When you think of the modern talk show, you conjure up an image born out of late night television: the host behind the desk, the celebrity guest, the monologue, the funny skit, the comedian and musical number. The format has been around for decades and thrives today with The Tonight Show, Late Show with David Letterman, Late Night with Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Kimmel Live, Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, and so many others, listed here.
From New York, the greatest city in the world, comes the Late Show with David Letterman. Letterman, the late night heir to Johnny Carson, hosts one of the longest running late night talk shows in history – 25 years (if you tack on the 11 years Dave spent at NBC hosting Late Night. For talk show fans, Dave is the gold standard.
The Tonight Show with Jay Leno is more than just an hour-long talk show featuring some of Hollywood’s hottest stars and some of the funniest hometown humor on the airwaves. The Tonight Show is the talk show – practically a national treasure – hosted by such greats as Jack Paar and Johnny Carson. Comedian Jay Leno steps down in 2010 and talk show host Conan O’Brien moves behind the famous desk.
On of the hippest – if not the hippest talk shows on television, Late Night with Conan O’Brien is silly, absurd and cutting edge all at once and all the time. Hosted by the flame-haired Conan O’Brien, once a producer and writer for both Saturday Night Live and The Simpsons.
Jimmy Kimmel Live is ABC’s answer to Letterman and Leno, albeit with a decidedly manly, low-brow style of humor. Best known for his work on Win Ben Stein’s Money and The Man Show, Kimmel brings his frat boy humor (and, hey, it can be wickedly funny and good-natured – unapologetic is a good word) to the late night airwaves.
Scottish born and bred Craig Ferguson seems an unlikely choice for American talk show host, but his across-the-pond humor and sensibilities give the Late Late Show a unique flavor. And the host has made headlines for stellar monologues that not only make you laugh – they say something.
Last Call with Carson Daly continues the guest host’s tradition of appealing to a younger audience and showcasing the latest trends in pop culture and pop music.
Jon Stewart, in a few short years, has grown from an affable comedian with a talent for gab into an astute political and cultural observer with a keen wit and an ability to cut to the core. And he’s done it all on a basic cable TV show that mocks news programs and the people that make them: The Daily Show.
Quick-witted and over-the-top, Stephen Colbert host of The Colbert Report, a spin-off of Jon Stewart’s Daily Show, has turned a small, basic cable parody of pundit Bill O’Reilly and his O’Reilly Factor into one of the most formidable op-ed page in the nation. And he has guests, too!
Mix one part sketch comedy and one part talk show, mix, cook at 350 degrees, wait until hilarious – that’s Talkshow with Spike Feresten, Fox TV’s newest entry in the late night genre. Your host – though you’ve never met him – is Emmy nominated writer and comedian, Skip Feresten, famous for creating Seinfeld’s Soup Nazi.
Larry King is the venerable host of Larry King Live, one of the longest running talk shows on the air (Larry’s been at it for 50 years – 22 of them on CNN). He is known for his trademark suspenders and rolled- up sleeves – as well as his casual, but direct, interview style.
Bravo Channel’s Inside the Actor’s Studio is a unique one-on-one interview program hosted by James Lipton. Each week, Lipton interviews one – and only one – actor, focusing almost exclusively on the actor’s background, education and acting style.
In a world dominated by sports talk shows that featured three-piece suited broadcasters behind desks lit like scoreboards, The Best Damn Sports Show Period on Fox Sports offers “real fans” just the kind of show they want: four sports fanatics – pros and joes – sitting around gabbing about the game.
After countless years on the radio, sports commentator Jim Rome brought his distinctive style, opinions and voice to ESPN in Jim Rome is Burning, one of the most informative – and inflammatory – sports talk shows on the air.
Discover a world of information about Nightline, one of the most revered news programs on television. Information includes who's on, reviews and a history of the show and its hosts, from Ted Koppel to the new set of hosts storming the airwaves.