Entertainment

The Best Late Night Talk Shows of All Time  

Ranker TV
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What are the best late night talk shows you always stay up to watch? This list compiles the names of the greatest late night talk shows in the history of television. Everyone knows that each host is different for every franchise; take the Tonight Show franchise, for instance. The Tonight Show with Jay Leno is a very different show from The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien. Additionally, we all know that each show by the same host is different too; The Jon Stewart Show on MTV is vastly different from The Daily Show with Jon Stewart on Comedy Central (owned by MTV), not to mention The Daily Show with Trevor Noah or even with Craig Kilborn.


Screw soap operas -- "late night talk" is the most drama-filled genre in all of television. Read a book by Bill Carter to hear the secrets behind the greatest late night talk shows (and the worst) ever aired. Even with a rich history that dates back to Steve Allen, there is always breaking news on the late night talk show front. Conan births Pete Holmes, Fallon usurps Leno, and Seth Meyers usurps Fallon. But will Kimmel usurp Letterman?

list ordered by
1
Late Night with David Letterma... is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Late Night Talk Shows of All Time
1982
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
2
Late Night with Conan O'Brien is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Late Night Talk Shows of All Time
1993
Late Night with Conan O'Brien is an American late-night talk show hosted by Conan O'Brien that aired 2,725 episodes on NBC between 1993 and 2009. The show featured varied comedic material, ...more
3
The Tonight Show Starring John... is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Late Night Talk Shows of All Time
1962
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
4
The Late Late Show with Craig ... is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Late Night Talk Shows of All Time
2005
The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson is an American late-night talk show hosted by Scottish American comedian Craig Ferguson, who was the third regular host of the Late Late Show franchise. It ...more
5
Late Show with David Letterman is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Late Night Talk Shows of All Time
2011
Late Show is an American late-night television talk and variety show on CBS. Late Show with David Letterman first aired in August 1993 with host David Letterman, who previously hosted Late Night ...more
6
The Colbert Report is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Late Night Talk Shows of All Time
2005
The Colbert Report is an American late-night talk and news satire television program hosted by Stephen Colbert that aired on Comedy Central from October 17, 2005 to December 18, 2014 for 1,447 ...more
7
The Late Show with Stephen Col... is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Late Night Talk Shows of All Time
2015
The Late Show with Stephen Colbert (CBS, 2015) is an American late-night talk show hosted by Stephen Colbert.
8
Conan is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Late Night Talk Shows of All Time
2010
Conan is a late-night talk show airing each Monday through Thursday on TBS in the United States. The hour-long show premiered on November 8, 2010, and is hosted by writer, comedian and performer ...more
9
Last Week Tonight with John Ol... is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Late Night Talk Shows of All Time
2014
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO, 2014) is an American late-night talk and news satire television program hosted by comedian John Oliver. The half-hour-long show takes a satirical look at ...more
10
The Graham Norton Show is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Late Night Talk Shows of All Time
2007
The Graham Norton Show is a British comedy chat show broadcast on BBC One in the United Kingdom. It was shown on BBC Two from February 2007 to May 2009 and has been on BBC One since October ...more
11
Jimmy Kimmel Live! is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Late Night Talk Shows of All Time
2003
Jimmy Kimmel Live! is an American late-night talk show, created and hosted by James "Jimmy" Kimmel, and transmitted on ABC. The nightly hour-long show made its debut on January 26, ...more
12
The Daily Show is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Late Night Talk Shows of All Time
1996
The Daily Show (Comedy Central, 1999) is an American late-night talk and news satire television program. Described as a fake news program, the show draws its comedy and satire from recent news ...more
13
The Tonight Show with Conan O'... is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Late Night Talk Shows of All Time
2009
The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien is an American late-night talk show that featured Conan O'Brien as host from June 1, 2009 to January 22, 2010 as part of NBC's long-running Tonight Show ...more
14
The Late Late Show with James ... is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Late Night Talk Shows of All Time
2015
The Late Late Show with James Corden (CBS, 2015) is an American late-night talk show hosted by James Corden. The fourth iteration of The Late Late Show, the talk show features popular segments, ...more
15
Late Night with Seth Meyers is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Late Night Talk Shows of All Time
2014
Late Night with Seth Meyers is an American late-night talk show that airs at 12:37 am Eastern/11:37 pm Central on NBC in the United States, Monday through Thursday. The hour-long show premiered ...more
16
Ranker Video
2014
The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon is an American late-night talk show hosted by Jimmy Fallon on NBC. The show premiered on February 17, 2014 and is produced by Broadway Video and Universal ...more
17
The Jon Stewart Show is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Late Night Talk Shows of All Time
1993
The Jon Stewart Show is a late night talk show hosted by comedian Jon Stewart. The program premiered on MTV in 1993 as a thirty-minute daily program. At the end of its first season, MTV's ...more
18
Tonight Starring Steve Allen is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Late Night Talk Shows of All Time
1954
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
19
Real Time with Bill Maher is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Late Night Talk Shows of All Time
2003
It's shaping up to be an interesting last few months of 2007. The price of gas keeps spiraling to record highs, while the approval ratings for the man in charge keep plummeting to record lows. ...more
20
The Dick Cavett Show is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Late Night Talk Shows of All Time
1968
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
21
The Tonight Show with Jay Leno is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Late Night Talk Shows of All Time
1992
The Tonight Show with Jay Leno is an American late-night talk show hosted by Jay Leno that initially aired from May 25, 1992 to May 29, 2009, and resumed production on March 1, 2010 until its ...more
22
The Arsenio Hall Show is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Late Night Talk Shows of All Time
1989
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
23
Late Night with Jimmy Fallon is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Late Night Talk Shows of All Time
2009
Late Night with Jimmy Fallon is an American late-night talk show that aired weeknights at 12:35 am Eastern/11:35 pm Central on NBC in the United States. The hour-long show, which premiered on ...more
24
Dennis Miller is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Late Night Talk Shows of All Time
looksharp added 2004
CNBC Dennis Miller was the third tv talk show series hosted by comedian Dennis Miller. This series was on for 2 seasons from 2004 to 2005 on CNBC.
25
Politically Incorrect is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Late Night Talk Shows of All Time
1993
Politically Incorrect is an American late-night, half-hour political talk show hosted by Bill Maher that ran from 1993 to 2002. It premiered on Comedy Central in 1993, moved to ABC in January ...more