Every Late Night Talk Show, Ranked By IMDb Score (2022)

The late night talk show world is alive and kicking. Even in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, many shows continued to take place, with hosts delivering their monologues from home and interviewing guests remotely over video chat.

And while stalwarts of the industry like David Letterman and Jay Leno have now retired from the late night scene, there's a new crop of hosts who are bringing their own unique spins to their respective shows. How do they all rank? Here's a look, according to IMDb scores.

11 A Little Late With Lilly Singh – 1.6

Every Late Night Talk Show, Ranked By IMDb Score (1)

Singh rose to fame as a YouTube personality and became so popular that NBC offered her a late night talk show of her own to replace Carson Daly, making her (as of now) the only female late night talk show host and the first of Indian and South Asian descent.

Even though her show has been renewed for a second season and review aggregator sites like Rotten Tomatoes give it a decent rating, IMDb's abysmal rating suggests that many believe the show to be, well, terrible. Many feel that she focuses far too much on race and sexuality, delivering the same jokes over and over again. Skewing this, though, is how IMDb users are known for review-bombing something they really hate, and Lilly Singh's show could be a victim of this. Nonetheless, she will get the chance to change viewers' minds in season two.

10 Late Night With Seth Meyers – 6.1

Every Late Night Talk Show, Ranked By IMDb Score (2)

On air on NBC since 2014, Meyers has the coveted time slot right after The Tonight Show, which helped him build an initial audience. IMDb reviews suggest that the show is doing just fine, but it isn't exactly dominating and is rarely a topic of water-cooler conversations.

Meyers' history as a writer means that his jokes are solid and his time as anchor of the mock news program Weekend Update on sketch comedy show Saturday Night Live has made him comfortable in his delivery. Meyers has signed on to host through 2021, so it'll be interesting to see if he adds any new elements to get people talking.

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9 The Late Late Show With James Corden – 6.2

As successor to Craig Ferguson and on super-late on CBS, Corden has been delighting insomniac and night owl audiences since 2014. But his real popularity comes from very successful skits people often watch online after, most notably Carpool Karaoke, which has become a viral sensation and even spawned an Apple TV show.

Still, he hasn't quite cracked the top five in the minds' of IMDb reviewers. According to IMDb reviews, he still ranks below Kimmel and Fallon but is slightly ahead of Meyers.

8 Jimmy Kimmel Live! – 6.6

Every Late Night Talk Show, Ranked By IMDb Score (4)

It might be Kimmel's strong political beliefs and opinionated nature that has turned certain some viewers off and positioned the show near the bottom of the ranking. Nonetheless, his charm and quick wit has helped keep this talk show on the air since 2003, making it one of the longest-running shows on this list.

The show has spawned some hilarious viral sketches including Mean Tweets, where celebrities read mean Tweets about them for the first time, and his annual challenge asking parents to record their kids reactions after they claim to have eaten all of their Halloween candy. In any case, Kimmel seems satisfied with his position in late night.

7 The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon – 7.3

Every Late Night Talk Show, Ranked By IMDb Score (5)
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After plenty of shake-ups in the late-night world, Fallon was finally named the official new host of the most prestigious seat in late night television. And so far, he has done a solid job keeping the show tops in the ratings.

He became even more endearing to viewers when he delivered the shows from his home during the height of the pandemic, including segments with his wife and with adorable help from his two young daughters. Fallontook the hot seat in 2014 and continues in the popular 11:35 p.m. timeslot, with a contract signed to continue through at least 2021.

6 The Late Show With Stephen Colbert – 7.3

The recipient of plenty of awards and accolades for his show, which premiered in 2015 on CBS, Colbert holds his own despite competing in the same time slot as two other popular personalities, Kimmel and Fallon.

He took over for David Letterman when the iconic late night host announced his retirement, though Colbert has taken the show in a deeper political direction. In the 2018-2019 season, Colbert actually managed to overtake The Tonight show in ratings in the key viewership demographic for the first time since the mid '90s.

5 Real Time With Bill Maher – 7.4

Every Late Night Talk Show, Ranked By IMDb Score (7)
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Interestingly, while being a man with controversial opinions has led Kimmel to rank near the bottom of the list, that same gusto and controversy has catapulted Maher near the top. Perhaps it's because Maher's show is positioned as political satire so those who choose to tune in already share his political beliefs or at least respect them, whereas Kimmel's show is geared towards comedy.

Nonetheless, he has been hosting the show for 18 seasons since 2003, with no signs of slowing down.

