Previous   Next

Who is your favorite late-night talk show host of all time?

Asked at Massachusetts Street on June 24, 2009

Browse the archives

Photo of Colton York

“Johnny Carson. He’s hilarious and I love his little bits with animals.”

Photo of Eric Hedinger

“David Letterman. He’s funny.”

Photo of Bailey Knowlton

“Jay Leno because he is funny, he’s hilarious.”

Photo of Mindy Jenks

“Chelsea Handler. She has a late night show on E! Entertainment called ‘Chelsea Lately.’ She’s the funniest person, hands down, I’ve ever heard.”


Maddy Griffin 8 years, 11 months ago

Johnny carson was my favorite until he retired. Now it's Letterman. Love it when he does Palin jokes.

BigPrune 8 years, 11 months ago

Arsenio Hall, Pat Sajak, Craig Kilborn, Chevy Chase...the list goes on and on.

gphawk89 8 years, 11 months ago

Gotta agree with Carson being the king. I lost interest in late-night after he retired. Letterman doesn't even come close.

ruette 8 years, 11 months ago

Steve Allen. No question. A true wit.

beawolf 8 years, 11 months ago

The best:

  1. Jack Parr. Intellectual comedy at its best.
  2. Johnny
  3. Early Letterman (NBC days)

There isn't anyone who interests me now. They should have had Jon Stewart replace Conan (or even Leno) instead of Ferguson.

BMI 8 years, 11 months ago

Put Ferguson on first and then Letterman. Leno never was genuinely funny, just a cheesy ham reading lines and Conan is the unlikeable kid everyone would move away during the summer in school. Johnny was great, but that was old tv, old America.

Kyle Neuer 8 years, 11 months ago

Jack Parr Carson Dick Cavett Tom Snyder

Ronda Miller 8 years, 11 months ago

Obviously Letterman...sexist pig that he is... ;) Well, he gives me the most to write about...and rant about....

Crossfire 8 years, 11 months ago

Dick Cavett...

“I went to a Chinese-German restaurant. The food is great, but an hour later you're hungry for power."

Held his own for a few years up against the great Carson.

Jim Williamson 8 years, 11 months ago

The Scotsman is the most entertaining thing on late night right now. Leno's too conventional and, as a result, not funny. Dave's grown up. More's the pity. And Conan works hard, but he just falls short with me.

Steve Allen was such a pioneer. If it weren't for him, Letterman would still be doing weather back in Ft. Wayne.

Tom McCune 8 years, 11 months ago

Jack Paar. That was back when the Tonight Show occasionally had serious and thoughtful guests, instead of just vapid starlets hyping their latest B-movie. Of course, he might have also had Dagmar on once or twice, if I remember correctly.

Tom McCune 8 years, 11 months ago

Fernwood 2Night was pretty good also, as noted by prospector. Weird but good.

On a good night, Barth Gimble (Martin Mull) and sidekick/announcer Jerry Hubbard (Fred Willard), achieved levels of weirdness Johnny Carson and Ed McMahon only dreamed of. Except for the interview with Ms. Arnold Palmer, of course.

Tom McCune 8 years, 11 months ago

Wait! Wait! What ever are we thinking?

"You Bet Your Life" with Groucho Marx.

Maybe it wasn't technically "late-night", and it was sort of a game show instead of a pure talk show, but it was on late enough for what passed for adult content (on occasion) in the 1950s.

Rich Noever 8 years, 11 months ago

For Farfle, You are wrong about Happy Kyne's father. Look it up before posting.

Rich Noever 8 years, 11 months ago

Correction: Farfle You are wrong about Weird Al's father. It was Nick Yankovic.

jumpin_catfish 8 years, 11 months ago

Mindy and Bailey are correct because they are cute.

Richard Heckler 8 years, 11 months ago

Jack Paar came to mind quickly

Kolbert is good as well

Jon Stewart I'll give a toast

Bill Moyers

Charlie Rose

ilikestuff 8 years, 11 months ago

Carson was awesome, one of a kind.

I used to like Letterman but over the past few years he's gotten much more bitter and political.

Leno is great b/c he's hilarious and keeps it fun. I miss his late show.

tangential_reasoners_anonymous 8 years, 11 months ago

Shari Lewis

( I still catch glimpses of the unicorn, now and again. )

Tom McCune 8 years, 11 months ago

OMG, Marion. Joe Pyne! I had totally forgotten about him.

Who was the other guy who came along just a little later tried to out-nasty Joe Pyne?

Menazort 8 years, 11 months ago

Dick Cavett.

He was a pretentious little twit who often tried too hard to ingratiate himself to his guest (sometimes painful to watch) but he had a good format and interesting guests.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.