Watchworthy

The Best Talk Show Hosts Of Daytime, Late Night, and All Time 

Ranker TV
May 29, 2020 2.4k votes 78 voters 155 items

List Rules Vote up the hosts who truly had the most, whether they were on daytime, late night or any time in-between.

There have been as many top talk show hosts as there have been types of talk shows over the years. Everyone has a favorite, someone they think is the best late-night talk show host or the daytime talk show they love to spend each morning with. As some talk shows have been around a long time, there are also opinions about who was the best host of this show or that show. But, if all things were equal and you had to decide who was the best talk show host - from any time slot, any era, any type of show, who would you pick?

Is Johnny Carson really the best talk show host of all time when he's going up against Barbara Walters and Arsenio Hall? Who rules the roost: Kelly Ripa or Oprah? And what about Ellen, Letterman, Eric Andre, and Sally Jesse Raphael? When it comes down to raw skill against raw skill, charm against charm, and the pure ability to guide a conversation and nail an interview, what talk show hosts are the best?

It's a difficult decision, but don't worry, you can vote for as many talk show hosts as you like. So vote up the best talk show hosts and vote down the hosts who wish they had the most.

Data-driven recommendations based on voting from over 40 million monthly visits to Ranker. Try the free app
1
Johnny Carson is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Talk Show Hosts Of Daytime, Late Night, and All Time
The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson
John William Carson (October 23, 1925 – January 23, 2005) was an American television host, comedian, writer, and producer. He is best known as the host of The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson ...more
2
David Letterman is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Talk Show Hosts Of Daytime, Late Night, and All Time
The Late Show with David Letterman, My Next Guest Needs No Introduction
David Michael Letterman (born April 12, 1947) is an American television host, comedian, writer, producer and automobile racing team owner. He hosted late night television talk shows for 33 ...more
3
Conan O'Brien is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Talk Show Hosts Of Daytime, Late Night, and All Time
Late Night with Conan O'Brien, Conan
Conan Christopher O'Brien (born April 18, 1963) is an American television host, comedian, writer, and producer. He is best known for hosting several late-night talk shows; since 2010, he has ...more
4
Graham Norton is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Talk Show Hosts Of Daytime, Late Night, and All Time
The Graham Norton Show
Graham William Walker (born 4 April 1963), known professionally as Graham Norton, is an Irish television and radio presenter, comedian, actor, author, and commentator based in the United ...more
5
Craig Ferguson is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Talk Show Hosts Of Daytime, Late Night, and All Time
The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson
Craig Ferguson (born 17 May 1962) is a Scottish-American television host, comedian, author, and actor. He hosted the syndicated game show Celebrity Name Game (2014–17), for which he won two ...more
6
Stephen Colbert is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Talk Show Hosts Of Daytime, Late Night, and All Time
The Daily Show, The Colbert Report, The Late Show with Stephen Colbert
Stephen Tyrone Colbert ( kohl-BAIR; born May 13, 1964) is an American comedian, writer, producer, political commentator, actor, and television host. He is best known for hosting the satirical ...more
7
Jon Stewart is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Talk Show Hosts Of Daytime, Late Night, and All Time
The John Stewart Show, The Daily Show
Jon Stewart (born Jonathan Stuart Leibowitz; November 28, 1962) is an American comedian, writer, producer, director, activist, political commentator, actor, and television host. He hosted The ...more
8
Jimmy Kimmel is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Talk Show Hosts Of Daytime, Late Night, and All Time
Jimmy Kimmel Live!
James Christian Kimmel (born November 13, 1967) is an American television host, comedian, writer, and producer. He is the host and executive producer of Jimmy Kimmel Live!, a late-night talk ...more
9
Barbara Walters is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Talk Show Hosts Of Daytime, Late Night, and All Time
Today, The View
Barbara Jill Walters (born September 25, 1929) is an American broadcast journalist, author, and television personality. Walters has hosted a variety of television programs, including Today, The ...more
10
Oprah Winfrey is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Talk Show Hosts Of Daytime, Late Night, and All Time
The Oprah Winfrey Show
Oprah Gail Winfrey (born Orpah Gail Winfrey, January 29, 1954) is an American media executive, actress, talk show host, television producer and philanthropist. She is best known for her talk ...more
11
