Craig Ferguson, Late Night's New King
David Letterman still wins, but he's in a class of his own
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 24, 2010 11:28 AM CST
Talk show host Craig Ferguson on the set of CBS' Late Late Show Monday, Feb. 18, 2008, Los Angeles.   (AP Photo/Ric Francis)

(Newser) – Despite all the publicity heaped upon them in recent weeks, there are more late night hosts than just Jay Leno and Conan O’Brien. After years of following the major late night shows, Michael Giltz decided the time has come to declare a new king. His final verdict? Craig Ferguson, but only if you take David Letterman out of the running. Check out his thoughts, from the Huffington Post:

  • David Letterman: “He's already ascended to the pantheon, alongside Johnny Carson, Steve Allen, Jack Paar, Dick Cavett, and just a few others. His legacy is assured, so he doesn't get ranked alongside the others.”
  • Craig Ferguson: “He's been charming the pants off us for some 1000 shows now and doing it effortlessly,” and last night’s show—during which he eschewed the audience and simply talked to Stephen Fry for an hour—“was an arresting, wonderful hour akin to the glory days of Dick Cavett.”

  • Conan O’Brien: “Even after all these years, Conan remains a very, very bad interviewer unless the guest is someone he deeply cares about or is a woman he's deeply attracted to. He can be funny on his feet of course. But Conan is glued desperately to his note cards.”
  • Jay Leno: “Gets no respect from critics like me and certainly his monologue doesn't deserve it.”
  • Jimmy Kimmel: “Bad standup, bad with guests unless that guest is his ex, the hilarious Sarah Silverman.”
  • Jimmy Fallon: “Makes Jimmy Kimmel look good. He's the Merv Griffin of late night, with every guest a dear dear friend and his most penetrating comment being ‘that's hilarious’ or ‘that's great’ followed by a giggle.”