replacing Ferguson with a woman or a host from another so-called *minority* group? Or will their choice be yet another middle-aged white man, continuing long-standing trends?

My money is on the latter; but maybe (just maybe) we’ll be surprised by CBS’ eventual selection. 

You’ll be already aware that, after Jay Leno, longtime host of NBC’s The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, wrapped up 22 years of headlining the iconic late-night show last year, he’s been replaced by Jimmy Fallon, who was, at the time, host of his own show on NBC, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, a slot that eventually went to Fallon’s Saturday Night Live cohort, Seth Adam Meyers, another middle-aged white man.

So, the obvious questions on many minds are, who will take over Ferguson’s now vacated Late Night slot on CBS, and whether the network will take some chances in its selection process?

Of course, media outlets have been tossing around names of potential comedians who might be candidates for that late night slot, and, not surprisingly, just about every name I’ve read has belonged to a candidate who is white and male, with a woman or two mentioned – Chelsea Handler’s name especially, has been coming up since a replacement for Letterman was in conversation, and continues to do so.

I’ll admit that I never watched Ferguson. Actually, I don’t watch much of the late night talk-show circuit anymore, like I used to in the 1990s, when Arsenio Hall seemingly brightened up the space a bit, with his unprecedented show. So, quite frankly, whether Ferguson should even be replaced, is a question I have. Maybe CBS should just put some other kind of programming in that time slot – after all, it’s no secret that the audiences for these late-night shows has been declining over the years, and it’s even more pronounced in the hour that follows – when Ferguson’s show airs. 

Although I’m sure the audience for the talkies that broadcast during that 12:35 hour are definite, and I can only assume that CBS will continue its late night tradition and replace Ferguson with another host.

But who?

I thought I’d take a quick survey to see what black personalities (male and female) you guys think should be given the opportunity, in light of the fact that the late night talk-show circuit (on broadcast network TV specifically – CBS, NBC, ABC, FOX primarily) isn’t exactly swimming with black (or female) hosts.

I mentioned Arsenio Hall earlier, but I’m sure he’s content with his 11pm time slot. To move to the 12:35pm hour – even if it’s on a major broadcast network like CBS – could be a step backwards. So I’ll count him out.

So who would be on your short list?

To get you started, I’ll throw out a few possible names: Damon WayansDave ChappelleWanda SykesD.L. HughleyChris TuckerAisha TylerAffion CrockettWayne Brady, and W. Kamau Bell

It’ll likely have to be someone with some name recognition (no matter what skin color or gender they are), so I don’t think any younger up-and-comers, still paying their dues currently, will be up for the job. Although, in an age when YouTube is creating stars practically overnight, some with huge followings (in the millions), about as much as a TV late night talk show would draw, anything is possible.

I think it could be a launching pad for someone who’s looking to move up in the late-night talk show space, so an established veteran actor or comedian, likely won’t be interested. 

What do you guys think?

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Amari Allah

Every single last pick, I just don't find interest in. I don't think any African-American act has been built over the years to really be put in this type of position. I mean, I would argue that Eddie Murphy needs something to do, but even with his string of flops I doubt he may do late night. As for everyone on the list:

Damon Wayans: considering his last show got cancelled on Showtime, I think it was, and his son having a bigger name than him right now, why would they invest in him? Nostalgia? That isn't doing Arsenio any favors.

Dave Chappelle: I don't think Dave will ever look for a long commitment project ever again.

Wanda Sykes: She would get cancelled in one season

D.L. Hughley: To me, the only reason he can even find work was because he is one of the original Kings of Comedy, and let's face it, out of all the men who were part of that movie, he did the worse. Bernie was top, Ced and Steve fought out for 2nd, and Steve won, and D.L. was hardly competition.

Chris Tucker: He does have a Queen Latifah type of appeal, being a well known actor with lots of famous friends, and I can picture him in the role of late night TV, but the question becomes: why would he take it? This is the man who wanted a huge amount of money for the last Rush Hour film, despite his person not being in high demand. And considering how he did hosting the BET awards, I don't think this is a good idea.

Aisha Tyler: I understand the love for Aisha Tyler, but I don't think it is universal enough for her to be able to compete with Seth Meyers.

Affion Crockett: He isn't big enough for his own show.

Wayne Brady: Though his daytime show got Emmys, it was still cancelled. And let's face it, his persona seems more daytime TV geared than late night.

W. Kamau Bell: Recently cancelled, and probably too Black for CBS.


I would prefer D. L. Hughley fall off the face of the earth. Otherwise, Aisha, Wanda or Wayne! In other news, I wish Gabby Sidibe had a talk show or podcast (like Aisha's) because she is hilarious!!!


Aisha Tyler… smug, irritating, not funny.

Dave Chappelle… genius comic, but too much water under the bridge and will not compromise his humor.

Affion Crockett/Chris Tucker/Wanda Sykes… hilarious, but too edgy for network late night.

I could see Wayne Brady in the role. He comes with an established large-sized fan base. Middle America loves him. And unlike Aisha Tyler, he's actually funny. Plus, he's multi-talented–acts, sings, dances, stand-up. Many people don't realize there's a bite underneath the genial nature.

I'll also throw Deray Davis into the selection pool.


Wayne Brady would definitely get my vote. He's hip and cool, and very likeable, without being goofy, but also articulate and a good interviewer and listener. While Aisha is articulate (Harvard grad) and smart something about her just doesn't rub me right. Can't say I've ever been a fan and don't find her particularly funny or interesting. …As for the others mentioned none of them has the gravitas or educational depth needed to interview anyone in the world of politics or anything outside of the world of entertainment.

Dankwa Brooks | 'Nother Brother Entertainment

Dave Chappelle (nope! Will never settle down for a regular gig again)

Wanda Sykes (probably not. Maybe an E! Show)

D.L. Hughley (After hearing him on Howard Stern I thought he would be a perfect replacement for him! But after hearing Adam Corolla recently on his show, Howard seem to REALLY like him)

Chris Tucker (just no)

Affion Crockett ,W. Kamau Bell (never really watched these cats)

Wayne Brady (just no, again)

Finally, as I said on Twitter
"@NotherBrother: @shadowandact Yes & yes for @aishatyler! Her humor is PERFECT for late night. No lame middle of the road crap."


I'd love to see Aisha Tyler have that slot. She's already in the CBS family and her podcast "Girl on Guy" is terrific. Actually, there is a great episode where she interviews W. Kamau Bell and it is very revealing. She's a very good interviewer.


Ask Tanya…


I don't think Chappelle (or maybe Damon Wayans) would consider it. Wayne Brady and Aisha Tyler seem like reasonable choices. Tyler would rock it, really. W. Kamau Bell would be the kind of inspired choice I'd like to see them go for.

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