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

May 29, 2020 6.0k votes 321 voters 2.6k views155 items

List RulesVote 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.

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  • Conan O'Brien1
    227
    80

    Conan O'Brien

    Late Night with Conan O'Brien, Conan
    Conan Christopher O'Brien (born April 18, 1963) is an American television host, comedian,...  more
  • Johnny Carson2
    112
    41

    Johnny Carson

    The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson
    John William Carson (October 23, 1925 – January 23, 2005) was an American television host,...  more
  • Craig Ferguson3
    117
    48

    Craig Ferguson

    The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson
    Craig Ferguson (born 17 May 1962) is a Scottish-American television host, comedian, author,...  more
  • Graham Norton4
    125
    55

    Graham Norton

    The Graham Norton Show
    Graham William Walker (born 4 April 1963), known professionally as Graham Norton, is an Irish...  more
  • David Letterman5
    110
    48

    David Letterman

    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,...  more
  • Jon Stewart6
    74
    45

    Jon Stewart

    The John Stewart Show, The Daily Show
    Jon Stewart (born Jonathan Stuart Leibowitz; November 28, 1962) is an American comedian,...  more
  • Dick Cavett7
    55
    28

    Dick Cavett

    The Dick Cavett Show
    Richard Alva Cavett (; born November 19, 1936) is an American television personality, comedian...  more
  • Stephen Colbert8
    77
    54

    Stephen Colbert

    The Daily Show, The Colbert Report
    Stephen Tyrone Colbert ( kohl-BAIR; born May 13, 1964) is an American comedian, writer,...  more
  • Regis Philbin9
    41
    21

    Regis Philbin

    Live! with Regis and Kelly, Live with Regis
    Regis Francis Xavier Philbin (August 25, 1931 – July 24, 2020) was an American media...  more
  • Ed Sullivan10
    50
    31

    Ed Sullivan

    The Ed Sullivan Show
    Edward Vincent Sullivan (September 28, 1901 – October 13, 1974) was an American television...  more
  • Eric Andre11
    34
    17

    Eric Andre

    The Eric Andre Show
    Eric Andre (born April 4, 1983) is an American actor, comedian, and television host. He is the...  more
  • Arsenio Hall12
    54
    40

    Arsenio Hall

    The Arsenio Hall Show
    Arsenio Hall (born February 12, 1956) is an American comedian, talk show host, actor, writer...  more
  • John Oliver13
    60
    47

    John Oliver

    Last Week Tonight with John Oliver
    John William Oliver (born 23 April 1977) is an English comedian, writer, producer, political...  more
  • Jeremy Clarkson14
    35
    21
    Jeremy Charles Robert Clarkson (born 11 April 1960) is an English broadcaster, journalist and...  more
  • Phil Donahue15
    40
    28

    Phil Donahue

    The Phil Donahue Show, Donahue
    Phillip John Donahue (born December 21, 1935) is an American media personality, writer, film...  more
  • Jack Paar16
    35
    25

    Jack Paar

    The Jack Paar Tonight Show
    Jack Harold Paar (May 1, 1918 – January 27, 2004) was an American author, movie actor, radio...  more
  • Seth Meyers17
    50
    42

    Seth Meyers

    Late Night with Seth Meyers
    Seth Adam Meyers (born December 28, 1973) is an American television host, comedian, writer,...  more
  • Barbara Walters18
    47
    40

    Barbara Walters

    Today, The View
    Barbara Jill Walters (born September 25, 1929) is an American broadcast journalist, author,...  more
  • Jane Pauley19
    42
    35

    Jane Pauley

    Today, The Jane Pauley Show
    Margaret Jane Pauley (born October 31, 1950), known as Jane Pauley, is an American television...  more
  • Joan Rivers20
    37
    30

    Joan Rivers

    The Joan Rivers Show
    Joan Alexandra Molinsky (June 8, 1933 – September 4, 2014), known professionally as Joan...  more
  • Trevor Noah21
    55
    52

    Trevor Noah

    The Daily Show with Trevor Noah
    Trevor Noah (born 20 February 1984) is a South African comedian, writer, producer, political...  more
  • Jimmy Kimmel22
    64
    64

    Jimmy Kimmel

    Jimmy Kimmel Live!
    James Christian Kimmel (born November 13, 1967) is an American television host, comedian,...  more
  • Steve Harvey23
    44
    40

    Steve Harvey

    Steve Harvey
    Broderick Stephen Harvey (born January 17, 1957) is an American comedian, television host,...  more
  • Tom Snyder24
    24
    17

    Tom Snyder

    The Late Late Show with Tom Snyder
    Thomas James Snyder (May 12, 1936 – July 29, 2007) was an American television personality,...  more
  • Merv Griffin25
    15
    7

    Merv Griffin

    The Merv Griffin Show
    Mervyn Edward Griffin Jr. (July 6, 1925 – August 12, 2007) was an American television host and...  more