Popular Talk Show Hosts

Whether on TV or radio, talk show hosts can be the center of some of the most popular programming on air. Sometimes the talk show centers on the opinion of the host alone, while others feature guests in an interview-style format. The first televised talk show appeared in 1951 and was hosted by radio personality Joe Franklin. Since then, several talk show hosts have also achieved celebrity status.

Steve Allen
Steve Allen hosted a popular radio show in the 1950s makinge the leap to the NBC network in 1954. Allen pioneered many of the features that appear on modern nighttime talk shows, including celebrity guests, man-on-the-street interviews, comedy sketches and interaction with the audience. He hosted The Tonight Show from 1954 to 1957 before moving on to do more television, writing and acting.

Johnny Carson
Certainly the king of the late-night talk shows is Johnny Carson, with an impressive 30-year career at The Tonight Show (1962 to 1992). His comedic genius and likeable personality made The Tonight Show one of the most popular talk shows of all time.

Larry King
From his years as a young journalist to the internationally recognized host of the Larry King Live show, King has interviewed famous and infamous people for nearly 50 years. His no-nonsense interview style and access to world-famous leaders, celebrities and scientists have earned him many broadcasting honors.

Rush Limbaugh
The conservative views of Limbaugh have dominated the radio waves since 1988. His show is the highest rated talk show in the country, consisting of Limbaugh's takes on current events, political happening and interaction with callers.

Edward R. Murrow
A giant in the broadcast journalism world, Murrow created and hosted several political talk shows over his extensive career, including Hear It Now (1950-1951), See It Now (1952-1958) and Small World (1958-1960).

Oprah Winfrey
As host of the longest running daytime talk show ever (since 1986), Winfrey manages to influence popular culture with her show. As a blend of celebrity interviews, self-improvement segments and feature stories, Winfrey has earned a devoted following of women of all ages and races.

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