Dick Cavett is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Talk Show Hosts Of Daytime, Late Night, and All Time
The Dick Cavett Show
Richard Alva Cavett (; born November 19, 1936) is an American television personality, comedian and former talk show host notable for his conversational style and in-depth discussions. He ...more
12
Arsenio Hall is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Talk Show Hosts Of Daytime, Late Night, and All Time
The Arsenio Hall Show
Arsenio Hall (born February 12, 1956) is an American comedian, talk show host, actor, writer and producer. He is best known for hosting The Arsenio Hall Show, a late-night talk show that ran ...more
13
Jane Pauley is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Talk Show Hosts Of Daytime, Late Night, and All Time
Today, The Jane Pauley Show
Margaret Jane Pauley (born October 31, 1950), known as Jane Pauley, is an American television journalist and author, active in news reporting since 1972. She is the anchor of CBS Sunday Morning. ...more
14
John Oliver is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Talk Show Hosts Of Daytime, Late Night, and All Time
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver
John William Oliver (born 23 April 1977) is an English comedian, writer, producer, political commentator, actor, and television host. Oliver started his career as a stand-up comedian, both in ...more
15
Phil Donahue is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Talk Show Hosts Of Daytime, Late Night, and All Time
The Phil Donahue Show, Donahue
Phillip John Donahue (born December 21, 1935) is an American media personality, writer, film producer, and the creator and host of The Phil Donahue Show. His television program, later known as ...more
16
Trevor Noah is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Talk Show Hosts Of Daytime, Late Night, and All Time
The Daily Show with Trevor Noah
Trevor Noah (born 20 February 1984) is a South African comedian, writer, producer, political commentator, actor, and television host. He is known for hosting The Daily Show, an American ...more
17
Ed Sullivan is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Talk Show Hosts Of Daytime, Late Night, and All Time
The Ed Sullivan Show
Edward Vincent Sullivan (September 28, 1901 – October 13, 1974) was an American television personality, sports and entertainment reporter, and syndicated columnist for the New York Daily News ...more
18
Jack Paar is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Talk Show Hosts Of Daytime, Late Night, and All Time
The Jack Paar Tonight Show
Jack Harold Paar (May 1, 1918 – January 27, 2004) was an American author, movie actor, radio and television comedian, and talk show host. He is best known for his stint as the second host of The ...more
19
Seth Meyers is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Talk Show Hosts Of Daytime, Late Night, and All Time
Late Night with Seth Meyers
Seth Adam Meyers (born December 28, 1973) is an American television host, comedian, writer, political commentator, and actor. He hosts Late Night with Seth Meyers, a late-night talk show that ...more
20
Keenen Ivory Wayans is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Talk Show Hosts Of Daytime, Late Night, and All Time
Keenen Ivory Wayans The Keenen Ivory Wayans Show
Keenen Ivory Wayans Sr. (born June 8, 1958) is an American actor, comedian, filmmaker, and a member of the Wayans family of entertainers. He first came to prominence as the host and the creator ...more
21
James Corden is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Talk Show Hosts Of Daytime, Late Night, and All Time
The Late Show With James Corden
James Kimberley Corden (born 22 August 1978) is an English actor, singer, comedian, and television host. He hosts The Late Late Show with James Corden, a late-night television talk show on CBS. ...more
22
Hoda Kotb is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Talk Show Hosts Of Daytime, Late Night, and All Time
Today
Hoda Kotb ( HOH-də KOT-bee; Egyptian Arabic: هدى قطب‎, Hudā Quṭb; Egyptian Arabic pronunciation: [ˈhodæ ˈʔotˤb]; born August 9, 1964) is an American broadcast journalist, television ...more
23
Steve Harvey is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Talk Show Hosts Of Daytime, Late Night, and All Time
Steve Harvey
Broderick Stephen Harvey (born January 17, 1957) is an American comedian, television host, producer, radio personality, actor, and author. He hosts The Steve Harvey Morning Show, the Steve talk ...more
24
Kelly Ripa is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Talk Show Hosts Of Daytime, Late Night, and All Time
Live! With Kelly and Ryan
Kelly Maria Ripa (born October 2, 1970) is an American actress, dancer, talk show host, and television producer. Ripa portrayed Hayley Vaughan on the ABC daytime soap opera, All My Children, ...more
25
Meredith Vieira is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Talk Show Hosts Of Daytime, Late Night, and All Time
Today, The View, The Meredith Viera Show
Meredith Louise Vieira (born December 30, 1953) is an American broadcast journalist and television personality. She is best known as the original moderator of the daytime talk show The View ...more