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The Best Talk Shows of the 1960s 

Ranker TV
Updated October 17, 2019 967 votes 362 voters 27.9k views 20 items

List Rules Vote up the best talk shows that aired in the '60s

The sixties were a much simpler time in television. Especially when compared to today's multi-platform, basic cable, premium cable, cord-cutting complexities. Back then, the talk show reigned supreme. These are the best1960s talk shows, ranked from best to worst. Some of these talk shows aired in late-night, while others had A.M. time slots. A few of the very best 60s talk shows went on to become cultural phenomenons and changed the way TV is thought about and made forever..

What series will you find on this best 1960s talk shows list? The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson premiered in 1962 and continued to be a favorite with viewers for the next 30 years. It set the bar for generations of late-night shows to follow. The Merv Griffin Show was another good talk show that aired in the 1960s. Meet the Press has been a go-to source for political pundits from 1947 to this day. 

Do you have a favorite talk show from the 1960s? What, in your opinion, is the best 60s talk show?Vote up your choices!
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list ordered by
1
The Tonight Show Starrin... is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Talk Shows of the 1960s
Johnny Carson, Ed McMahon, Skitch Henderson

Premiered: 1962

Number of Seasons: 30

Number of Episodes: 4531

Network: NBC

The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson is a talk show hosted by Johnny Carson under The Tonight Show franchise from October 1, 1962 through May 22, 1992. It originally aired during late-night. ...more

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#110 of 391 TV Shows That Only Smart People Appreciate #210 of 590 The Best TV Theme Songs of All Time #1 of 53 The Best Late Night Talk Shows of All Time

2
The Dick Cavett Show is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Talk Shows of the 1960s
Leigh French

Premiered: 1968

Network: American Broadcasting Company

The Dick Cavett Show was the title of several talk shows hosted by Dick Cavett on various television networks, including: ABC daytime originally titled This Morning ABC prime time, Tuesdays, ...more

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#126 of 247 The Very Best Shows That Aired in the 1960s #25 of 59 The Best Talk Shows On TV

3
The Jack Paar Tonight Sh... is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Talk Shows of the 1960s
Jack Paar

Premiered: 1957

Network: NBC

The Jack Paar Show is a television program.
4
The Mike Douglas Show is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Talk Shows of the 1960s
The Mike Douglas Show Shirley Temple, Mike Douglas

Premiered: 1961

Number of Seasons: 21

Number of Episodes: 4017

The Mike Douglas Show is an American daytime television talk show hosted by Mike Douglas that aired only in the Cleveland, Ohio area during much of its first two years on the air. It went into ...more
5
The Dean Martin Show is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Talk Shows of the 1960s
Dean Martin, Sandahl Bergman, Dom DeLuise

Premiered: 1965

Number of Seasons: 9

Number of Episodes: 264

Network: NBC

The Dean Martin Show, also known as The Dean Martin Variety Show, is a TV variety-comedy series that ran from 1965 to 1974 for 264 episodes. It was broadcast by NBC and hosted by entertainer ...more

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#71 of 271 The Best '70s TV Shows #3 of 49 The Greatest Variety Shows in TV History

6
Tonight Starring Steve A... is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Talk Shows of the 1960s

Premiered: 1954

Network: NBC

Tonight Starring Steve Allen is a talk show hosted by Steve Allen. It was the first version of what eventually became known as The Tonight Show. Tonight was the first late-night talk show, as ...more
7
American Bandstand is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Talk Shows of the 1960s
Dick Clark

Premiered: 1952

Number of Seasons: 31

Number of Episodes: 883

Network: USA Network, WPVI-TV, American Broadcasting Company

American Bandstand is an American music-performance show that aired in various versions from 1952 to 1989 and was hosted from 1956 until its final season by Dick Clark, who also served as ...more

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#103 of 590 The Best TV Theme Songs of All Time #52 of 247 The Very Best Shows That Aired in the 1960s

8
The Merv Griffin Show is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Talk Shows of the 1960s
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Premiered: 1962

Number of Episodes: 4855

The Merv Griffin Show was an American television talk show, starring Merv Griffin. The series ran from October 1, 1962 to March 29, 1963 on NBC, May 1965 to August 15, 1969 in first-run ...more
9
The Jackie Gleason Show ... is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Talk Shows of the 1960s
Tina Louise, Bettie Page, Jackie Gleason

Premiered: 1952

Number of Seasons: 7

Number of Episodes: 187

The Jackie Gleason Show is the name of a series of popular American network television shows that starred Jackie Gleason, which ran from 1952 to 1970, in various forms.

