American on Purpose: The Improbable Adventures of an Unlikely Patriot
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In his memoir American on Purpose, Craig Ferguson, host of The Late, Late Show, traces his journey from working-class Glasgow to the comedic limelight of Hollywood and American citizenship. Moving and achingly funny, American on Purpose moves from Ferguson’s early life as an alcoholic to his stint on The Drew Carey Show to his decision to become a U.S. citizen in its unique and honest look at his version of the American dream.
chain-smoked Marlboro reds. He was the first of my family to emigrate to the U.S., working his way across the Atlantic on a cargo vessel and then using some creative license on his résumé to secure a job taking care of the Blydenburgh family’s parklike estate on Long Island. James Ferguson has loved only one woman his whole life, my Aunt Susan. They met when they were teenagers and are still happily married. They already had two kids when James sailed for the New World, and the moment he’d made
looked up into the eyes of the horrified driver of a giant British Rail locomotive that could not have been more than ten feet away as I leapt over the rails out of its way. I hid in the bushes on the other side of the track until I was sure none of those fuckers was coming after me or were going to throw bottles or rocks on my head. I was pretty banged up from the beating and the jump, but I wouldn’t really feel much of that until later, when the adrenaline crashed. Stuart was waiting for me
intense, brilliant short man, he was gaining a little notoriety at the art school for his peculiar intestiney-looking abstract sculptures in sandstone and marble. And there was Temple Clarke, the bassist. I had never met anyone with such a cool name. It was his real one, too. (For a while I believed it was his punk moniker and thought it was spelled “Tempo.”) Temple was from a wealthy family in Edinburgh and was movie-star handsome, with James Dean hair and the giant white slab teeth of a rich
back to town, I ran to the Hurricanes bar on West Nile Street and pounded down three or four pints of lager very quickly. The sweating and shaking abated and I felt a little anxious but a lot better. In rehab, years later, I reread Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. I equated that moment in Mrs. Henderson’s car to the awful realization Henry Jekyll has when he grasps that he no longer needs the potion to transform into the monster, Edward Hyde. He needs the potion to remain the ordinary Henry Jekyll.
camp comedy duo Victor and Barry, as the ugly stepsisters. Filling out the cast were a host of well-respected Scottish stage actors who had been persuaded to enlist, thanks to the reputation of the director, Michael Boyd himself. The piece was a big success, and I put the final nail in the coffin of my marriage to Anne by having a scandalous affair with the actress who played the part of Beauty. During the same holiday season, Scottish Television decided they wanted to attempt a Live New