American on purpose: The improbable adventures of an unlikely patriot

Tuesday, July 6, 2010
Craig Ferguson

I really like Craig Ferguson.  I liked him as the annoying Mr. Wick on The Drew Carey Show, and I like him as the host of The Late Late Show.  His monologue preceding the 2008 Presidential Election entitled “If You Don’t Vote, you’re a Moron,” should be required watching on YouTube. 
In American on Purpose, Craig Ferguson delivers a moving and funny memoir of living the American dream as he journeys from the mean streets of Glasgow, Scotland, to the comedic promised land of Hollywood. Along the way he stumbles through several attempts to make his mark—as a punk rock musician, a construction worker, a bouncer, and, tragically, a modern dancer.

To numb the pain of failure, Ferguson found comfort in drugs and alcohol, addictions that eventually led to an aborted suicide attempt. (He forgot to do it when someone offered him a glass of sherry.) But his story has a happy ending: success on the hit sitcom The Drew Carey Show, and later as the host of CBS's Late Late Show. By far Ferguson's greatest triumph was his decision to become a U.S. citizen, a milestone he achieved in early 2008.
In American on Purpose, Craig Ferguson talks a red, white, and blue streak about everything our Founding Fathers feared:

“As I dozed on the farty rattly airplane on the way home, I though about my short conversation with the president. We had been talking about Scotland; he had visited for a while when he was younger and expressed a sort of puzzled awe at the amount of drinking that was done there, hinting he’d taken part in a fairly major way.  We talked a bit about the dangers of booze.  I’ve been sober for 17 years, and according to rumor, he himself a little longer then that.

“It’s a long way from where I’ve been to standing here talking to the president.” I told him

“It’s a long way from where I could’ve ended up to being the president,” he replied.

“Only in America,” he chuckled.  We clinked our glasses of sparkling water.
“Damn straight, Mr. President,” I said.  And I believe it.”

Diane, Administration

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