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#38 of 70 The Greatest TV Shows of the 1950s #2 of 16 The Most Popular TV Shows Of The 1950s

10
The Phil Donahue Show is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Talk Shows of the 1960s
Phil Donahue, Sammy Davis Jr., Dolly Parton

Premiered: 1967

The Phil Donahue Show, also known as Donahue, is an American television talk show hosted by Phil Donahue that ran for 26 years on national television. Its run was preceded by three years of ...more
11
The Today Show is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Talk Shows of the 1960s
Ann Curry, Anita Colby

Premiered: 1952

Number of Seasons: 61

Number of Episodes: 15785

Network: NBC

Today is an American news and talk morning television show that airs on NBC. The program debuted on January 14, 1952. It was the first of its genre on American television and in the world, and ...more

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#1 of 34 The Best Morning Shows #34 of 59 The Best Talk Shows On TV The Best Today Show Hosts

12
Firing Line is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Talk Shows of the 1960s
William F. Buckley, Jr.

Premiered: 1966

Number of Episodes: 1504

Firing Line was an American public affairs show founded and hosted by conservative William F. Buckley, Jr., founder and publisher of National Review magazine. Its 1,504 episodes over 33 years ...more
13
The Steve Allen Show is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Talk Shows of the 1960s
Peggy Lee, Steve Allen, Al Flosso

Premiered: 1956

Number of Seasons: 6

Number of Episodes: 167

Network: CBS, American Broadcasting Company, NBC

The Steve Allen Show was an American variety show hosted by Steve Allen from June 1956 to June 1960 on NBC, from September 1961 to December 1961 on ABC, and in first-run syndication from 1962 to ...more

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#307 of 482 The Funniest TV Shows of All Time #156 of 247 The Very Best Shows That Aired in the 1960s

14
The Joan Rivers Show is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Talk Shows of the 1960s
Joan Rivers

Premiered: 1989

Network: Fox Broadcasting Company

15
Face the Nation is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Talk Shows of the 1960s
Howard K. Smith, Lesley Stahl, Martin Agronsky

Premiered: 1954

Number of Seasons: 60

Network: CBS

Face the Nation is an American Sunday morning political interview show that is broadcast on the CBS television network. Created by Frank Stanton in 1954, it is one of the longest-running news ...more
16
Meet the Press is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Talk Shows of the 1960s
David Gregory

Premiered: 1947

Number of Seasons: 66

Network: NBC

Meet the Press is a weekly American television news/interview program that is broadcast on NBC. It is the longest-running program in American television history, though its current format bears ...more
17
The Joey Bishop Show is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Talk Shows of the 1960s
Don Knotts, Marlo Thomas, Joey Bishop

Premiered: 1961

Number of Seasons: 4

Number of Episodes: 123

The Joey Bishop Show is an American sitcom starring entertainer Joey Bishop. The series premiered in September 1961 on NBC where it aired for three seasons. The series then moved to CBS for its ...more
18
The Las Vegas Show is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Talk Shows of the 1960s
The Las Vegas Show Bill Dana

Premiered: 1967

Network: Overmyer Network

The Las Vegas Show is an American late night television program broadcast on the short-lived United Network. The two-hour-long talk show, hosted by comedian Bill Dana, was supposed to be the ...more
19
The Late Late Show is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Talk Shows of the 1960s
Pat Kenny, Ryan Tubridy, Gay Byrne

Premiered: 1962

Number of Seasons: 48

Network: RTÉ One

The Late Late Show, with its title often shortened to The Late Late, is the world's longest-running talk show. Perceived as the official flagship television programme of Ireland's public service ...more
20
Washington Week is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Talk Shows of the 1960s

Premiered: 1967

Number of Seasons: 44

Number of Episodes: 2000

Network: Public Broadcasting Service, National Educational Television

Washington Week—previously Washington Week in Review—is an American public affairs television program airing on PBS since 1967. Unlike other panel discussion shows which encourage informal ...more