4 The Not-Too-Late Show With Elmo – 7.7

Every Late Night Talk Show, Ranked By IMDb Score (8)

Breaking onto the scene in May 2020, this new late night talk show (well, not too late!) is a spin-off of the long-running kids show Sesame Street and features everyone's favorite red, ticklish furry friend Elmo as the host.

Streaming on HBO Max, it has already been getting rave reviews, so much so that Elmo already ranks fourth on the list. The episodes are only 15 minutes long so it's a quick, educational, and fun watch for fans of all ages.

3 Conan – 8.1

Every Late Night Talk Show, Ranked By IMDb Score (9)

After a short stint hosting The Tonight Show, O'Brien went back to hosting his own show, this time simply called Conan. It has been airing on TBS since 2010.

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While O'Brien only hosted The Tonight Show for less than a year before Jay Leno returned, he is clearly doing just fine despite the drama that erupted from that shake-up. His show ranks third-highest among them all.

2 The Daily Show With Trevor Noah – 8.4

Every Late Night Talk Show, Ranked By IMDb Score (10)

In fairness, the IMDB rating for the show reflects its entire duration since 1996, most of which counted Jon Stewart as host. If IMDb showed separate ratings per season, would the latest ones since Noah took over be this high? With data suggesting that ratings have been on the decline, they might not be.

Noah has been hosting since 2015, and while he has kept the show on the public's radar, he'll need to find a way to get it back to the level it was when Stewart was at the helm. He'll have time to try as his contract has been renewed through to 2022.

1 Last Week Tonight With John Oliver – 8.9

Every Late Night Talk Show, Ranked By IMDb Score (11)

Snagging the top spot is Oliver and his popular news satire programthat is just half an hour long but has made waves among viewers and in society as well. While Oliver says the show is just comedythat just so happens to tacklecurrent events, many hailed him as a true journalist thanks to his open, honest, and educated take on the political landscape.

The show has been considered influential and even spawned something known as"The John Oliver Effect." Several segments on Oliver's show have been followed by real change by the public, policymakers, or companies. Was he the catalyst for change or was it all coincidence? It's tough to tell. But given the solid viewership and consistently high ratings, Oliver's show might not just be making viewers laugh but could potentially be making a real-world difference.

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FAQs

Who is the most respected talk show host? ›

With his sidekick Ed McMahon sitting alongside him, Johnny Carson became the most respected late-night show host of all time.

Who did Seth Meyers replace? ›

Seth Meyers was appointed host when Jimmy Fallon was announced to become the next host of The Tonight Show (currently The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon), where he succeeded the previous host Jay Leno one week after that.

Who owns late-night? ›

Late Night (franchise)
Late Night
GenreTalk show Variety show
Created byDavid Letterman
Presented byDavid Letterman (1982–1993) Conan O'Brien (1993–2009) Jimmy Fallon (2009–2014) Seth Meyers (2014–present)
Country of originUnited States
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Who is the king of late-night? ›

Johnny Carson: King of Late Night is a documentary film by two-time Emmy-winning filmmaker Peter Jones about the life of American television talk show host Johnny Carson. It is narrated by Kevin Spacey, and aired on PBS on May 14, 2012, as part of their American Masters series.

What is the #1 talk show on TV? ›

Popular on Variety

For the second year in a row, “The View” is the most-watched daytime talk show across both network and syndication, Variety has learned. The ABC series ranked No. 1 in both households and total viewers for the 2021-2022 television season.

Who is the highest paid late-night host? ›

Stephen Colbert

His $15 million salary put him in an even tie with Jimmy Fallon for the title of the highest-paid host in late-night TV, according to Forbes.

Who are the top 3 late night talk show hosts? ›

Top 10 Late Night Talk Show Hosts
  • #8: Jay Leno. ...
  • #7: Jimmy Kimmel. ...
  • #6: Stephen Colbert. ...
  • #5: Bill Maher. ...
  • #4: Jon Stewart. ...
  • #3: Conan O'Brien. ...
  • #2: David Letterman. “The David Letterman Show” (1980) / “Late Night” (1982-93) / “Late Show” (1993-2015) ...
  • #1: Johnny Carson. “The Tonight Show” (1962-92)

What late-night host has a top 10 list? ›

The Top Ten List was a regular segment of the television programs Late Night with David Letterman and the Late Show with David Letterman. Each night, host David Letterman would present a list of ten items, compiled by his writing staff, that circulated around a common theme.

