Watchworthy

The Best Late Night TV Sidekicks 

Ranker TV
Updated October 4, 2019 2.7k votes 802 voters 8.5k views

The thing about late night TV sidekicks is that,when they work, they can elevate the quality of a late night show by a wide margin. Whether their ability to riff on a joke to make it even better, or just the way they laugh at something to really get the audience to feel invited to join in, they can sometimes make or break a new late night show or popular segment. They also take a lot of pressure off the host, particularly when there's a guest who might not be feeling the interview, or is just feeling self-conscious. So it's time to vote for the greatest in late night television history, on this list of the best late night TV sidekicks! Vote up your favorites, and downvote the ones you don't really care for. 

One late night talk sidekick you might find surprising is Regis Philbin - one of the rare cases of a sidekick actually going on to host their own show. He was Joey Bishop's sidekick on The Joey Bishop Show from 1967 to 1969. Typically, late night host sidekicks are on the couch or leading the band, like Kevin Eubanks and Reggie Watts. Sometimes, in the case of Fred Armisen, they have their own killer careers and are mostly just hanging out with their friends because they can. When it comes to late night television host sidekicks, there's a wide swath of choices - even one who is more machine than man in Craig Ferguson's Geoff Peterson robot sidekick.

So take a look at this late night sidekicks list and vote up your favorites! Whether you like Steve Higgins or Paul Shaffer, you'll find all the most popular sidekicks from throughout late night TV history listed here.
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list ordered by
1
Andy Richter is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Late Night TV Sidekicks
The Penguins of Madagascar, Conan, Late Night with Conan O'Brien
Sidekick to Conan O'Brien
2
Guillermo Rodriguez is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Late Night TV Sidekicks
Guillermo Rodriguez
Sidekick to Jimmy Kimmel
3
Geoff Peterson is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Late Night TV Sidekicks
Geoff Peterson
Sidekick to Craig Ferguson
4
Ed McMahon is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Late Night TV Sidekicks
The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, Concentration, Legends of the Superheroes
Sidekick to Johnny Carson
5
Steve Higgins is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Late Night TV Sidekicks
Saturday Night Live, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, Saturday Night Live Weekend Update Thursday
Sidekick to Jimmy Fallon
6
Paul Shaffer is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Late Night TV Sidekicks
Late Show with David Letterman, Late Night with David Letterman, Hercules
Sidekick to David Letterman
7
Reggie Watts is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Late Night TV Sidekicks
Comedy Bang! Bang!
Sidekick to James Corben
8
Hannibal Buress is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Late Night TV Sidekicks
Broad City, The Eric André Show, Chozen
Sidekick to Eric Andre
9
Fred Armisen is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Late Night TV Sidekicks
Saturday Night Live, Portlandia, The Looney Tunes Show
Sidekick to Seth Meyers
10
Max Weinberg is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Late Night TV Sidekicks
Late Night with Conan O'Brien, The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien
Sidekick to Conan O'Brien
11
Regis Philbin is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Late Night TV Sidekicks
America's Got Talent, Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? (US), The Neighbors
Sidekick to Joey Bishop
12
Chuy Bravo is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Late Night TV Sidekicks
Chuy Bravo Chelsea Lately
Sidekick to Chelsea Handler
13
Arsenio Hall is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Late Night TV Sidekicks
The Real Ghostbusters, The Apprentice, The Arsenio Hall Show
Sidekick to Alan Thicke
14
Tony Randall is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Late Night TV Sidekicks
The Odd Couple, My Little Pony, Love
Sidekick to David Letterman
15
Peggy Cass is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Late Night TV Sidekicks
Women in Prison, The Hathaways
Sidekick to Jack Paar
16
Kevin Eubanks is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Late Night TV Sidekicks
The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, The Jay Leno Show
Sidekick to Jay Leno