Reality Television Personalities The All-Time Greatest Late Night Talk Show Hosts

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List Rules Late night TV talk show hosts, past and present.

The all-time greatest late night talk show hosts have entertained us for years as we drift off to sleep. These hosts are charismatic, often hilarious and sometimes controversial. One thing they are not: They are never boring. From the early days of late night television to the current crop of late night hosts, this list includes some of the biggest names in the entertainment industry. Vote for the late night talk show hosts you enjoy the most, and vote down any that you believe are the most annoying TV hosts ever. You can also rerank this list in any order you like, and, if you have a favorite host who isn't listed: add them!

Let's face it: All late night TV hosts are not created equal. It takes a special skill set to continually present us with fresh, interesting information. We like our witty celebrities and comedians, so is it any wonder that some names on this list are also among the funniest people of all time? Stephen Colbert, Conan O'Brien and Jon Stewart are all excellent examples of hosts who possess that rare wit and the ability to think quickly (because in late night, you never know what will happen). And certainly, one of the most most famous late night talk show hosts of all time, Johnny Carson, was one of the most intelligent, likeable and genuinely funny people ever to grace the small screen.

If it seems like the late night TV talk show hosts field is dominated by men, it is, but there are a few notable exceptions. Comedian Chelsea Handler has carved out a nifty little niche for herself with her E! show 'Chelsea Lately.' And back in the day, Joan Rivers was actually a really great regular 'Tonight Show' permanent fill-in host. Unfortunately, Rivers' own late night TV talk show, 'The Late Show Starring Joan Rivers,' (circa 1986 on FOX), didn't fare well at all.

And then, of course, you've got the highly publicized and totally ridiculous late night TV host drama: 'The Tonight Show' showdown involving Jay Leno and Conan O'Brien. Late night television is big, big business, and the resulting conflicts that arise certainly reflect that fact.

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Johnny Carson is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The All-Time Greatest Late Night Talk Show Hosts
Johnny Carson The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, Space Ghost The Tonight Show

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David Letterman is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The All-Time Greatest Late Night Talk Show Hosts
David Letterman Everybody Loves Raymond, The Drew Carey Show Late Show with David Letterman

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Conan O'Brien is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The All-Time Greatest Late Night Talk Show Hosts
Conan O'Brien Conan, Late Night with Conan O'Brien Andy Barker - Photo Via: Shutterstock

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Jimmy Kimmel is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The All-Time Greatest Late Night Talk Show Hosts
Jimmy Kimmel Jimmy Kimmel Live!, Crank Yankers Win Ben Stein's Money - Photo Via: Shutterstock

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Craig Ferguson is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The All-Time Greatest Late Night Talk Show Hosts
Craig Ferguson The Drew Carey Show, The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson Doc Martin - Photo Via: Shutterstock

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Jimmy Fallon is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The All-Time Greatest Late Night Talk Show Hosts
Jimmy Fallon 30 Rock, Saturday Night Live Late Night with Jimmy Fallon - Photo Via: Shutterstock

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Jon Stewart is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The All-Time Greatest Late Night Talk Show Hosts
Jon Stewart The Daily Show, The Colbert Report The Larry Sanders Show - Leaving the Daily Show in 2015  Photo Via: Shutterstock

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Stephen Colbert is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The All-Time Greatest Late Night Talk Show Hosts
Stephen Colbert The Daily Show, The Colbert Report Late Show with David Letterman - Photo Via: Shutterstock

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John Oliver is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The All-Time Greatest Late Night Talk Show Hosts
John Oliver The Daily Show, Last Week Tonight with John Oliver Important Things with Demetri Martin - Photo Via: Shutterstock

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Ed Sullivan is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The All-Time Greatest Late Night Talk Show Hosts
Ed Sullivan The Ed Sullivan Show

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Jay Leno is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The All-Time Greatest Late Night Talk Show Hosts
Jay Leno The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno The Tonight Show - Photo Via: Shutterstock

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Steve Allen is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The All-Time Greatest Late Night Talk Show Hosts
Steve Allen The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, The Tonight Show What's My Line?