Who will replace Jimmy Fallon? ›

NBC said Sunday that Seth Meyers, right, will replace Jimmy Fallon at the 12:35 a.m. “Late Night” show next year. Fallon is moving up an hour as Jay Leno's replacement on the “Tonight” show.

How much did Jay Leno make from The Tonight Show? ›

Hosting The Tonight Show earned him a very decent $320 million before taxes. Leno says he didn't actually spend the money he earned from doing the talk show. Instead, he was living off the money he earned performing dozens of stand-up comedy shows each year as a side gig.

How much does Seth Meyers make a year? ›

Seth Mayers net worth is estimated to be over $70 million dollars. Under his current contract, Seth Mayers earns over $12 million dollars salary from NBC News.

Who had the first late night show? ›

The first late-night television talk show was The Faye Emerson Show, hosted by actress Faye Emerson. It began airing on CBS on October 24, 1949, in local East Coast markets before the network moved the 15-minute show, which regularly aired up to 11pm, nationwide in March 1950.

How much do Late Show musicians make? ›

Late night show bands can make around $1 million annually

The life of a talk show musician has its perks. As Variety reports, it allows artists to play around with pretty much every musical genre, and they don't have to deal with the grueling travel and touring schedules of typical bands.

How much did David Letterman make on The Tonight Show? ›

How much did David Letterman make per show? According to the media portal, David Letterman's salary is $50 million.

How much does Stephen Colbert earn per year? ›

He is best known for hosting the satirical Comedy Central program The Colbert Report from 2005 to 2014 and the CBS talk program The Late Show with Stephen Colbert beginning in September 2015. Yahoo! Finance Sept. 2021: In 2019, he extended his contract with CBS through 2023, with a salary of $15 million per year.

What is Greg Gutfeld salary at Fox? ›

What is Greg Gutfeld's salary from Fox News? Greg Gutfeld earns a salary of $17 Million US Dollars.

Is Gutfeld still on Fox? ›

Gutfeld!, known as The Greg Gutfeld Show from 2015 to 2021, is an American late-night talk show on Fox News Channel, created and presented by Greg Gutfeld. It airs at 11 p.m. ET on weeknights, although it may be preempted by an extended version of Fox News @ Night, in the event of breaking news.

What is the most watched TV show 2022? ›

HBO's 'House of the Dragon' becomes most-watched cable/streaming premiere of 2022.

What is the number 1 daytime talk show in America? ›

TV News in Your Inbox

5, "The View" ranked No. 1 in Households (1.6 rtg.) and Total Viewers (2.211 million) among the daytime network talk shows and news programs, leading NBC's "TODAY Third Hour" (1.4 rtg. and 2.055 million, respectively), "TODAY with Hoda & Jenna" (1.0 rtg.

Why do talk show hosts sit higher than guests? ›

Since the vast majority of humans are right-handed, this position keeps the host's dominant hand between him and whoever is to his right, making it easier to film them interacting with their guests." This means that when a host picks up a prop, they don't have to worry about obstructing the audience's view by reaching ...

How much is Jimmy Fallon paid? ›

Fallon is an American TV presenter, producer, comedian, writer, singer, and actor. He is best known for his role in presenting the TV show "The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon." He receives an annual salary of $16 million for hosting the Show.

Who is the highest paid TV celebrity? ›

TV and streaming salaries per episode
NameProgramSalary
Ray RomanoEverybody Loves Raymond$1.725 million
Kelsey GrammerFrasier$1.6 million
Chris PrattThe Terminal List$1.4 million
Tim AllenHome Improvement$1.25 million
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Do talk show guests get paid? ›

When we talk about evening talk shows, things differ somewhat. In these instances, guests often do get paid for showing up. The money they receive is usually much lower than they would get for their main job, but some stipends can be pretty high – so it depends on the show and whether they want to do this or not.

What's the most popular Late Show? ›

delivered an average total audience of 2.355 million viewers, outpacing The Late Show with Stephen Colbert (2.143 million viewers), The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon (1.318 million viewers), and Jimmy Kimmel Live! (1.084 million viewers).

What is Jimmy Kimmel's salary? ›

Jimmy Kimmel Net Worth: $50 Million

The talk show host rakes in a $15 million a year salary for the show, with an estimated net worth of $50 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth. But Kimmel doesn't only host his talk show, he hosted the Oscars in 2017 and 2018 and the Emmys in 2019.

