The All-Time Greatest Late Night Talk Show Hosts People In TV

The All-Time Greatest Late Night Talk Show Hosts

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List Criteria: 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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  1. 1
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    Johnny Carson is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The All-Time Greatest Late Night Talk Show Hosts

    the people's #1
    Johnny Carson The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, Space Ghost, The Tonight Show

  2. 2
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    Conan O'Brien is listed (or ranked) 2 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

  3. 3
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    David Letterman is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The All-Time Greatest Late Night Talk Show Hosts

    most listed
    David Letterman Everybody Loves Raymond, The Drew Carey Show, Late Show with David ...

  4. 4
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    Jon Stewart is listed (or ranked) 4 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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  5. 5
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    Jimmy Kimmel is listed (or ranked) 5 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

  6. 6
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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

  7. 7
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    The Drew Carey Show, The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, Doc Martin ... Photo Via: Shutterstock

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  8. 8
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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

  9. 9
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    added by Trioxin245
    The Daily Show, Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, Important Things with ... Photo Via: Shutterstock

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  10. 10
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    The Ed Sullivan Show

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  11. 11
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    added by LaurieM
    The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, The Tonight Show, What's My Line? ...

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  12. 12
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    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, ... Photo Via: Shutterstock

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  13. 13
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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

  14. 14
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    Bill Maher is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The All-Time Greatest Late Night Talk Show Hosts

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Bill Maher Real Time with Bill Maher, Vice, Politically Incorrect Photo Via: Shutterstock

  15. 15
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    Graham Norton is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The All-Time Greatest Late Night Talk Show Hosts

    ranked low on reranks
    Graham Norton Let's Dance for Comic Relief, The Graham Norton Show, I'd Do Anything Photo Via: Shutterstock

  16. 16
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    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    The Late Late Show with Tom Snyder, O'Grady, Science Court

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  17. 17
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    The Dick Cavett Show, Time Was Photo Via: Shutterstock

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  18. 18
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    James Corden is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The All-Time Greatest Late Night Talk Show Hosts

    ranked low on reranks
    James Corden Gavin & Stacey, Gavin and Stacey, The Late Late Show with Tom Snyder ... Photo Via: Shutterstock

  19. 19
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    Seth Meyers is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The All-Time Greatest Late Night Talk Show Hosts

    added by nmcompton444
    Seth Meyers Saturday Night Live, Late Night with Seth Meyers, Saturday Night Live ... Photo Via: Shutterstock

  20. 20
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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

  21. 21
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    Dennis Miller is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The All-Time Greatest Late Night Talk Show Hosts

    added by lemonhead
    Dennis Miller Monday Night Football, Dennis Miller Live, Dennis Miller Live Photo Via: Shutterstock

  22. 22
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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

  23. 23
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    added by VanessaHawelu
    The Daily Show, The Late Late Show with Tom Snyder, The Late Late Show ...

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  24. 24
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    added by clash1977
    Inside the NFL, NBC Sunday Night Football, Costas Now Photo Via: Shutterstock

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  25. 25
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    added by lemonhead
    What's My Line?, The Joey Bishop Show, The Dean Martin Celebrity Roast

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  26. 26
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    added by emw917fm
    The Drew Carey Show, Whose Line Is It Anyway? (UK), Whose Line Is It ...

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  27. 27
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    Chevy Chase is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The All-Time Greatest Late Night Talk Show Hosts

    added by Trioxin245
    Chevy Chase Community, Saturday Night Live, The Chevy Chase Show Photo Via: Shutterstock

  28. 28
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    Trevor Noah is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The All-Time Greatest Late Night Talk Show Hosts


    Trevor Noah

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


    George Lopez George Lopez, Inside the NFL, The Brothers García Photo Via: Shutterstock

  30. 30
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    Alan Carr is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The All-Time Greatest Late Night Talk Show Hosts

    added by Alex Farias
    Alan Carr Alan Carr: Chatty Man, The Big Fat Quiz of the Year, Channel 4's Comedy ...

  31. 31
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    Jonathan Ross is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The All-Time Greatest Late Night Talk Show Hosts

    added by SKrib63
    Jonathan Ross Friday Night with Jonathan Ross, Comic Relief, The Big Fat Quiz of the ...

  32. 32
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    Suddenly Susan, Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List, Dilbert

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  33. 33
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    Brand X with Russell Brand, Russell Brand's Ponderland, The Big Fat Quiz ...

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  34. 34
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    Carson Daly is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The All-Time Greatest Late Night Talk Show Hosts


    Carson Daly The Voice, TRL, Last Call with Carson Daly

35 +

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