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Jack Paar is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The All-Time Greatest Late Night Talk Show Hosts
Jack Paar The Jack Paar Tonight Show, Bank on the Stars

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James Corden is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The All-Time Greatest Late Night Talk Show Hosts
James Corden Gavin & Stacey, Gavin and Stacey The Late Late Show with Tom Snyder - Photo Via: Shutterstock

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Graham Norton is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The All-Time Greatest Late Night Talk Show Hosts
Graham Norton Let's Dance for Comic Relief, The Graham Norton Show I'd Do Anything - Photo Via: Shutterstock

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Dick Cavett is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The All-Time Greatest Late Night Talk Show Hosts
Dick Cavett The Dick Cavett Show, Time Was - Photo Via: Shutterstock

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Bill Maher is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The All-Time Greatest Late Night Talk Show Hosts
Bill Maher Real Time with Bill Maher, Vice Politically Incorrect - Photo Via: Shutterstock

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Tom Snyder is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The All-Time Greatest Late Night Talk Show Hosts
Tom Snyder The Late Late Show with Tom Snyder, O'Grady Science Court

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Seth Meyers is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The All-Time Greatest Late Night Talk Show Hosts
Seth Meyers Saturday Night Live, Late Night with Seth Meyers Saturday Night Live Weekend Update Thursday - Photo Via: Shutterstock

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Arsenio Hall is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The All-Time Greatest Late Night Talk Show Hosts
Arsenio Hall The Real Ghostbusters, The Apprentice The Arsenio Hall Show - Photo Via: Shutterstock

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Dennis Miller is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The All-Time Greatest Late Night Talk Show Hosts
Dennis Miller Monday Night Football, Dennis Miller Live Dennis Miller Live - Photo Via: Shutterstock

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Chelsea Handler is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The All-Time Greatest Late Night Talk Show Hosts
Chelsea Handler Are You There, Chelsea? Chelsea Lately - Photo Via: Shutterstock

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Craig Kilborn is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The All-Time Greatest Late Night Talk Show Hosts
Craig Kilborn The Daily Show, The Late Late Show with Tom Snyder The Late Late Show with Craig Kilborn

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Bob Costas is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The All-Time Greatest Late Night Talk Show Hosts
Bob Costas Inside the NFL, NBC Sunday Night Football Costas Now - Photo Via: Shutterstock

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Joey Bishop is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The All-Time Greatest Late Night Talk Show Hosts
Joey Bishop What's My Line?, The Joey Bishop Show The Dean Martin Celebrity Roast

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Drew Carey is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The All-Time Greatest Late Night Talk Show Hosts
Drew Carey The Drew Carey Show, Whose Line Is It Anyway? (UK) Whose Line Is It Anyway?

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George Lopez is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The All-Time Greatest Late Night Talk Show Hosts
George Lopez George Lopez, Inside the NFL The Brothers GarcĂ­a - Photo Via: Shutterstock

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Chevy Chase is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The All-Time Greatest Late Night Talk Show Hosts
Chevy Chase Community, Saturday Night Live The Chevy Chase Show - Photo Via: Shutterstock

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Trevor Noah is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The All-Time Greatest Late Night Talk Show Hosts
Trevor Noah

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Jonathan Ross is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The All-Time Greatest Late Night Talk Show Hosts
Jonathan Ross Friday Night with Jonathan Ross, Comic Relief The Big Fat Quiz of the Year

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Carson Daly is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The All-Time Greatest Late Night Talk Show Hosts
Carson Daly The Voice, TRL Last Call with Carson Daly

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Kathy Griffin is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The All-Time Greatest Late Night Talk Show Hosts
Kathy Griffin Suddenly Susan, Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List Dilbert

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Harald Schmidt is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The All-Time Greatest Late Night Talk Show Hosts
Harald Schmidt Harald Schmidt, Die Harald Schmidt Show Schmidt & Pocher

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Russell Brand is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The All-Time Greatest Late Night Talk Show Hosts
Russell Brand Brand X with Russell Brand, Russell Brand's Ponderland The Big Fat Quiz of the Year

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Alan Carr is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The All-Time Greatest Late Night Talk Show Hosts
Alan Carr Alan Carr: Chatty Man, The Big Fat Quiz of the Year Channel 4's Comedy Gala

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Mike Bullard is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The All-Time Greatest Late Night Talk Show Hosts
Mike Bullard

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Dwight D. Eisenhower is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The All-Time Greatest Late Night Talk Show Hosts
Dwight D. Eisenhower Town Meeting of the World

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Ranker Video v
Jonny Lee Miller Dexter, Elementary Eli Stone

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Arthur Albert is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The All-Time Greatest Late Night Talk Show Hosts
Arthur Albert The Wonder Years, ER The Gates

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Jennifer Leigh is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The All-Time Greatest Late Night Talk Show Hosts
Jennifer Leigh Sam's Game

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Authored is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The All-Time Greatest Late Night Talk Show Hosts
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