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Craig Ferguson is "American on Purpose"

Craig Ferguson is the host of the "Late Late Show," but he has also held the titles of director, actor, comedian, novelist, husband and father. And most recently he completed his autobiography, called "American on Purpose"(pdf). The book hit stores Tuesday, and it chronicles Craig's life from childhood in Scotland to his place on late night television.

Read an excerpt

The road hasn't been easy and Ferguson shares his story with biting wit and brutal honesty: "I don't say this to try to impress you, but I was a bedwetter until around 11 years old, then I stopped, not for long, I started drinking alcohol regularly in my early teens, in which I returned to intermittent bedwetting until I was 29."

Ferguson explained, "The thing is when you drink alcohol the way I drank alcohol, it can have a spectacular and flamboyant effect on your bowels when you're asleep.

"It's one of the more attractive sides of active alcoholism, I think," Ferguson joked. "Occasionally I would wake up to someone, you know, and I'm trying to blame it on them. But it never really worked out."

Ferguson said he was a drunk for 15 years. He said he doesn't remember an exact moment when he realized things needed to change.

Ferguson said, "You know, people ask that - 'What was the moment?' I don't think there was -- 'When did you hit rock bottom?' For me it wasn't really like that. It's not that I hit rock bottom; I kind of lived there. I had a condo in rock bottom for a while."

He added he did have "hints from the universe" for a long time about his alcoholism.

"I was in a bar in Australia at 9:00 in the morning and the barmaid said, 'Geez, mate, but you drink too much.' You know, I'm thinking a barmaid who works in a bar in Australia that's open at 9:00 in the morning, is telling me that I drink too much, maybe I have (a problem) -- and I only drank for about eight years after that."

Ferguson said the difference between drinking and not drinking is like "night and day."

"I thought I had that whole bunch of problems. And so I drank to kind of alleviate them," he said. "That wasn't really true. I had one major problem with a lot of spectacular side effects. I had it the wrong way around."

Ferguson said he has thought about going back to the bottle, but hasn't.

"There are days I want to do things I don't want to do," he said. "Do you ever get an urge to do something and think, 'If I do that, that probably wouldn't work out well for me?'"

He told "Early Show" co-anchor Harry Smith he's started listening to his own voice.

Ferguson said, "Also I'm getting too old. I'm too old and cranky. I can't even take people yelling in the morning."

Ferguson's book also addresses his American patriotism.

"Like all naturalized Americans that I've met, I'm fiercely patriotic," Ferguson said. "America is a philosophy for me. It's a way of thinking; it's an aspiration, if you like. And so, I do love America very much. I'm very conscious of it."

The "Late Late Show" airs weeknights at 12:35 a.m. ET/PT on CBS.