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Top 5 television hosts in history

It’s National TV Host day today, a holiday created to celebrate famous television host Johnny Carson’s birthday. To celebrate this holiday, a ranking list has been made to look back on some of the most popular talk show hosts in history. So without further ado, here are the top five television hosts in history.

5. Jimmy Fallon

The first one on the list is Jimmy Fallon, as he has a mixed reputation among many viewers. Fallon is the current host of "The Tonight Show.” He began his career as the host in 2014. Despite the popularity of the show, audiences criticize him for having a fake laugh and being overly chipper about any topic. Fallon has the reputation for laughing even when his guest isn’t telling a joke. However, some people may view this excitement as charming, which can help lighten up a stiff audience. 

Here is a video where Fallon laughs incredibly hard at guests’ comments, often laughing the hardest out of everybody in the room.

4. Jimmy Kimmel

Next up is Jimmy Kimmel. Kimmel is the host of "Jimmy Kimmel Live!” and has been doing it since 2003. It’s currently the longest-running talk show on the ABC channel. Kimmel has become a household name because of his long-spanning career as a talk show host. He’s the Jimmy viewers can go to if they tire of Fallon’s routine, as his approach to hosting is similar. The difference is that he laughs less and has a more mellow tone compared to Fallon.

Viewers can see the similarities and differences between both Jimmys in this video with guest Sarah Silverman. There are a lot of laughs to be had throughout the runtime.

3. Johnny Carson

Third on the list is Johnny Carson, who has an extensive history with talk shows. Carson was the host of *“The Tonight Show” from the years 1962 to 1992. He had won numerous awards during his time on the air because of his service in the navy as well as being a quick-witted television host. Carson is a legendary talk show host for having extensive conversations with his guests all while keeping a casual tone throughout his interviews. He even mentored the next person on this list.

For an insight into how Carson spoke and used humor, here is a video from Aug. 24, 1964. It shows off this casual speaking tone he used throughout his career.

2. David Letterman

David Letterman is what talk show hosts aspire to be. He has hosted over a total of 6,080 talk shows between *“Late Night” and “Late Show.” Letterman started his career in 1980 when he became the host of “Late Night.” Letterman’s unique sense of humor allowed him to resonate with audiences. He’s had a strong influence on how modern talk shows operate by indirectly inspiring other hosts to take after him. Letterman is still active today and is currently hosting “My Next Guest Needs No Introduction with David Letterman.”

Listed below is when he interviewed English actor and comedian John Cleese. The air date for this episode was July 6, 1988.

1. Conan O’Brien

Conan O’Brien is well-known for being the host of “Conan,” which ran from 2010 to 2021. He has a unique way of communicating with his guests, often being sarcastic toward the person he’s interviewing. Letterman inspired O’Brien to take up this sense of humor, which worked with great success. O’Brien keeps his content fresh by being unpredictable in what he’s going to say next, as it could simply be a follow-up question or a clever joke. 

This video where O’Brien interviewed “Parks and Recreation” star Aubrey Plaza, talking about how to survive a zombie apocalypse. 


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