10 Best Talk Shows of All Time Rated

TV talk shows bring to like live music, fast talking, heartbreaking stories and so much more.

Ellen, Oprah and James Corden did not make the list but are notable and deserve a mention but whilst It may not seem like it, but the talk show genre can be delightfully versatile. These are TV shows centered on spontaneous conversation on certain topics, leaving a lot of room for the people behind the series to experiment with the format and make it as fresh and fun as possible.

Over the years, viewers have been treated to multiple great talk shows that are simply impossible to not tune into. From the magic of Graham Norton’s cozy red couch to the hilarity of Conan O’Brien’s charisma, there is always something irresistible about these shows, as proved by their outstanding ratings on IMDb.

10) Pushing the Barriers of the Format — ‘Conan’ (2010-2021)

After a short-lived tenure surrounded by controversy in The Tonight Show, Conan O’Brien got his own show in 2010, produced by his own TV production firm.

Conan gained a loyal fanbase during his time on Late Night, and that audience did nothing but grow throughout the 11 years that Conan aired. Viewers on IMDb, who have given the show a rating of 8.2, love the way that O’Brien never stuck to the traditional talk show formula, instead offering a variety of segments showcasing his talent as a comedian. Many think that the end of this brilliant talk show should have been a bigger deal.

9) A Groudbreaking Streaming Talk Show — ‘Patriot Act With Hasan Minhaj’ (2018-2020)

This thoroughly entertaining Netflix original introduced the first-ever Indian American host of a weekly talk show: Hasan Minhaj, whose capacity to be thoughtful and hilarious at the same time is without equal.

Minhaj brings his unique perspective to all kinds of issues in the boldest and most fun ways, offering fascinating insights that are always educational but rarely preachy. It has an excellent 8.3 score on IMDb, showing how devastated fans were when it was tragically cancelled after only two years.

8) One of the Most Influential Late-Night Comedies — ‘The Daily Show’ (1996-)

The longest-running show on Comedy Central, 24-time Emmy winner The Daily Show has been satirizing and commenting on current issues since the late ’90s. It has gone through three fantastic hosts: Craig Kilborn, Jon Stewart, and Trevor Noah—who recently announced his departure from the program.

Using irony and brilliant self-referential humor, and having passed from focusing on pop culture to favoring political and news satire, The Daily Show has been delighting audiences with its unique style for decades, with an 8.3 IMDb score to vouch for that.

7) Pure Absurdity Invades the Genre — ‘The Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson’ (2005-2015)

Craig Ferguson’s tenure in The Late Late Show was the third installment in franchise, and many say that it’s by far the best. An unapologetic satire of the late night show concept, it pairs Ferguson with a gay skeleton robot and a horse that’s claimed to be real.

The mere premise of the show is hilarious in and of itself, but paired with Ferguson’s charm and the way he genuinely makes it feel like he and his guests are having a blast, it becomes one of the most entertaining talk shows to ever air, as proved by its score of 8.4 on IMDb.

6) One of the Best American Satire Shows — ‘The Colbert Report’ (2005-2014)

A spin-off of The Daily Show, The Colbert Report was a news satire late night talk show, where Stephen Colbert played a fictional anchorman of the same name who has good intentions but is poorly informed beyond measure.

Fans on IMDb, who have given the series a score of 8.4, have called it the best satire show that the U.S. has ever produced. Colbert maintains his persona admirably well, and with the way the show pokes fun at conservative talk shows and the incredibly pop culture impact that it had, it’s no wonder that the series is so widely beloved.

5) The Most Hilariously Antagonistic Talk Show Host — ‘Between Two Ferns With Zach Galifianakis’ (2008-)

Between Two Ferns, a highly successful and highly acclaimed web series, is a satirical talk show where host Zach Galifianakis and his guests trade insults and passive-agressive behavior.

It should come as no surprise that the series has an excellent score of 8.4 on IMDb, seeing how hilarious and intelligently crafted it is. It is “more of a charming critique of the faked intimacy of celebrity interviews than a talk show,” and there is honestly no better way to put its brilliance into words.

4) An Intimate Talk Show Without Equal — ‘The Graham Norton Show’ (2007-)

Perhaps unarguably the BBC’s most successful talk show, The Graham Norton show has no equal. Popular for its spontaneous humor and Graham Norton’s flamboyant hosting style, it’s a talk show that brings numerous guests together on a big red sofa and gets fun, often laugh-out-loud funny conversations going.

There’s no talk show like this one. There’s booze, sarcastic banter, audience interaction, and a number of celebrities bouncing off each other for a little under an hour, which has earned the series a score of 8.4 on IMDb.

3) A Cinema Masterclass As Much As It Is a Talk Show — ‘Inside the Actors Studio’ (1994-)

Inside the Actors Studio is a slow-paced, practically educational talk show where actors, directors, and screenwriters are brought in to talk about their craft and their philosophy.

Having interviewed an outstandingly vast range of celebrities, from Amy Adams to Renée Zellweger, the show is an obligatory one for fans of the moviemaking process. IMDb users have lauded it with a score of 8.6, praising the fascinating format and the unique interviewing style of host James Lipton.

2) Surrealism Brought to Talk Shows — ‘The Eric Andre Show’ (2012-)

Saying that this Adult Swim parody of low-budget talk shows (one of the network’s best shows) is fresh and creative would be an understatement. With Eric André hosting and Hannibal Buress co-hosting, the series employs surrealism, dark comedy, and all sorts of segments to charm audiences.

The Eric Andre Show has a much-deserved score of 8.6 on IMDb, where reviewers are delighted by the bafflingly bizarre surrealism and the meta commentary on the very format of talk shows.

1) Comedy First and Comedy Second… Or Is It? — ‘Last Week Tonight With John Oliver’ (2014-)

Starting out as very similar to The Daily Show, Last Week Tonight With John Oliver gradually evolved into what it is now: Very much its own thing, a thoughtful and impartial but constantly amusing news satire and late night talk show.

John Oliver himself has said that the show is purely comedy and not really journalism, but IMDb users (who have given the show an astonishing score of 8.9) think that it’s not such a simple program. Instead, they have shown their appreciation for the fair way in which Oliver touches on news topics, the creative and funny style, and the thought-provoking aftertaste that every episode brings along with it.

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Holli Greaves
Meet Holly, our versatile freelance journalist and featuers writer who has a passion for dissecting the ever-evolving landscape of business and technology. Your guide to understanding the forces driving our digital age with insightful perspectives and in-depth storytelling.

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