Entertainment

The Best Talk Shows of the '80s  

Ranker TV
865 votes 192 voters 14.4k views 24 items

List Rules Vote up the best talk shows that aired in the '80s

These are the very best 1980s talk shows, ranked from best to worst by TV fans all over the world. From top 1980s talk shows that revolutionized late-night television, to shows that found daytime audiences, and even primetime audiences. No matter what time slot they occupied, the greatest 80s talk shows delivered information that the public was hungry for.

What are some shows one can expect to find on this 1980s talk shows list? In 1982, Late Night with David Letterman debuted on NBC, with his first guest being Bill Murray. The Caddyshack star sat down with Letterman many times over the years and even appeared on his final episode of The Late Show, which aired on CBS, in 2015. The Oprah Winfrey Show is another popular talk show that premiered in the decade.

Metalheads got a chance to see interviews with their favorite musicians on MTV's '80s talk show, Headbangers Ball. Other great series that are featured on this top 1980s talk shows list include Nightline, The 700 Club, and Good Morning America.

So, Which '80s talk show is the best? Be sure to vote up your favorites and get in on the conversation in the comments section!
list ordered by
1
The Tonight Show Starrin... is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Talk Shows of the '80s
Johnny Carson, Ed McMahon, Skitch Henderson
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

More The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson

#41 of 2,286 The Greatest TV Shows Of All Time #5 of 158 Shows with the Best Freakin' Series Finales of All Timelisted on Longest Running TV Talk Shows

2
Late Night with David Le... is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Talk Shows of the '80s
David Letterman, Paul Shaffer, Jerry Seinfeld
Late Night with David Letterman is a nightly hour-long comedy talk show on NBC that was created and hosted by David Letterman. It premiered in 1982 as the first incarnation of the Late Night ...more

More Late Night with David Letterman

#52 of 219 The TV Shows with the Best Writing #263 of 292 The Greatest Sitcoms in Television Historylisted on Longest Running TV Talk Shows

3
American Bandstand is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Talk Shows of the '80s
Dick Clark
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

More American Bandstand

#653 of 2,286 The Greatest TV Shows Of All Time #34 of 65 The Best ABC Shows of All Time #103 of 594 The Best TV Theme Songs of All Time

4
The Phil Donahue Show is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Talk Shows of the '80s
Phil Donahue, Sammy Davis Jr., Dolly Parton
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
5
Good Morning America is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Talk Shows of the '80s
Robin Roberts, George Stephanopoulos, Lara Spencer
Good Morning America (ABC, 1975) is an American morning television show currently presented by Robin Roberts, George Stephanopoulos, Lara Spencer, Michael Strahan, Amy Robach, and Ginger Zee. ...more

More Good Morning America

#13 of 59 The Best Daytime TV Shows #2 of 34 The Best Morning Showsfeaturing Favorite Good Morning America Hosts

6
20/20 is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Talk Shows of the '80s
Elizabeth Vargas, David Muir, Barbara Walters
20/20 is an American television newsmagazine that has been broadcast on ABC since June 6, 1978. Created by ABC News executive Roone Arledge, the show was designed similarly to CBS's 60 Minutes ...more

More 20/20

#1,061 of 2,286 The Greatest TV Shows Of All Time #137 of 395 TV Shows That Only Smart People Appreciatelisted on The Best Newsmagazine TV Shows & Series

7
The Merv Griffin Show is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Talk Shows of the '80s
nm0871546
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
8
The Oprah Winfrey Show ... is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Talk Shows of the '80s
Oprah Winfrey, Nate Berkus, Gayle King
The Oprah Winfrey Show, often referred to simply as Oprah, is an American syndicated talk show that aired nationally for 25 seasons from 1986 to 2011. Produced and hosted by its namesake, Oprah ...more

More The Oprah Winfrey Show

#668 of 2,286 The Greatest TV Shows Of All Time #67 of 156 TV Shows Most Loved by African-Americanslisted on Longest Running TV Talk Shows

9
The Today Show is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Talk Shows of the '80s
Ann Curry, Anita Colby
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

More The Today Show

#1,809 of 2,286 The Greatest TV Shows Of All Time #10 of 59 The Best Daytime TV Showsfeaturing The Best Today Show Hosts

10
Nightline is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Talk Shows of the '80s
Martin Bashir, Ted Koppel, Charles Gibson
Nightline is a late-night news program that is broadcast by ABC in the United States, and has a franchised formula to other networks and stations elsewhere in the world. Created by Roone ...more
11
Entertainment Tonight is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Talk Shows of the '80s
Katy Perry, Olivia Wilde, Paris Hilton
Entertainment Tonight, is a daily tabloid entertainment television news show that is syndicated by CBS Television Distribution throughout the United States, in Canada on Global, and in many ...more

