awards The Best Emmy Hosts Ever  

Lisa Waugh
6.2k votes 722 voters 16.3k views 52 items Embed

Hosting the Emmy awards is a tough gig. Just showing up for the Primetime Emmys requires wit and reflexes so Emmy hosts who have done well make it look easy. That's one of the reasons this Emmy hosts list is one of those rare times where the best and worst overlap. 

Opinions on Emmy hosts can go either way, depending on who you ask. Sometimes people remember the Primetime Emmys like witnesses at a car accident. As long as no one was seriously injured, it wasn’t so bad. Others have razor sharp recall of the Emmy Awards and a strict criteria for Emmy hosts. That criteria skews wildly with wine. That's not surprising for an awards show that has given Emmys to a ventriloquist (the first Emmy ever given), the yellow first down line on the NFL broadcasts, and the most Emmys to the Oscars.

Even if a host is talented and has a huge following, that’s not a guaranteed win as an Emmy host. A tough industry crowd, pre-awards cocktails, and egos that strain the max capacity of the room all make for a 50/50 shot at success. The only host who consistently and expertly handled the crowd was Johnny Carson as host of the Emmys eight times.

The Emmy hosts list is varied and strange. Top comedians and talk show hosts made sense, but Bruce Willis? Bruce Willis hosted the Emmys? It was 1987, he was white hot from Moonlighting, and won an Emmy that year, but in retrospect, it’s proof that time chipped away at both his hair and his enthusiasm.

Hosting the Emmy Awards takes careful planning, the ability to wing it, and the super power of reading an audience. Barreling forward when it’s not working isn’t smart. Finding the right Emmy host is a talent in and of itself and the Emmy Awards have tried it all. Five hosts, no Emmy hosts, and letting California Governor Earl Warren host in 1951.

Who takes home the faux gold statue as your favorite among all the Emmy hosts? Upvote the Emmy hosts who made you laugh, cry, and schlep toward the limo with more gift bags than they were allotted.
list ordered by

1
139 78
Johnny Carson is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Emmy Hosts Ever
Johnny Carson Died at 80 (1925-2005) - 1962, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1979, 1980, 19

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2
223 144
Ellen DeGeneres is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Emmy Hosts Ever
Ellen DeGeneres age 59 - 1994, 2001, 2005, 2014

3
188 117
Neil Patrick Harris is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Emmy Hosts Ever
Neil Patrick Harris age 43 - 2009, 2013

4
100 74
Dick Van Dyke is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Emmy Hosts Ever
Dick Van Dyke age 91 - 1968

5
102 81
Michael J. Fox is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Emmy Hosts Ever
Michael J. Fox age 54 - 1996

6
91 71
Lucille Ball is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Emmy Hosts Ever
Lucille Ball Died at 78 (1911-1989) - 1952

7
123 110
Conan O'Brien is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Emmy Hosts Ever
Conan O'Brien age 53 - 2002, 2003, 2006

8
126 118
Jimmy Fallon is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Emmy Hosts Ever
Jimmy Fallon age 42 - 2010, 2017

9
78 71
Eddie Murphy is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Emmy Hosts Ever
Eddie Murphy age 56 - 1983

10
57 49
Ed Sullivan is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Emmy Hosts Ever
Ed Sullivan Died at 73 (1901-1974) - 1954

11
61 56
Tom Selleck is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Emmy Hosts Ever
Tom Selleck age 72 - 1984

12
72 69
Jay Leno is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Emmy Hosts Ever
Jay Leno age 66 - 1990

13
90 95
Jimmy Kimmel is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Emmy Hosts Ever
Jimmy Kimmel age 49 - 2012

14
55 55
Alan Alda is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Emmy Hosts Ever
Alan Alda age 81 - 1978

15
42 40
Dick Clark is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Emmy Hosts Ever
Dick Clark Died at 83 (1929-2012) - 1980

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16
47 49
Merv Griffin is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Emmy Hosts Ever
Merv Griffin Died at 82 (1925-2007) - 1969

