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Craig Ferguson ends run as 'Late Late Show' host

In this image released by CBS, Craig Ferguson,

In this image released by CBS, Craig Ferguson, host of "The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson," appears at the taping of his final episode airing Friday, Dec. 19, on CBS. Credit: AP / Sonja Flemming

Craig Ferguson wrapped 10 years as host of CBS' "The Late Late Show" early Saturday with Jay Leno as his final guest, and a prerecorded opening montage featuring nearly 50 stars singing along -- and banging drums -- to an anthem song by a Glasgow, Scotland-based band, Dead Man Fall.

And then, there was this fade-out in the closing seconds, with Ferguson waking up in bed alongside Drew Carey. "I must tell you," Ferguson said, "it was the most extraordinary dream -- I was the host of a late night talk show . . . and you were the host of a daytime game show."

Right: Clever and amusing, while even Bob Newhart -- who famously ended his sitcom, "Newhart," by waking up to realize that the prior eight seasons had been a "dream" -- played a bit part in Ferguson's last edition.

Otherwise, Craig Ferguson's "Late Late Show" run ended much as it began -- as a quixotic, somewhat off-the-wall venture that exceeded even the host's expectations, or so he said.

Thanking viewers, Ferguson said, "You came to a show that was, let's be honest, a bit of a fixer upper and it kind of stayed that way."

He added, "I want to make this clear . . . I'm not retiring, I'm stopping doing this."

The Leno encounter was congenial and even revealing. Ferguson noted that Leno, an old friend, had advised him against quitting the show. Leno later told him, "You've been a good friend to me, you always were fair -- you didn't join the late-night talk show little snippy club" -- a veiled but obvious reference to longtime Leno critics, Conan O'Brien and Jimmy Kimmel.

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