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The Best Late Night TV Sidekicks

Updated October 4, 2019 3.1k votes 915 voters 10.0k 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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  • Andy Richter1
    460
    141

    Andy Richter

    The Penguins of Madagascar, Conan
    Sidekick to Conan O'Brien
  • Guillermo Rodriguez2
    337
    135

    Guillermo Rodriguez

    Sidekick to Jimmy Kimmel
  • Geoff Peterson3
    210
    88

    Geoff Peterson

    Sidekick to Craig Ferguson
  • Ed McMahon4
    121
    79

    Ed McMahon

    The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, Concentration
    Sidekick to Johnny Carson
  • Hannibal Buress5
    102
    70

    Hannibal Buress

    Broad City, The Eric André Show
    Sidekick to Eric Andre
  • Paul Shaffer6
    119
    93

    Paul Shaffer

    Late Show with David Letterman, Late Night with David Letterman
    Sidekick to David Letterman
  • Steve Higgins7
    137
    126

    Steve Higgins

    Saturday Night Live, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon
    Sidekick to Jimmy Fallon
  • Reggie Watts8
    83
    71

    Reggie Watts

    Comedy Bang! Bang!
    Sidekick to James Corben
  • Max Weinberg9
    64
    49

    Max Weinberg

    Late Night with Conan O'Brien, The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien
    Sidekick to Conan O'Brien
  • Fred Armisen10
    70
    61

    Fred Armisen

    Saturday Night Live, Portlandia
    Sidekick to Seth Meyers
  • Regis Philbin11
    36
    47

    Regis Philbin

    America's Got Talent, Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? (US)
    Sidekick to Joey Bishop
  • Arsenio Hall12
    30
    47

    Arsenio Hall

    The Real Ghostbusters, The Apprentice
    Sidekick to Alan Thicke
  • Chuy Bravo13
    29
    49

    Chuy Bravo

    Chelsea Lately
    Sidekick to Chelsea Handler
  • Kevin Eubanks14
    28
    57

    Kevin Eubanks

    The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, The Jay Leno Show
    Sidekick to Jay Leno
  • Peggy Cass15
    18
    41

    Peggy Cass

    Women in Prison, The Hathaways
    Sidekick to Jack Paar
  • Tony Randall16
    19
    43

    Tony Randall

    The Odd Couple, My Little Pony
    Sidekick to David Letterman