Craig Ferguson has survived Paris — or maybe it was the other way around — so he’s decided to prove you can go home again.
The comedian does that starting Monday (May 14) on CBS with a week of “The Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson” taped in his native Scotland. Mila Kunis, Michael Clarke Duncan (“The Finder”) and Rashida Jones are among the guests joining him on location … and though he was on more familiar turf this time, Ferguson claims the experience was similar to doing the program in the City of Light last summer.
“We started talking about this seven years ago,” he tells Zap2it, “when I’d been doing the show for less than a year, but it took a while to make it possible. We’ve got a show we still have to make here, plus I kind of resisted going back to the old country. I thought, ‘What if it’s not good? What if they hate me?’ But it worked out pretty good.”
Those invited along immediately agreed, which Ferguson found “surprising,” to join him and skeletal robot sidekick Geoff Peterson at such sites as Edinburgh Castle and Arbroath Harbour. “Mila has done sketches for us before, and Michael and Rashida are always favorite guests on the show. They’re always really cool, so you just ask cool people. And Geoff Peterson in a kilt is something to see!”
As for the more personal reunions he had, Ferguson reports, “I see the relatives a lot anyway. It’s not that I haven’t been in Scotland for a long time — I go a few times a year — so they’re around. Going back to my old high school was kind of bizarre, though; I hadn’t done that, and it was exactly the same. The kids still go to the same place to smoke cigarettes.”
While Ferguson’s 2011 trip to France aired in mid-summer, it’s significant CBS is showing the Scotland trek during May sweeps … and a month after it re-upped him to continue the Peabody Award-winning “Late Late Show” through 2014. “I’m always surprised to have a steady job,” he muses, “so it’s a very nice feeling. On the show, I whine about CBS, but they’re awesome to me. They let me do what I like, and they pay me.”
In considering future on-air trips, Ferguson notes there are “a couple of American cities I have my eye on. I’d like to have a crack at them with similar treatment. And there are some other countries I’d like to see. My guess is that we’ll end up doing this once a year, because it’s fun.”
Ferguson appears tonight (Thursday, May 10) at the Paley Center for Media in Beverly Hills, Calif,, to discuss the Scotland excursion. “I’m cautiously optimistic,” he says of unveiling the overseas tapings. “I think they’re pretty good. And the weather was spectacular, so we have some really amazing footage. It’s quite the visual experience.”