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

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.
List is ranked by a combination of each item's votes & positioning in reranks
  • 14 ReRanks
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Score
  1. 1
    Up 195
    Down 33

    the people's #1
    Johnny Carson

    1925 More
    100
  2. 2
    Up 152
    Down 95

    most listed
    Conan O'Brien

    1963 More
    93
  3. 3
    Up 148
    Down 105
    1947 More
    82
  4. 4
    Up 132
    Down 95
    1962 More
    76
  5. 5
    Up 134
    Down 90
    1962 More
    75
  6. 6
    Up 122
    Down 86
    1974 More
    66
  7. 7
    Up 113
    Down 92
    1967 More
    63
  8. 8
    Up 115
    Down 92
    1964 More
    58
  9. 9
    Up 80
    Down 59
    1921 More
    51
    added by: LaurieM
  10. 10
    Up 49
    Down 72
    1936 More
    49
  11. 11
    Up 79
    Down 130

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Jay Leno

    1950 More
    47
  12. 12
    Up 50
    Down 67
    1958 More
    46
  13. 13
    Up 50
    Down 54
    1936 More
    45
  14. 14
    Up 51
    Down 29

    ranked low on reranks
    Ed Sullivan

    1901 More
    44
  15. 15
    Up 59
    Down 38

    ranked low on reranks
    Jack Paar

    1918 More
    41
  16. 16
    Up 42
    Down 64
    1956 More
    38
  17. 17
    Up 44
    Down 88
    1963 More
    37
  18. 18
    Up 39
    Down 95
    1956 More
    36
  19. 19
    Up 28
    Down 63
    1962 More
    32
    added by: VanessaHawelu
  20. 20
    Up 33
    Down 99

    often listed
    Chelsea Handler

    1975 More
    30
  21. 21
    Up 8
    Down 25
    1943 More
    26
    added by: Trioxin245
  22. 22
    Up 14
    Down 8
    1977 More
    26
    added by: Trioxin245
  23. 23
    Up 2
    Down 5
    1953 More
    21
    added by: looksharp
  24. 24
    Up 2
    Down 5
    1963 More
    21
    added by: looksharp
  25. 25
    Up 2
    Down 5
    1942 More
    21
  26. 26 +

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