Craig Ferguson and His American Dream

Craig Ferguson, host of The Late Late Show, doesn’t sound like your average American. He boasts a thick Scottish accent he takes no effort to hide.

But there’s something remarkably American about his life story, the tale of an immigrant eager to take advantage of what the U.S. has to offer.

American on Purpose: The Improbable Adventures of an Unlikely Patriot lets Ferguson tell his own story while saluting American prosperity.

“I didn’t flee a dictator or swim an ocean to be an American like some do. I just thought long and hard about it,” he writes in the preface.

Conservative readers will grit their teeth through the book’s opening pages, during which Ferguson glibly labels former Vice President Dick Cheney “evil,” falls for the "Bush is dumb" meme, and calls MSNBC‘s Keith Olbermann “mighty.”

But the memoir quickly falls back on Ferguson’s formative years. He grew up in a poor neighborhood near Glasgow, Scotland, a blighted parcel of land whose initial promise never materialized.

Ferguson’s comic gifts took time to take hold. He played the drums for a few rock bands and worked some blue-collar gigs while sorting out his career prospects.

One thing he learned at relatively young age was that he loved getting drunk.

His late teens and early to mid-20s are a blur of blackouts and binge drinking. Only when he hit rock bottom, a valley that incurred a mountain of debt and regret, did he wake up from his alcoholic slumber.

Even at his soggiest state he dreamed of coming to America., a vision enriched whenever he looked around at the religious infighting and habitual poverty of his peers.

Like a favorite Gillette commercial of yore, he longed to be “the best a man can be.” That meant becoming an American. But he had drank too much, hurt too many people, and disappointed anyone foolish enough to put their faith in him.

He eventually started a comedy career, earning some attention in his homeland playing a character called Bing Hitler before finally making a home in the U.S.

In the midst of all that he found the time to make rehab work for him, and he never looked back.