Longtime late-night guru Craig Ferguson is asking the tough questions.
The former “Late Late Show” host and his wife Megan star in a new, six-part interview series called “Couple Thinkers” where they discuss deep and nuanced topics with experts involving life, society and the state of the planet.
The Fergusons enlisted influential minds — including astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, journalist Jon Ronson and media mogul Ariana Huffington — to provide insight into talking points like whether humans will be forced to leave Earth soon, or signs to spot a psychopath in public.
“The questions were big,” Ferguson tells the Daily News. “They were unanswerable questions. … It became about creating an environment for discussion more than answering a specific question.”
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The series — which premieres Monday on YouTube — casts Ferguson in a role somewhat different from the one viewers grew accustomed to seeing him in on his CBS late-night program.
“We could have this long meaningful conversation with an expert, which was fascinating because they themselves were removed from judgement about what they were talking about,” Megan says. “Because it interests them. That was really quite cool.”
The hosts also ventured far away from a studio for their interviews, driving to meet experts in a setting relevant to their conversation. In the episode with deGrasse Tyson, for example, they went to a planetarium.
The Scotland-born Ferguson, 55, was initially skeptical of signing on for “Couple Thinkers” since it was created by the clothing company Gant. He feared the brand’s executives were making the show to push their products.
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“I thought, I can’t have a conversation where I’m talking to Neil deGrasse Tyson and say, ‘Do you think aliens would wear reasonably priced pants and matching tops?’ I couldn’t do that,” Ferguson said.
But producers assured Ferguson that their show was being made in conjunction with the company’s slogan, “Never Stop Learning,” and he ultimately came aboard. He was tasked with finding a co-host who he frequently engages in meaningful conversations with.
“I said, ‘My wife.’ That’s the only woman I talk to,” Ferguson joked.
The show marks Megan’s on-screen debut. Ferguson had asked her many times to appear on “The Late Late Show,” which he hosted from 2005 to 2014, but she always declined.
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She was much more interested in the relaxed, conversation-based format of “Couple Thinkers.”
“It mirrored our relationship so much,” she said. “It mirrored what we do every day, what we talk about, the things that we say to each other.”
The first expert they settled on was Ronson, who wrote the 2011 book, “The Psychopath Test.”
“He was a guest I liked a lot on late-night, but I could never get enough time with him,” Ferguson says. “Because there’s the audience, and there’s the commercial break, and also a lot of what John talks about is controversial, and broadcast (TV) is not the place for that.”
Each guest left the hosts thinking differently about the topics they originally set out to learn more about.
“There was one where we talked about gene editing to remove disease, but that brings up the idea of animal testing, and how do you feel about that?” Ferguson recalled. “And then it talks about if you can eradicate a genetic problem, should you?”
But the best part of the show for Ferguson, who memorably co-starred with an animatronic skeleton named Geoff on “The Late Late Show,” is that he got to make the series with his wife.
“It was awesome because you can sleep with your co-star and not get into trouble,” he jokes. “And you know it’s going to work out.”
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