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Quirky Trivia About Your Favorite Talk Shows


If you think you know everything there is to know about your favorite talk show or talk show host – think again. I mean who knew that – Ah, but that would be giving it away. Read on and see if you can answer these talk show trivia questions before reading the answers.

1. Which talk show host secretly wrote jokes for David Letterman?

Iconic talk show host Johnny Carson
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That would be talk show legend Johnny Carson. In a January 2005 interview, former Late Show with David Letterman producer Peter Lassally revealed that the former Tonight Show superstar would send Letterman jokes for his monologue, well after his retirement and Letterman's move from NBC to CBS.

2. Which talk show host owned her own studio?

The Oprah Winfrey Show: Reflections on an American Legacy by Deborah Davis
Did the word "OWN" give it away? Or is it pretty obvious that the answer is media giant Oprah Winfrey? After purchasing a Chicago-area production studio and transforming it into Harpo Studios, Winfrey made another notch in entertainment history. She became the third woman in America to own her own studio. The two women who preceded Oprah? Silent film star Mary Pickford and everbody's favorite redhead, Lucille Ball.

3. Which talk show was the first to air in HD?

Kevin Winter/Getty Images
The fine folks over at The Tonight Show were the first to give viewers the opportunity to watch Jay Leno crack wise and interview celebrities in high-definition television. The show started broadcasting in HD on April 26, 1999.

4. Which talk show aired a claymation version of its program?

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Who else but Conan O'Brien would try to pull off a completely animated version of Late Night ? The May 15, 2003, show was entirely filmed with animated clay and featured celebrity guests Johnny Knoxville and Richard Lewis, with musical guest, David Bowie. The program included a clay version of the opening credits and an animated audience. You can check it out on YouTube.

5. What talk show host also starred in a feature film?

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Throw a dart at a board filled with talk host headshots and you’re likely to get a right answer. Many talk hosts have wound up in the movies. Stephen Colbert took his turn in the movie Strangers with Candy and on the TV show by the same name. Ellen DeGeneres was the voice of Dory in Little Nemo and starred in the romantic comedy Mr. Wrong. Even Jay Leno starred as police detective Tony Costas in the 1989 straight-to-video film Collision Course. The better question might be, what talk show host hasn’t starred in a movie?

6. Which talk show host sang the show’s theme song?

Jemal Countess/Getty Images
If you said Regis Philbin, well - good guess! But wrong. While the former talk show host is known for crooning a tune or two, the answer is actually Oprah Winfrey. Yes, that's right, Oprah! In 1998, according to Oprah.com, Oprah took voice lessons so she could sing the them, titled "Run On." She even produced a music video to accompany the tune. I wonder if that's on YouTube!

7. What does the epitaph on Merv Griffin’s tombstone say?

"I will not be right back after this message." Honestly, that's what it says. To the end, the daytime talk show host a remarkable and quirky sense of humor. And this final word shows just how fun-loving he was. A quick internat search will pull up plenty of plenty of pics of Griffin's tombstone. Prostate cancer took Griffin's life in 2007.

8. Which talk show featured a fictional character as its host?

The Walt Disney Company
More than one, actually. Space Ghost Coast-to-Coast on Cartoon Network is the best known. The hit talk show featured Space Ghost, an animated 1980s superhero, as its host. His bandleader was Zorak, an evil insectoid. Then there’s Take Two with Phineas and Ferb, which features the two 11-year-old boys from Disney’s animated hit, Phineas and Ferb. And finally, let’s not forget Alf’s Hit Talk Show, with its puppet host and former 80s sit-com star, Alf.

9. Who was the first sitting U.S. president to visit a talk show?

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While it's probable that, while in office, U.S. presidents have pre-recorded or made appearances via satellite on talk shows, President Barack Obama is the first sitting president to be an actual talk show guest. Obama appeared on the March 17, 2009, episode of The Tonight Show. He is, of course, not the first U.S. presidential hopeful to appear on a talk show. That tradition has gone on for many decades, though Bill Clinton's successful appearance on The Aresenio Hall Show made it a prerequisite for nominees to do the talk show circuit.
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