‘The Hustler’s Craig Ferguson on Getting Duped in ABC’s Game Show

The Hustler Craig Ferguson
ABC/Christopher Willard

“It’s kind of an odd duck, really,” says bon vivant host Craig Ferguson of his new game show/mystery/reality series, The Hustler.

Five strangers — one of whom is secretly the Hustler — team up to answer 10 trivia questions worth $10,000 apiece. The rounds offer clues about the Hustler’s identity and two opportunities for said con artist to vote out a competitor. It all comes down to the final three. If two can agree and unmask the Hustler, they split the pot; if they’re duped, the Hustler takes all. Onetime late-night personality Ferguson, who’s guessing just like the players, spills the “twisted” details.

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Craig Ferguson on Playing Detective & Hosting 'The Hustler' Game Show

The Emmy winner also reveals what the biggest mistake contestants can make in the game.

Are you really not told who the Hustler is beforehand?

Craig Ferguson: I have no idea, so I’m playing along with everyone else. And I’ll tell you this: I’m not saying the crew are running a book backstage, because that would be illegal, but nobody would be betting on it because none of us knew. I lost every time.

How often does the Hustler win versus the other players?

It’s pretty even. It’s always a shock. I like it when the Hustler loses, but I grudgingly respect it when they win. About halfway through the second episode, I [realized], “Wait a minute, the Hustlers get paid more than me!”

The Hustler Craig Ferguson

(Credit: ABC/Christopher Willard)

If you were the Hustler for an episode, what would the hints be?

Probably “The Hustler is actually a keen gardener” or “The Hustler is proud of his ability to make a decent curry” — the kind of thing that makes you go, “Really, Craig, is that true?” And actually, yeah, it is.

The Hustler, Thursdays,10/9c, ABC