The old school Kings of Late Night are all gone. Once Johnny Carson held the title. Some argued that Jay Leno was the most powerful host in late night for year, others say David Letterman was the most important show to see and be seen on. Unquestionably Jon Stewart built and empire of his own even though he wasn’t on a network. But Carson, Leno, Letterman and Stewart have all left the late night arena, and although Fallon is winning in the ratings, ratings alone does not determine who is in the top seat. Let us know your Late Night go to. Who gets the best guests, has the best monologue, the best format and personality? Vote and tell us who you love most.
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Conan. Conan O’Brien has been doing his 11 pm show on TBS since 2010 with sidekick/announcer Andy Richter. He may not have brought every character over from the NBC days but that has not slowed him down. This year Conan started doing episodes from international locations like Cuba and Armenia and showing a comedic yet informative look into their everyday life.
Late Show with Stephen Colbert. Stephen Colbert took the slot of David Letterman, a man most of today’s late night hosts grew up idolizing. Although he was coming off his extremely successful Comedy Central show he still had to prove he could handle prime time and he had to drop the Stephen Colbert character. Colbert has done a great job so far and is changing up the late night game by bringing more politicians to a genre dominated by celebrities.
Late Late Show with James Corden. There were a lot of changes in late night television this year and it would have been easy for James Corden to go unnoticed but he stepped up in a big way. He went against the typical late night standards of sitting at a desk with one guest and brought more of a British chat show feel by sitting around a coffee table with a few. He also introduced his popular “Carpool Karaoke” segment bringing musicians together in a car, interviewing them and singing along with the radio to show people a different side of their favorite stars.
Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore. This year’s Late Night television shakeups all started with Larry Wilmore in January taking over The Colert Reports time slot. Wilmore was Jon Stewart’s Senior Black Correspondent and had experience within Comedy Central’s Late Night programming. Wilmore decided to not do the same thing his predecessor was doing and brought in the panel format. He also has been bringing in talented young writers and giving them a shot on a grand stage.
Daily Show with Trevor Noah. In some ways Trevor Noah may have had the biggest shoes to fill of all. Jon Stewart was the voice of the news for so many people and made politics something that younger generations actually paid attention to. When Noah was chosen to take over the show he had only made a few Daily Show appearances and was relatively unknown, but was popular in the stand up scene. In his first episode he promised to continue the “War on bullshit” and has thus far proven he is capable of taking the reins of Comedy Centrals flagship show.
Tonight Show Jimmy Fallon. Jimmy Fallon is the King of Late Night at least when it comes to ratings. He brought all that boyish charm from SNL to Late Night and then to what many consider the mecca of Late Night television, The Tonight Show. Fallon’s Lip Sync Battle segment even launched an entire series of it’s own this year and he continues to go viral with many of his celebrity impressions, games and sketches.
Jimmy Kimmel Live. Jimmy Kimmel has always been different from his Late Night competition, starting with the Man Show he was always a little more direct and PG-13 (and sometimes R) than most and has brought that as much as he could to ABC. He is the everyman of the 11:35 time slot. Kimmel likes to mess with people wether it be the studio audience, passerby’s on the street, celebrities kids and their halloween candy. He is the Batman to Fallon’s Superman. He’s also gotten a fair share of Letterman’s former regular guests.
Late Night Seth Meyers. In Meyers first full year on NBC’s beloved Late Night show the former head writer of SNL and Weekend Update Host has kept up his strong start. He started doing what made him more comfortable and what most fans fell in love with him for in the first place which is sitting behind the desk telling the news for his monologue like when he did Weekend Update, and has been a big fan to comedy, particularly toward anyone connected with the Lorne-verse.
Last Week Tonight With John Oliver. The Daily Show has almost become a factory for talented comedians, and leaving the show is not a death sentence, it’s a new beginning. Count John Oliver as one of the Daily Show babies to sprout wings and fly. He is now an established host of Late Night who turned down Colbert’s spot to host his weekly show on HBO where he has more freedom. He takes the time to talk about issues that nobody wants to talk about and makes them both funny and smart. He took a lot of writers from The Daily Show to create a powerhouse of comedy writing.
Real Time With Bill Maher. Bill Maher has been a staple on HBO since 2003. He is brash, cocky, confident and smart. When a guest goes on his show, they know they have to be prepared. He doesn’t do anything similar to his late night competition and isn’t afraid to bring conservatives on his liberal panel.