Hosts The Best Emmy Hosts Ever  

Lisa Waugh
8.5k votes 983 voters 22.4k views 54 items

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.

1
276 165
Neil Patrick Harris is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Emmy Hosts Ever
Neil Patrick Harris age 44 - 2009, 2013

2
316 196
Ellen DeGeneres is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Emmy Hosts Ever
Ellen DeGeneres age 60 - 1994, 2001, 2005, 2014

3
193 110
Johnny Carson is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Emmy Hosts Ever
Johnny Carson Died at 80 (1925-2005) - 1962, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1979, 1980, 19

4
143 104
Dick Van Dyke is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Emmy Hosts Ever
Dick Van Dyke age 92 - 1968

5
136 99
Lucille Ball is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Emmy Hosts Ever
Lucille Ball Died at 78 (1911-1989) - 1952

6
67 47
Stephen Colbert is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Emmy Hosts Ever
Stephen Colbert age 53 - 2017

7
134 118
Michael J. Fox is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Emmy Hosts Ever
Michael J. Fox age 56 - 1996

8
167 155
Conan O'Brien is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Emmy Hosts Ever
Conan O'Brien age 54 - 2002, 2003, 2006

9
117 102
Eddie Murphy is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Emmy Hosts Ever
Eddie Murphy age 57 - 1983

10
175 169
Jimmy Fallon is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Emmy Hosts Ever
Jimmy Fallon age 43 - 2010, 2017

11
143 137
Jimmy Kimmel is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Emmy Hosts Ever
Jimmy Kimmel age 50 - 2012

12
68 62
Dick Clark is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Emmy Hosts Ever
Dick Clark Died at 83 (1929-2012) - 1980

13
73 68
Bob Newhart is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Emmy Hosts Ever
Bob Newhart age 88 - 1962

14
74 79
Alan Alda is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Emmy Hosts Ever
Alan Alda age 82 - 1978

15
95 106
Jay Leno is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Emmy Hosts Ever
Jay Leno age 67 - 1990

16
69 75
Ed Sullivan is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Emmy Hosts Ever
Ed Sullivan Died at 73 (1901-1974) - 1954

17
71 78
Seth Meyers is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Emmy Hosts Ever
Seth Meyers age 44 - 2014

18
55 58
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
78 87
Tom Selleck is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Emmy Hosts Ever
Tom Selleck age 73 - 1984

20
103 123
Jon Stewart is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Emmy Hosts Ever
Jon Stewart age 55 - 2003

21
65 76
Angela Lansbury is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Emmy Hosts Ever
Angela Lansbury age 92 - 1993

22
61 72
Bruce Willis is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Emmy Hosts Ever
Bruce Willis age 63 - 1987

23
57 67
Merv Griffin is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Emmy Hosts Ever
Merv Griffin Died at 82 (1925-2007) - 1969

24
56 66
Henry Winkler is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Emmy Hosts Ever
Henry Winkler age 70 - 1979

25
50 59
Danny Thomas is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Emmy Hosts Ever
Danny Thomas Died at 79 (1912-1991) - 1957, 1958, 1965, 1970

26
56 67
Fred Astaire is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Emmy Hosts Ever
Fred Astaire Died at 88 (1899-1987) - 1960

27
47 56
Steve Allen is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Emmy Hosts Ever
Steve Allen Died at 79 (1921-2000) - 1955, 1980

28
87 110
Jason Alexander is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Emmy Hosts Ever
Jason Alexander age 58 - 1995

29
53 65
Howie Mandel is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Emmy Hosts Ever
Howie Mandel age 62 - 2008

30
61 77
Wanda Sykes is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Emmy Hosts Ever
Wanda Sykes age 54 - 2003

31
75 97
Joan Rivers is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Emmy Hosts Ever
Joan Rivers Died at 81 (1933-2014) - 1983

32
61 81
Frank Sinatra is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Emmy Hosts Ever
Frank Sinatra Died at 83 (1915-1998) - 1968

33
39 52
Candice Bergen is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Emmy Hosts Ever
Candice Bergen age 71 - 1990

34
2 1
Colin Jost is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Emmy Hosts Ever
Colin Jost age 35 - 2018

35
41 55
Danny Kaye is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Emmy Hosts Ever
Danny Kaye Died at 74 (1913-1987) - 1966

36
49 69
John Forsythe is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Emmy Hosts Ever
John Forsythe Died at 92 (1918-2010) - 1982, 1985, 1988

37
1 2
Michael Che is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Emmy Hosts Ever
Michael Che age 34 - 2018

38
42 62
Paul Reiser is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Emmy Hosts Ever
Paul Reiser age 61 - 1996

39
62 91
David Letterman is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Emmy Hosts Ever
David Letterman age 70 - 1986

40
39 59
Patricia Richardson is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Emmy Hosts Ever
Patricia Richardson age 67 - 1994

41
33 51
Joey Bishop is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Emmy Hosts Ever
Joey Bishop Died at 89 (1918-2007) - 1961, 1963, 1964, 1967

42
39 61
Cybill Shepherd is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Emmy Hosts Ever
Cybill Shepherd age 68 - 1995

43
36 57
Ed Asner is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Emmy Hosts Ever
Ed Asner age 88 - 1981

44
46 73
David Hyde Pierce is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Emmy Hosts Ever
David Hyde Pierce age 59 - 1999

45
39 63
Shirley MacLaine is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Emmy Hosts Ever
Shirley MacLaine age 83 - 1981

46
34 57
David Frost is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Emmy Hosts Ever
David Frost Died at 74 (1939-2013) - 1970

47
55 91
Oprah Winfrey is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Emmy Hosts Ever
Oprah Winfrey age 64 - 1996

48
34 60
John Larroquette is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Emmy Hosts Ever
John Larroquette age 70 - 1989

49
49 84
Jane Lynch is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Emmy Hosts Ever
Jane Lynch age 57 - 2011

50
35 65
Brad Garrett is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Emmy Hosts Ever
Brad Garrett age 57 - 2003