By Ken Tucker
Updated August 03, 2009 at 06:47 PM EDT

“Jay Leno was s—canned from NBC — me, I don’t want to get fired.”

“Do I want to make a lot of money? F— yeah!”

“I may be through with my cussin’ puppets; I’m gettin’ a bit bored with them.”

“I am my own blooper reel.”

Well, Craig Ferguson was his typically blunt, articulate self talking to a passel of TV writers at the Television Critics Association gathering in California today. In a room packed with critics and reporters, Ferguson said he not only didn’t follow his ratings closely, but he barely understands the sense of the demographics involved. “You mean 18-to-49 is the most important [measurement]? And they don’t measure beyond 49? In two years I’ll be 49, so f— that!”

Ferguson expressed profane dismay at the way Jay Leno was, in the view of Craig and many others, pushed out of his Tonight Show slot and moved to 10 p.m. As always, whether speaking about the competition or himself, Ferguson was blunt and erudite at once.

This was probably the only TCA event at which the word “weltanschauung” will be used. Ferguson dropped it casually in referring to his philosophy of the show and his life, which amounted to: he tries to keep them separate.

He’s also probably the only late-night host who’ll ever compare what he does not to Carson or Letterman but to Pee wee’s Playhouse. “That show is what we aspire to be,” he said with admiration.