Ranked: The Best Talk Show Hosts of All Time, From Past to Present

The world of talk shows has definitely seen changes since they started in the 1950s. The first ever television talk show was hosted by Joe Franklin, an American radio and television personality. And NBC’s The Tonight Show has been on the air since 1954! And although its hosts have come and gone, it’s still the longest-running talk show to date.

Throughout the years, there have been all kinds of talk shows, providing audiences with entertaining comedy and humor, while others delivering thought-provoking conversations. But when it comes down to what makes people decide whether or not to watch a show, and also which one to choose (considering the competition), it all comes down to one factor: the host.

Nothing makes or breaks a talk show more than the host of the show. The host is the bread and butter of the one-hour program. Consider the difference between Johnny Carson, Oprah Winfrey, and Howard Stern. Exactly. Different hosts, different vibes. These are the talk show hosts that have graced our television screens, day and night, funny or serious, controversial or not. And yes, we’re saving the best for last!

35. Joan Rivers – Short Lived Yet Impactful

Before she became the shameless opinionated commentator of the do’s and don’ts of celebrity fashion on the red carpet, Joan Rivers was a pioneering stand-up comedian who made it big after appearing on Johnny Carson’s show.

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Rivers’s tagline was, “Can we talk?” and she was enthusiastic when interviewing all her guests. The Fox network gave her The Late Show With Joan Rivers, making her the first female late-night talk-show host.

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