More Entertainment Tonight

#202 of 510 The Best '80s TV Shows #19 of 30 The Best Talk Shows of the '90s #208 of 502 The Best Television Syndication TV Shows

12
The Arsenio Hall Show is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Talk Shows of the '80s
Bill Murray, Arsenio Hall, Burton Richardson
The Arsenio Hall Show is an American late-night talk show created and hosted by Arsenio Hall. There are two separate programs that have been titled The Arsenio Hall Show, both airing in ...more

More The Arsenio Hall Show

#22 of 53 The Best Late Night Talk Shows of All Time #173 of 510 The Best '80s TV Shows #619 of 687 The Greatest Shows of the 1990s, Ranked

13
Live! with Kelly and Mic... is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Talk Shows of the '80s
Kathie Lee Gifford, Anne Abernathy
Live with Kelly and Michael is an American syndicated morning talk show, hosted by Kelly Ripa and Michael Strahan. Executive-produced by Michael Gelman, the show has aired since 1983 locally on ...more

More Live! with Kelly and Michael

#18 of 59 The Best Daytime TV Shows #9 of 34 The Best Morning Shows #44 of 59 The Best Talk Shows On TV

14
Larry King Live is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Talk Shows of the '80s
Larry King, Ryan Seacrest, Bill Maher
Larry King Live is an American talk show that was hosted by Larry King on CNN from 1985 to 2010. It was CNN's most watched and longest-running program, with over one million viewers nightly. ...more
15
SportsCenter is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Talk Shows of the '80s
Neil Everett, Jalen Rose, Jenn Brown
SportsCenter is a daily sports news television program and the flagship program of American cable and satellite television network ESPN since the network's launch on September 7, 1979. ...more

More SportsCenter

#533 of 2,286 The Greatest TV Shows Of All Time #30 of 59 The Best Daytime TV Showsfeaturing The Best SportsCenter Anchors of All Time

16
The Mike Douglas Show is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Talk Shows of the '80s
The Mike Douglas Show Shirley Temple, Mike Douglas
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

More The Mike Douglas Show

#111 of 216 The Very Best Shows That Aired in the 1960s #5 of 20 The Best Talk Shows of the 1960s #6 of 26 The Best Talk Shows of the 1970s

17
Headbangers Ball is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Talk Shows of the '80s
Adam Curry
Headbangers Ball was a music television program consisting of heavy metal music videos airing on MTV, MTV2, MTV Australia, MTV Rocks, MTV Adria, MTV Brand New, MTV Portugal, MTV Finland, MTV ...more

More Headbangers Ball

#811 of 2,286 The Greatest TV Shows Of All Time #27 of 62 The Best MTV Original Shows #9 of 17 17 TV Shows That Prove '90s MTV Was The Best MTV

18
Face the Nation is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Talk Shows of the '80s
Howard K. Smith, Lesley Stahl, Martin Agronsky
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
19
Meet the Press is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Talk Shows of the '80s
David Gregory
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
20
Geraldo is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Talk Shows of the '80s
Geraldo Rivera
Geraldo is an American daytime television talk show hosted by Geraldo Rivera that aired in syndication from September 7, 1987, to June 12, 1998, with the last two seasons airing under the title ...more

More Geraldo

#278 of 510 The Best '80s TV Shows #352 of 502 The Best Television Syndication TV Shows

21
This Week is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Talk Shows of the '80s
David Brinkley, Sam Donaldson
This Week is an American Sunday morning political affairs program airing on the ABC television network. The program is currently hosted by George Stephanopoulos, who also serves as Chief Anchor ...more
22
The Wilton North Report ... is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Talk Shows of the '80s
The Wilton North Report
The Wilton North Report is a late-night combined newsmagazine, talk show, and variety show that aired on Fox in December 1987 and January 1988. It was Fox's second attempt at a regular ...more
23
The 700 Club is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Talk Shows of the '80s
Susan Howard Chrane, Lee Webb
The 700 Club is the flagship television program of the Christian Broadcasting Network, airing in syndication throughout the United States and available worldwide on CBN.com. Airing each weekday, ...more
24
Question Time is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Talk Shows of the '80s
Carol Vorderman, Jeremy Clarkson
Question Time is a topical debate BBC television programme in the United Kingdom, based on Any Questions? The show typically features politicians from at least the three major political parties ...more