Monday, February 15, 2010

American on Purpose – Book #14

| Title |American on Purpose |
| Author | Craig Ferguson |
| Genre | Biography |
| Pages | 268 |
| Publisher | HarperCollins |
| Copyright | 2009 |

Synopsis (from web-site)

In American on Purpose, Craig Ferguson delivers a moving and achingly 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: in 1993, the washed-up Ferguson washed up in the United States. Finally sober, Ferguson landed a breakthrough part on the hit sitcom The Drew Carey Show, a success that eventually led to his role as the host of CBS's The 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, just before his command performance for the president at the White House Correspondents' Association Dinner. In American on Purpose, Craig Ferguson talks a red, white, and blue streak about everything our Founding Fathers feared.

Why I read It
Craig Ferguson is the man and he is hilarious. If you are not watching his late night show you should. This is what Tivo’s were invented for.

What I Thought About It
Loved it. Another biography which lets you know how destructive drugs and alcohol can be, even if you are an artist. It makes you wonder if creative lives foster substance abuse or if substance abuse fuels creativity. I would bet a lot of creative types mired in the addictive cycle believe the latter; it works as a justification. I started writing about my experiences with America, but it began looking like the seeds of an original post. So that is what it will be.

Mormon Mentions
Yes! One of the first shows Craig worked on in LA was a sit-com with Marie Osmond, consequently he had a lot of interaction with her and her entourage, mostly great. While he states he would never want to be one (a Mormon), he has never met one he hasn’t liked. Well he has got that on me I guess :-)

Author Biography

Craig Ferguson entered the world of late night comedy following a diverse and eclectic career that encompasses film, television, and the stage. Since taking the helm of The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson on January 3, 2005, the show has set all-time viewer records and achieved the highest ratings since the show's inception in 1995.

Born in Glasgow, Scotland, Ferguson got his start in the entertainment industry as a drummer for some of the worst punk bands in the U.K., a profession he held for several years. Following his musical stint, he began bartending in a local pub in Glasgow where he was introduced to Michael Boyd, the artistic director of the Tron Theatre in Glasgow, who persuaded Ferguson to give acting a go. After several low-paying acting gigs, Ferguson discovered he had a knack for comedy and was soon the star of his own BBC television show, The Ferguson Theory.

Ferguson was involved in the English comedy circuit for a short while, and then brought his act to America in 1995 to star with Betty White and Marie Osmond in the short-lived ABC comedy Maybe This Time. After the show ended, ABC decided to add the talented Scotsman to The Drew Carey Show, playing Drew Carey's boss, Nigel Wick, from 1996–2003.

Ferguson wrote the feature films The Big Tease and Saving Grace. In 2003, he made his directorial debut with I'll Be There, which he also wrote and starred in. I'll Be There went on to receive the Audience Award for Best Film at the Aspen, Dallas, and Valencia film festivals. Craig was also named Best New Director at the Napa Valley Film Festival. Ferguson's other film credits include: Niagra Motel, Lenny the Wonder Dog, Prendimi l'anima, Life Without Dick, Chain of Fools, and Born Romantic.

In April 2006, Ferguson published his first novel entitled Between the Bridge and the River, which became a critically acclaimed bestseller.

Since coming into his own on the Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson and receiving his first Emmy nomination in 2006, Craig achieved a personal milestone in February 2008 when he was sworn in as a U.S. Citizen. Soon after, Craig hosted the White House Correspondents' Dinner, performing before political journalists, celebrities, and Washington power players.

In 2009, HarperCollins is set to publish Craig Ferguson's American on Purpose, a memoir of living the American dream as he journeys from a small town in Scotland to the entertainment capital of the world. "American on Purpose reads as if Ferguson had snorted Angela's Ashes," says David Hirshey, Senior Vice President and Executive Editor. "It will make you laugh, cry, and sing 'The Star Spangled Banner' with a Scottish burr."

Ferguson also serves on the board of the Lollipop Theater Network. The mission of the Lollipop Theater Network is to bring movies that are currently in theatrical release to hospitalized children facing chronic and life-threatening illness.

Ferguson lives in Los Angeles with his wife and son.

1 comment:

whichwaydidshego said...

Craig Ferguson IS the man! And I'm so glad you liked the book, too. I was expecting it to be something funny, instead he really exposed himself and never seemed to blame. How refreshing!