'I did deserve to get beaten up'

The best late-night host on broadcast TV, Craig Ferguson, performs stand-up tonight and Saturday at The Venetian.

His memoirs, "American on Purpose," just came out in paperback. The book begins with a true story of Ferguson seeing Laura Bush's underthings.

Of all the people he wrote about in the book, he gave a heads-up to only one of them -- his first ex-wife.

"I called up and said, 'Do you mind if I tell that story about the time where you beat me up with your shoe?'"

She didn't mind.

"But I did deserve to get beaten up, and she pointed that out," he tells me.

Ferguson is on a roll. He's also the voice of Gobber the Belch in "How to Train Your Dragon."

And he just won a Peabody award, which is about as close to a Pulitzer as a TV show can get.

I told him he's a huge critic's darling.

"Oh (expletive), does that mean nobody's watchin'"? the Scottish-American joked.

CHEECH, CHONG Calling it quits?

Cheech and Chong are performing tonight and Saturday at The Mirage, and these could be their final Vegas shows.

"This will probably be the last time Cheech and I will ever be on tour, so don't hesitate. It will be very historical," Tommy Chong tells me.

Chong, 72, says he and Cheech Marin, 63, are getting along better than ever.

But he wants to focus on writing books and trying new projects.

Plus, a film studio is "99 percent finished" illustrating a movie based on audio from their comedy albums.

"That's really the one that's gonna retire Cheech and Chong. We'll make so much money, we're never gonna have to work again. That is a goal -- to get out of this rat race!" Chong jokes.

The film won't be in 3-D.

"When you watch Cheech and Chong stuff, you're actually smoked up into 4-D. You're into the fourth dimension, which is the weeeeed dimension."

Actually, he says, he'll never get out of the rat race.

"As long as you're married, you'll never be retired. There's something about a man just laying around that bugs the (expletive) out of women.

"My wife comes in my office and says, 'You have to clean this up.' I say, 'Why? It's my office. You don't have to do anything with your own office!'"

Doug Elfman's column appears Sundays, Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays. E-mail him at delfman@ reviewjournal.com. He blogs at reviewjournal.com/elfman.