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

The Hustler Craig Ferguson
Q&A
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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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