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I am from Serbia, and never really got to watch talk shows live, so I got introduced to many of those by watching mostly Norm Macdonald being guest in some of the shows (love the guy, he is my favorite comedian) and when a YT pops up a celebrity guest as a suggested clip.

I watched TONS of talk shows, in past year.

I can say that some guys that are currently most popular are no where near as fun as some other guys, hear me out:

I first started watching old Letterman, and he has set the bar high. Letterman, I will actually quote Norm on this (paraphrased):

"He is super smart, smarter than any other talk show host. But he doesnt show off, as no one likes smarter people. He is able to make it so that everyone is in on the joke, audience, studio, viewers, and the guest is the joke - and you as a guest need to figure that out"

Next were the most popular guys: Jimmy Kimmel, Conan, Fallon

Kimmel is a dude that somehow seems most well supported (best guests, finances), but is not a creative and is kinda of dull, never takes the spotlight from the guest, and I actually love to see back-and-forth banter from a good talk show host

Fallon is not my cup of tea, dude makes it look like every single line is pre-written and forced somehow, god forbid he does improv

Conan is great. With such a great confidence, he is the guy that manages to make it interesting by throwing well-timed bones at a guest, he is quick, and creative. I love the guy. Episodes with Norm are the only ones where you see Conan flip-out instead of controling the situation and that makes him even more likable. My god, that episode with Norm and Courtney Thorne-Smith, that is late night show Gold

There are others, Like Jay Leno who I dont like, cause he gets off kinda of cocky and self-centered, Colbert who appears to be too smart for his own good, really, he is like a super educated Mensa dude that you need high education and high general knowledge to even understand. I watched even some clips from Dick Cavett, and Johnny Carson (not that much thrilled to put them at the top)

Only recently, I bumped into Craig Ferguson - and by my own opinion, this dude is a Talk show host God.

Never have I seen a show host, that is able to be on the same page with every single guest, some of them being really hard to control, like Norm, Robin Williams, or Goldblum. He is perfect with women, making them feel special and a bit embarrassed at the same time. He is super smart, pulling out supreme comedy one-liners in seconds, and being borderline PC all the time (sometimes he crosses it but it's a problem of modern society, that PC is destroying comedy, not his own fault)

I stopped watching my own fix of tv shows that I enjoy daily, watching Ferguson instead. Was extremely bummed when I heard he is not hosting anymore, so I would like for someone to ELI5 why is that (wiki is too much confusing on the topic)

Thanks for hearing me out, wanted to share this with someone, thank god for reddit :)

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A subreddit dedicated to the genre of Late-night talk shows. Post anything related to Fallon, O'Brien, Kimmel, Meyers, Corden, Carson, Letterman, et al.

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Craig Ferguson
Craig Ferguson
Conan O'Brien
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