Who was the first talk show host? ›

However, the first-ever talk show aired nearly 70 years ago. The year was 1951 when most Americans were discovering television for the first time. The first-ever TV talk show host was Joe Franklin. Three years later, “The Tonight Show” made its debut with Steve Allen as the host.

Who started the Top 10 list? ›

The Top Ten List has become so inextricably linked to David Letterman and his two late night talk shows, that it's hard to believe the bit didn't start with his very first show. But it didn't. The first Top Ten List appeared on Sept. 18, 1985, a few years into Letterman's “Late Night” run on NBC.

What is a Top 10 list? ›

A top ten list is a list of the ten highest-ranking items of a given category.

Who invented the Top 10 list? ›

10) FROM THE MIND OF THE MAN WHO COINED 'STRATEGERY'1

The real basic idea for the Top Ten List should be credited to [legendary Saturday Night Live writer] Jim Downey, who was the head writer right before me. He used to write these funny, short lists that were so beautifully stylized—so specific and yet so concise.

Who is a famous talk show host? ›

Out with David Letterman, Jon Stewart, Craig Ferguson, and Stephen Colbert. In with Trevor Noah, James Corden, Larry Wilmore, and Stephen Colbert. Lately, networks have been changing talk-show hosts faster than Zsa Zsa Gabor changed husbands.

Why Graham Norton is the best talk show? ›

He doesnt sit behind a desk with them at his side. He sits in a chair at a more comfortable angle to speak to his guests. Also, he brings out all 3 of his guests at the same time. That also makes for a more comfortable atmosphere because not all the attention is focused squarely on them.

Why do talk show hosts sit higher than guests? ›

Since the vast majority of humans are right-handed, this position keeps the host's dominant hand between him and whoever is to his right, making it easier to film them interacting with their guests." This means that when a host picks up a prop, they don't have to worry about obstructing the audience's view by reaching ...

Who was the very first talk show host? ›

The year was 1951 when most Americans were discovering television for the first time. The first-ever TV talk show host was Joe Franklin. Three years later, “The Tonight Show” made its debut with Steve Allen as the host. Since then, many television personalities became famous as talk show hosts.

Who is the most famous female talk show host? ›

Oprah Winfrey is probably the most beloved daytime talk show host ever. People even call her the Queen of Talk. Oprah hosted The Oprah Winfrey Show that aired for 25 seasons and made it the highest-rated daytime talk show in American television history.

Who had the first late night show? ›

The first late-night television talk show was The Faye Emerson Show, hosted by actress Faye Emerson. It began airing on CBS on October 24, 1949, in local East Coast markets before the network moved the 15-minute show, which regularly aired up to 11pm, nationwide in March 1950.

Who is the head host on the talk? ›

Sheryl Underwood serves as host of THE TALK, CBS' Daytime Emmy Award-winning talk show.

Is Graham Norton show scripted? ›

The show is really now about storytelling.

Essentially what you are trying to do with the guests is to get them to tell stories and to interact together. So we spend most of our time before the show on research, getting a sense of how they are going to work together and interact with Graham.

Why do celebrities go on talk shows? ›

Media exposure is arguably the most obvious reason that someone would appear on a talk show, especially if they're relatively obscure. For some artists and professionals, showing up on national television or radio can elevate their status and get their name out there.

Does Graham Norton have a partner? ›

On 10 July 2022 Norton held a wedding blessing party, with his new husband Jonothan McCleod, at Bantry House in West Cork.

Why do talk show hosts sit behind a desk? ›

The host sits on stage right behind a desk, creating visual separation between him and his humble subjects. English is also read left to right, so our eyes have a tendency to stop on whatever is to the right of a page or screen. This makes it feel more natural to focus on a host who's on the right.

How do you become a daytime talk show host? ›

How to become a TV talk show host
  1. Begin developing skills in high school. Consider developing industry knowledge and experience during high school. ...
  2. Earn a bachelor's degree. ...
  3. Gain professional experience and develop skills. ...
  4. Start locally. ...
  5. Build a network. ...
  6. Choose a specialty. ...
  7. Advance your position.

How many talk show hosts are there? ›

After extensive research and analysis, Zippia's data science team found that: There are over 9,286 talk show hosts currently employed in the United States.

What is the longest running talk show? ›

The world's longest running-chat show is The Tonight Show (NBC, USA), which was first aired on 27 September 1954 and presented by Steve Allen (USA).

Who is the first black talk show host? ›

In 1956, the first black late-night talk show host in history, Arsenio hall was born.

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