by Brandy D. Anderson
Talk shows have been a TV staple since the beginning ever since Joe Franklin broadcast the first one in 1951. The Tonight Show, the longest running talk show, first began in 1954 and is still going strong today. Although all of the hosts below got their start in comedy, these four comedians are all pretty different. One uses her down-to-Earth charm to connect with people, another uses his quirky Brit wit to dazzle everyone, one uses his youthful charisma to engage viewers, and another capitalizes on his snarky fanboy personality to draw them in. Whatever your comedy taste, you’re sure to enjoy at least a few of these shows, and their YouTube channels are perfect places to catch their best segments as well as any guests you may have missed.
About: “For 13 incredible, eventful and sometimes life-changing seasons, Ellen has been making audiences laugh all over the world with her signature brand of humor and her powerful message of kindness. There’s nobody better at making you laugh and brightening your day. You never know what funny can do!”
Ellen DeGeneres is one of those celebrities who I think pretty much everybody loves. She’s personable, entertaining, and you never really hear her say a bad word about anybody… which is quite a feat considering how long she’s been in the public eye. Like the majority of talk show hosts DeGeneres began as a stand-up comedian, then she moved on to star in her own 90s’ sitcom, before she landed her current hosting gig.
DeGeneres has an impressive array of guests on her show, including rappers, state officials, presidential nominees, actors, directors, and a whole lot of non-celebrity kids who do cute impressions or tricks. One of her recent high-profile guests is Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton. DeGeneres also has a way of getting even her most high-browed her guests to participate in funny and silly games, like when she convinced Clinton to play a game of “Who’d You Rather” (for ridiculous Vice Presidential picks). Another game she has many guests play is the classic “Never Have I Ever”, a game where you have to truthfully reveal ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to a series of often embarrassing personal questions. Some of the celebrities who have played this game with Ellen are Madonna, Justin Bieber, Jared Leto, George Clooney, Rihanna, and Drake. Some of her other guests include Nathan Fillion, Lauren Graham, Adam Levine, and One Direction. Her YouTube channel has a ton of play lists including “Guest Interviews, “Adorable Kids”, “Comedy”, Musical Performances”, “Ellen and Shutterfly Celebrate Inspiring People”, “Ellen’s Favorites”, “Monologues”, “Hot Hands”, “What’s In the Box”, and many more.
About: “Watch The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon Weeknights 11:35/10:35c. The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon features hilarious highlights from the show including: comedy sketches, music parodies, celebrity interviews, ridiculous games, and, of course, Jimmy’s Thank You Notes and hashtags! You’ll also find behind the scenes videos and other great web exclusives.”
Jimmy Fallon got his first taste of fame when he was cast as part of the ensemble of Saturday Night Live. Rapidly becoming one of the public’s favourites, he broke out with starring roles of his own before landing the coveted job of talk show host. After spending five years hosting Late Night With Jimmy Fallon, he won the highly competitive bid to become the next host of The Tonight Show.
Jimmy Fallon is famous for his amiable personality and also for his youthful enthusiasm when it comes to entertainment. One great example of this can be seen in his quest to interview all of the cast members of Saved by the Bell and he even managed to round-up most of them to reprise their roles in a very funny reunion skit on his show. He also likes to convince his guests to participate in funny games like the Bow and Arrow Duel he had with Nathan Fillion (with both of them encased inside separate giant plastic boxlike armour), or the game of Beer Musical Chairs that he coaxed Katie Holmes into playing (Holmes is a really good sport, by the way). Another Fallon favourite is to perform song covers, and when possible, to get his non-band guests to sing with him. The best non-professional musical performer I’ve seen on the show is Daniel Radcliffe and his awesome performance of Blackalicious’ “Alphabetic Aerobics”. Fallon’s YouTube play lists include “Beer Hockey”, “Drinko On Fallon”, “2016 Election”, “Flip Cup, “Star Wars on The Tonight Show”, “Trending Today”, and “TV Parodies” (in addition to his SBTB reunion he also managed to get the Full House guys in a hilarious skit).
About: “Breaking news on a weekly basis. Sundays at 11PM – only on HBO. Subscribe to the Last Week Tonight channel for the latest videos from John Oliver and the LWT team.”
This funny Brit has been on the comedy scene for a while but a lot of American audiences first met him as Greendale’s lovable, sleazy psychology professor on Community. His popularity has only grown since he took the helm of HBO’s Last Week Tonight With John Oliver. Reminiscent of Jon Stewart and his The Daily Show, Last Week Tonight takes on politics and the plights of the everyman as he adds biting humour to the brutal truth.
One of Oliver’s greatest trademarks are his impassioned fifteen to twenty minute rants about various political and economic issues. One of his most recent episodes deals with debt buyers, and after a twenty minute rant about the deplorable amount of debt faced by most Americans, Oliver amazingly buys out fifteen million dollars of debt and forgives it all. Some of his other rants include “Primaries and Caucuses” , “Scientific Studies”, “Cicadas”, “Credit Reports”, “Congressional Fundraising”, “Donald Trump” aka Drumph, and “A Border Wall”. Another hilarious segment features the ins and outs of the Canadian process of electing the next Prime Minister, and he highlights some of the more bizarre aspects of Canadian electorial law. He also has “Web Exclusive” videos only available on his YouTube channel, like the one entitled “Conspiracies” and another called “How Is This Not a Thing?” Sports is another topic he often covers, but he particularly likes to discuss soccer – or football as most of the world knows it – and he spent quite a bit of time to covering FIFA and the World Cup last year. Oliver is a great advocate for the everyman and his revealing reports and self-deprecating humour help to endear him to his audience.
About: “The official Jimmy Kimmel Live! YouTube Channel. Home of Celebrities Read Mean Tweets, YouTube Challenges and the rest of your favorite viral late night videos.”
You may remember Jimmy Kimmel years ago from Comedy Central’s The Man Show or Win Ben Stein’s Money. Now he can be seen hosting his own quirky talk show, Jimmy Kimmel Live. Whether he’s hatching plans to get the cast of LOST on his show or reading mean tweets, Kimmel’s playful style is hard to turn away from. He also has a way of getting his guests to participate in hilarious skits, my favourite is probably “Staring Contest” with LOST star Matthew Fox or “Handsome Men’s Club” with Sting, Rob Lowe, Josh Hartnett, Patrick Dempsey, Gilles Marini, John Krasinski,Ted Danson, Matthew Mcconaughey, and Ethan Hawke.
Kimmel’s YouTube play list is diverse with titles ranging from “Jimmy Kimmel Announces Vice Presidential Candidacy”, “Oscars 2016”, “Kimmel vs Damon”, “NBA”, “Wall of America”, “Jimmy’s Scandal Dreams”, and “Science Bob”. Just as diverse are his guests, and they include Don Cheadle, Will Arnett, Snoop Dogg, Lebron James, Josh Abbott Band, Megan Fox, and Thomas Middleditch. Kimmel’s sidekick, Guillermo, always provides some hilarious shenanigans, often in funny little asides during Kimmel’s skits, and Kimmel sure isn’t afraid to do ridiculous stints for comedy. Case in point, his shower scene with Matthew Fox in “Staring Contest” where they’re pitted against each other because of an argument over which of them is more “Handsome”, at least according to the off-screen Starbucks barista. Another great example of Kimmel’s silly skits is found in “The Kimmel School of Perfect Acting” where Hollywood heavy weights like Benedict Cumberbatch, Sean Penn, Harvey Weinstein, Mila Kunis, Jeff Bridges, Susan Sarandon, and Kristen Bell all relate how Kimmel is the greatest, and toughest, acting coach out there.