17
51 54
Angela Lansbury is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Emmy Hosts Ever
Angela Lansbury age 91 - 1993

18
39 41
Sammy Davis, Jr. is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Emmy Hosts Ever
Sammy Davis, Jr. Died at 65 (1925-1990) - 1965

19
43 46
Bruce Willis is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Emmy Hosts Ever
Bruce Willis age 62 - 1987

20
77 89
Jason Alexander is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Emmy Hosts Ever
Jason Alexander age 57 - 1995

21
40 44
Danny Thomas is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Emmy Hosts Ever
Danny Thomas Died at 79 (1912-1991) - 1957, 1958, 1965, 1970

22
47 53
Bob Newhart is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Emmy Hosts Ever
Bob Newhart age 87 - 1962

23
37 42
Steve Allen is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Emmy Hosts Ever
Steve Allen Died at 79 (1921-2000) - 1955, 1980

24
44 51
Fred Astaire is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Emmy Hosts Ever
Fred Astaire Died at 88 (1899-1987) - 1960

25
37 43
Paul Reiser is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Emmy Hosts Ever
Paul Reiser age 60 - 1996

26
46 55
Seth Meyers is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Emmy Hosts Ever
Seth Meyers age 43 - 2014

27
9 8
Stephen Colbert is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Emmy Hosts Ever
Stephen Colbert age 52 - 2017

28
43 53
John Forsythe is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Emmy Hosts Ever
John Forsythe Died at 92 (1918-2010) - 1982, 1985, 1988

29
80 102
Jon Stewart is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Emmy Hosts Ever
Jon Stewart age 54 - 2003

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30
51 64
Frank Sinatra is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Emmy Hosts Ever
Frank Sinatra Died at 83 (1915-1998) - 1968

31
34 44
Patricia Richardson is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Emmy Hosts Ever
Patricia Richardson age 66 - 1994

32
41 55
Henry Winkler is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Emmy Hosts Ever
Henry Winkler age 70 - 1979

33
31 42
David Frost is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Emmy Hosts Ever
David Frost Died at 74 (1939-2013) - 1970

34
28 38
Candice Bergen is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Emmy Hosts Ever
Candice Bergen age 70 - 1990

35
31 43
Danny Kaye is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Emmy Hosts Ever
Danny Kaye Died at 74 (1913-1987) - 1966

36
43 60
Wanda Sykes is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Emmy Hosts Ever
Wanda Sykes age 53 - 2003

37
33 47
Cybill Shepherd is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Emmy Hosts Ever
Cybill Shepherd age 67 - 1995

38
30 43
Ed Asner is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Emmy Hosts Ever
Ed Asner age 87 - 1981

39
37 53
Howie Mandel is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Emmy Hosts Ever
Howie Mandel age 61 - 2008

40
27 40
Joey Bishop is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Emmy Hosts Ever
Joey Bishop Died at 89 (1918-2007) - 1961, 1963, 1964, 1967

41
38 58
David Hyde Pierce is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Emmy Hosts Ever
David Hyde Pierce age 58 - 1999

42
50 76
David Letterman is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Emmy Hosts Ever
David Letterman age 70 - 1986

43
29 47
Brad Garrett is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Emmy Hosts Ever
Brad Garrett age 56 - 2003

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44
27 45
John Larroquette is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Emmy Hosts Ever
John Larroquette age 69 - 1989

45
30 51
Shirley MacLaine is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Emmy Hosts Ever
Shirley MacLaine age 82 - 1981

46
54 87
Joan Rivers is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Emmy Hosts Ever
Joan Rivers Died at 81 (1933-2014) - 1983

47
39 70
Oprah Winfrey is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Emmy Hosts Ever
Oprah Winfrey age 63 - 1996

48
34 69
Bill Cosby is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Emmy Hosts Ever
Bill Cosby age 79 - 1966, 1969

49
34 71
Jane Lynch is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Emmy Hosts Ever
Jane Lynch age 56 - 2011

50
26 60
Dennis Miller is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Emmy Hosts Ever
Dennis Miller age 64 - 1991, 1992