The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson ruled late night television; for many years he was the "King." Since his retirement in 1992 and subsequent death, late night television has been saturated with shows and hosts all vying for that coveted spot at the top.
As new generations are introduced to late night talk shows, more and more hosts seem to be popping-up. Here is a current list, do you have a favorite?
1. The Tonight Show with Jay Leno: NBC; Monday â€“ Friday 11:35pm
Jay Leno: Born James Douglas Muir Leno, on April 28, 1950, in New Rochelle, New York. He made his first appearance on The Tonight Show in 1977 and took over the duties of host on May 25, 1992. In 2003, Jay Leno announced that he would leave The Tonight Show in 2010. His "final" show aired on May 29, 2009. On September 14, 2009, Jay began hosting a new talk show which aired on NBC from10pm to 11pm, called The Jay Leno Show. On January 7, 2010, NBC announced that Jay would return to The Tonight Show after the Winter Olympics. On March 1, 2010 Jay Leno returned to his hosting job on The Tonight Show.
2. Late Show with David Letterman: CBS; Monday â€“ Friday 11:35pm
David Lettermen: Born David Michael Lettermen, on April 12, 1947, in Indianapolis, Indiana. In 1975 he moved to Los Angeles where he wrote material for popular sitcoms and began appearing on The Tonight Show with Jonny Carson. In 1978, he became a regular guest host, and in 1980, he was offered his own show, the daytime David Letterman Show. The show lasted three months and when it ended, NBC offered him another show. Late Night with David Letterman followed The Tonight Show from 1982 to 1993. In 1993, Letterman moved to CBS to host the Late Show with David Letterman. It was highly speculated his departure from NBC was due to their selection of Jay Leno as host of The Tonight Show.
3. Jimmy Kimmel Live: ABC; Monday â€“ Friday 12:05am
Jimmy Kimmel: Born James Christian Kimmel, on November 13, 1967, in Brooklyn, New York. He was known as "Jimmy the Sports Guy" on The Kevin and Bean radio show. He began his television career in 1997, hosting a game show on Comedy Central called Win Ben Stein's Money. In 1999, he began work for the same network on a show he and his partners produced called The Man Show. In 2002 he and his production company created the show Crank Yankers. On January 26, 2003 he became the host of Jimmy Kimmel Live, on the ABC network.
4. The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson: CBS; Monday - Friday 12:35am
Craig Ferguson: Born on May 17, 1962 in Glasgow, Scotland. He moved to Los
Angeles in 1994, landing a role on an ABC comedy sitcom called Maybe This
Time. In 1996 he began playing a character on The Drew Cary Show, another
ABC sitcom. Craig Ferguson took over as the host of CBS's The Late Late Show
on January 3, 2005. On February 1, 2008, he became an American citizen.
5 Late Night with Jimmy Fallon: NBC; Monday - Friday 12:35am
Jimmy Fallon: Born James Thomas Fallon Jr., on September 19, 1974, in Brooklyn, New York. He began his career doing stand up comedy, impressions and characters. In 1998, he became a regular cast member on Saturday Night Live and co-hosted the popular segment Weekend Update. He left the show to pursue feature films and appeared in several movies. Jimmy Fallon began hosting Late Night on March 2, 2009, taking over for Conan O'Brien.
6. Last Call with Carson Daly: NBC; Monday - Friday 1:35am
Carson Daly: Born Carson Jones Daly, on June 22, 1973, in Santa Monica,
California. He began his career as a DJ for So. California radio station KROQ. He
moved to MTV in 1997, where he began his television career as a VJ on MTV's
TRL.While at MTV, he hosted MTV Live, Total Request Live and Making the Band
(for MTV and ABC). Last Call began airing on January 7, 2002. Carson Daly has
also hosted several specials for NBC including Macy's 4th of July Spectacular and
New Year's Eve with Carson Daily.
7. Lopez Tonight: TBS; Monday â€“ Thursday; 11:00pm
George Lopez: Born George C. Lopez on April 23, 1961 in Mission Hills, California. He began his careen as a stand up comedian and made several movies before staring in his own ABC network television sitcom in 2002, George Lopez. He has starred in many movies and his talk show, Lopez Tonight, premiered on November 9, 2009 on the cable network TBS. In November 2010, Lopez Tonight will move to its new time slot of 12 midnight to make room for a new show hosted by Conan O'Brien.
8. The Wanda Sykes Show: KTTV; Saturday; 11:00pm
Wanda Sykes: Born March 7, 1964, in Portsmouth, Virginia. She began her stand-up career at a Coors Light Super Talent Showcase in Washington, DC. In 1995 she opened for comedian Chris Rock, who hired her in 1997 as a writer and performer on The Chris Rock Show. In 2001, she appeared on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. She also appeared in several television series. Wanda Sykes also did many projects for Comedy Central including Premium Blend, Comedy Central Presents Wanda Sykes, Crank Yankers, Wanda Does It, and Tongue Untied. In 2003, she starred in her own Fox network sitcom, Wanda at Large. In 2006 she began a recurring role on the CBS sitcom The New Adventures of Old Christine. The Wanda Sykes Show premiered November 7, 2009.