Craig Ferguson: Late-night format is 'tired and old'

Ferguson Craig Ferguson's refreshingly blunt (and enjoyably profane) take on the state of late-night TV at TCA ...

-- On his ambitions as a late-night host: "I don't want to be poor. I don't want to be rich to the extent where all I care about is keeping my job. I don't want to be frightened of getting fired. Do I want to make a lot of money? F--k yeah. I suppose I'd like to maintain, if I have any, some kind of integrity."

-- On ratings: "I look at them but I don't understand them. Do all ratings stop at 49. They do! I'm 47 so in two years I'm f--ked. Everybody writes about it like a religion. Here's what I do know: When Jay was shit-canned from NBC he was the leader in all numbers and they fired him. I want to keep my head down."

On his now-famous "Why Everything Sucks" rant: "That particular nugget of fury was just there in the moment. One of the luxuries of doing television every night is it's like you have an outlet to just broadcast your thoughts ... That's why I would never Twitter. I've got an hour to fill every f--king night. What am I going to say? Going to say things about things! ... it's very contemporary, a person just revealing his thoughts. It's the broadcast of unedited thought."

-- On the late-night format: "The format is tired and it is old. I'm another middle aged white guy telling jokes on TV in a suit. And that's tired. I want to mess with it."

-- Favorite guest: "Betty White." Least? "An actor whose name I won't say. So f--k 'em."

-- On whether he would want a show at 10 p.m. like Jay Leno has: "I don't think people are ready for cussing puppets at 10 o'clock. I kind of -- I am mystified by many things in life, and that one, I don't really understand what's going on there either."

-- On keeping his sanity: "Being on TV every night has made me crazier than when I started. There's definitely been a shift. [Saying how getting his pilot's license has, in a way, kept him grounded]: "It's the complete opposite of show business. In show business, you bullshit-bullshit-bullshit and you get ahead. In aviation, you bullshit, you f--king die."

-- On who's the true King of Late Night: "No matter what the numbers have ever been, the king of late night television is Dave Letterman. I know there are press releases to show scientifically that'snot f--king true. If there is a successor to Johnny, of course it's David. I sit at his feet. I'm kind of his bitch, to use the modern parlance."