Some people love late night talk shows, some fall asleep to them. All agree, however, that there’s a growing pool of talk host talent vying for our attention.
Old shows take on new hosts while old hosts return with new shows. We certainly did receive a lot of hubbub with Colbert joining the “Late Night,” or Fallon leaving the “Late Show” for the “The Tonight Show,” or Trevor Noah helming “The Daily Show.”
The above transitions are only the most recent, as talk show fans know well. Conan O’Brien and Jay Leno both left their long running talk shows, The Tonight Show and Late Night, in the not too distant past. If talk shows are going to continue to shake up their talent is anyone’s guess. No matter if their hosts last 1 year or 20, however, our top talk shows are worth the watch.
1. The Daily Show
“The Daily Show” makes a name for itself as a showcase of up and coming talent. Numerous contributors have move on to their own shows or larger productions, with John Oliver, Stephen Colbert, and Olivia Munn being some of the most prominent. Trevor Noah himself is a spring chicken compared to most of his cast and crew, and seeing how the show evolves should be interesting.
2. Late Night with Stephen Colbert
In one way or another, Stephen Colbert has been on TV since the mid 90’s. There is one caveat, though: he was always playing roles. As the new host of “Late Night,” Colbert quite literally sheds his alter egos to present as himself. Funny and still packing a critical punch, Colbert’s skill as an interviewer is now all the more evident. If he will continue the Late Night legacy of a sole host spanning decades is anyone’s guess, but he seems in his own element for the time being.
3. Last Week Tonight with John Oliver
While not garnering the same numbers as main networks, John Oliver’s HBO talk show does offer some mean wit. Oliver also sheds his former “Daily Show” alter ego, but where Colbert at last reins-in his partisanship Oliver blasts it. Not for everybody, Oliver’s smarminess can wear thin towards the end of certain episodes. No one, however, can fault him for his wry comic style and on-camera delivery.
4. The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon
The host of “Late Night” before ascending to “The Tonight Show,” Jimmy Fallon takes his sense of verve, and music, to NBC. While dodging the more political elements that made a superstar out of Colbert, Fallon certainly lampoons the general public in a revealing manner. Zany interviews and silly musical numbers characterize his best episodes.
Conan is still alive on his namesake “Conan.” The talk show host enjoys more creative freedom than ever before. Relying in large part on his older source material, Conan still elicits laughs even if his style has changed little since the 90’s. What might not exactly be fresh still offers plenty of nostalgia for longtime viewers, and Conan artfully elicits laughs at the least expected moments.