Entertainment

The Best Late Night TV Sidekicks

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.
Ranked by
  • Andy Richter
    1
    The Penguins of Madagascar, Conan, Late Night with Conan O'Brien
    Sidekick to Conan O'Brien
  • Geoff Peterson
    2

    Geoff Peterson

    Sidekick to Craig Ferguson
  • Sidekick to Jimmy Kimmel
  • Ed McMahon
    4
    The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, Concentration, Legends of the Superheroes
    Sidekick to Johnny Carson
  • Hannibal Buress
    5
    Broad City, The Eric André Show, Chozen
    Sidekick to Eric Andre
  • Paul Shaffer
    6
    Late Show with David Letterman, Late Night with David Letterman, Hercules
    Sidekick to David Letterman
  • Max Weinberg
    7
    Late Night with Conan O'Brien, The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien
    Sidekick to Conan O'Brien
  • Steve Higgins
    8
    Saturday Night Live, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, Saturday Night Live Weekend Update Thursday
    Sidekick to Jimmy Fallon
  • Fred Armisen
    9
    Saturday Night Live, Portlandia, The Looney Tunes Show
    Sidekick to Seth Meyers
  • Reggie Watts
    10
    Comedy Bang! Bang!
    Sidekick to James Corben
  • Regis Philbin
    11
    America's Got Talent, Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? (US), The Neighbors
    Sidekick to Joey Bishop
  • Arsenio Hall
    12
    The Real Ghostbusters, The Apprentice, The Arsenio Hall Show
    Sidekick to Alan Thicke
  • Chuy Bravo
    13
    Chelsea Lately
    Sidekick to Chelsea Handler
  • Tony Randall
    14
    The Odd Couple, My Little Pony, Love
    Sidekick to David Letterman
  • Kevin Eubanks
    15
    The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, The Jay Leno Show
    Sidekick to Jay Leno
  • Peggy Cass
    16
    Women in Prison, The Hathaways
    Sidekick to Jack Paar