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Top 5 Talk Show Hosts on Twitter

Look who’s tweeting! And read some of their best tweets!

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Social media is becoming less of a buzz word and more of a must have for talk show hosts, especially when it comes to connecting with audiences. Today more hosts than ever before are actively involved in social media, whether it's Facebook, Pinterest or LinkedIn. But the social media channel that seems to win over more talk show hosts than any other is Twitter.

Maybe it's because the tweet, with its limited 140 characters and its fast and furious delivery, is a lot like a one-liner. And talk show hosts live for the one-liner. It's like a 24-hour, 7-days a week monologue. It could be, too, that Twitter allows the talk show host a venue for trying out a joke to see if it passes muster. Retweeted one thousand times? Then let's add it to the joke pile.

But there's an art to a good tweet. A funny tweet that captures the moment, sends followers into fits of hysterics and sometimes - sometimes - makes the news. So who in our little talk show universe are the best tweeters? Here are the Top 5, according to Klout, the online influencer analytics company:

1. Ellen DeGeneres

Getty Images/Ethan Miller

With more than 14 million followers and nearly 7,000 tweets (as of late October 2012), DeGeneres holds the crown for top talk show influencer online. While tweets from talk show hosts like Stephen Colbert are often abstract or quick one-liners, DeGeneres keeps her tweets open and in-the-moment, which is probably why she has so many followers. (Personally, she follows 47,000 folks. How, I dunno.) She also keeps a collection of photos available for followers, almost all candid and behind the scenes of both her life and talk show. Some typical tweets:

  • "I want an iPad Mini so bad! Portia says I already have an iPhone, but that makes stupid phone calls."
  • "Why did the chicken cross the playground? To get to the other slide."
  • "I'm excited to be winning the Mark Twain Award in D.C.! I'm gonna go get ready, as soon as I finish whitewashing this fence for Jimmy Kimmel."

2. Conan O’Brien

Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images
Our all-time favorite talk show host, Conan O'Brien, is Klout's second most influential social talk show host. He sports more than 6 million followers and has tweeted more than 1,000 times. O'Brien famously launched his Twitter account in between his time off after leaving The Tonight Show and launching Conan. His profile still features the famous "monkey on his back," as well as the beard he grew during his time off TV. Conan also famously follows only one person, Sara Slowik, who won the privilege in 2010. Some typical tweets:
  • "The best perk of being a celebrity? I'm allowed to use 141 characters in my tweets. No, I don't feel like proving it."
  • "Every generation wants their children to be featured in a slightly less unflattering reality show than they were."
  • "Still in London. Who is "Guvner" and why is everyone saying "ello" to him?"

3. Jimmy Fallon

Getty Images

There must be something about hosting Late Night that inspires folks to tweet. Fallon follows Conan as the next most influential talk tweeter out there today. Fallon also sports 6 million followers and has tweeted more than 5,000 times. But unlike Conan, Fallon follows a few more people - 4,000 to be exact. Like DeGeneres and O'Brien, Fallon mixes his tweets between real life situations and quick one-liners. Some typical tweets:

  • "President Obama is campaigning so hard he went 40 hours without sleeping. That explains his new motto - "Hope and Go-Go Juice."
  • "Tonight @TomHanks performs slam poetry about the 90s sitcom Full House."
  • "Hashtag game! Tweet something funny or weird you used to do cuz you thought it was cool and tag w/ #ithoughtiwascool. Could be on our show!"

4. Anderson Cooper

Jamel Countess/Getty Images

Cooper is relatively new to the talk show game, but already his Klout numbers are up. I guess we should count Cooper's success as a journalist and his use of Twitter to share both news items and insight about those issues as a reason he has 3 million followers. He follows just a few Twitter users, too: only 78. And a lot of those are serious folks - experts in their field and news analysts of all variety. But if you dig a bit, you'll see he follows Jimmy Kimmel and Sharon Osbourne. And, good gravy, the man has tweeted more than 14,000 times. Some typical tweets:

  • "I can't tell if Sandy is going to be really bad when it comes north or not. We'll try to avoid hype and just get facts tonight."
  • "Breaking news on #Benghazi attack. New details about Tunisian suspect in custody and role of al qaeda terrorists trained in Iraq."
  • "Getting ready for the #andersonlive Halloween show. Any guesses about who I will be for Halloween?"

5. Jay Leno

NBC/Getty Images
Our final entry might come as a surprise. It did to us, anyway. We expected to see Jon Stewart or Rachael Ray. Instead we have Jay Leno. With only about 500,000 followers, Klout considers Leno its fifth most influential tweeter. (Colbert has 10 times as many.) But Twitter might really be Leno's strength. After all, the man breathes one-liners. It's his bread and butter. And Twitter is, again, that 24/7 stand-up routine. Some typical tweets:
  • "Watch out, ladies: Russell Brand (@RustyRockets) is single - and telling us all about it on tonight's show!"
  • "Chatting with Denzel during the commercial break."

Hmmm. Is it just us or has Klout made a huge mistake? Someone check the analytics machine!

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