Craig Ferguson on Ending His Late Night Gig: I Didn't Want to Replace David Letterman

The outgoing Late Late Show host talks his new game show, and saying goodbye

Photo: Sonja Flemming/CBS

Hosting a late night talk show was never a career goal for Craig Ferguson.

As the comedian prepares to exit The Late Late Show in December, Ferguson, 52, tells PEOPLE he held the gig a lot longer than he expected – and never held out hope that he would replace David Letterman.

“I didn’t want it,” said Ferguson. “I know it is very hard to get people to believe it. It was never my inclination. I never wanted to be a late night host. I did it because it was fun, entertaining and engaging.”

Ferguson’s already preparing for a new chapter in his life.

Last Monday, he began hosting a syndicated game show called Celebrity Name Game that’s based on the board game Identity Crisis.

“Syndication is very fast, like, ‘Okay! Let’s make 180 episodes,’ ” says Ferguson. “I think the show works. I’d like to do it for a while.”

As for his farewell episodes on The Late Late Show, Ferguson doesn’t have any big plans for December.

“I don’t really make plans,” Ferguson told PEOPLE. “The show is organic. I’ll have people that I would like to make sure to fit in. But I’m not retiring. I’ll probably talk to them again in some form. Doing something very big and grand at the end doesn’t really seem [to be] in the spirit of the show.”

British actor-comedian James Corden will take overfor Ferguson in 2015.

For more from Ferguson, pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands now

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