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The Best Late Night TV Sidekicks

Updated October 4, 2019 3.1k votes 936 voters 10.5k 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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  • 1
    462
    140

    Andy Richter

    The Penguins of Madagascar, Conan
    Sidekick to Conan O'Brien
  • 2
    339
    139

    Guillermo Rodriguez

    Sidekick to Jimmy Kimmel
  • 3
    216
    87

    Geoff Peterson

    Sidekick to Craig Ferguson
  • 4
    121
    78

    Ed McMahon

    The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, Concentration
    Sidekick to Johnny Carson
  • 5
    108
    71

    Hannibal Buress

    Broad City, The Eric André Show
    Sidekick to Eric Andre
  • 6
    121
    94

    Paul Shaffer

    Late Show with David Letterman, Late Night with David Letterman
    Sidekick to David Letterman
  • 7
    86
    71

    Reggie Watts

    Comedy Bang! Bang!
    Sidekick to James Corben
  • 8
    136
    129

    Steve Higgins

    Saturday Night Live, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon
    Sidekick to Jimmy Fallon
  • 9
    64
    50

    Max Weinberg

    Late Night with Conan O'Brien, The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien
    Sidekick to Conan O'Brien
  • 10
    68
    64

    Fred Armisen

    Saturday Night Live, Portlandia
    Sidekick to Seth Meyers
  • 11
    37
    48

    Regis Philbin

    America's Got Talent, Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? (US)
    Sidekick to Joey Bishop
  • 12
    33
    48

    Arsenio Hall

    The Real Ghostbusters, The Apprentice
    Sidekick to Alan Thicke
  • 13
    29
    50

    Chuy Bravo

    Chelsea Lately
    Sidekick to Chelsea Handler
  • 14
    29
    58

    Kevin Eubanks

    The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, The Jay Leno Show
    Sidekick to Jay Leno
  • 15
    18
    42

    Peggy Cass

    Women in Prison, The Hathaways
    Sidekick to Jack Paar
  • 16
    18
    44

    Tony Randall

    The Odd Couple, My Little Pony
    Sidekick to David Letterman