My 10 All-Time Favorite TV Talk-Show Hosts

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1.
Johnny Carson
Johnny Carson, the legendary "King of Late Night TV" who dominated the medium's nether hours for three decades, was born in Corning, Iowa, but moved with his family to nearby Norfolk, Nebraska when he was eight years old. It was in Norfolk, where he lived until he was inducted into the US Navy in 1943...
 
2.
Dick Cavett
Yale-educated Dick Cavett established his reputation as the most erudite of American talk show hosts in the late 1960s and early '70s. Although there were many contenders who took on Johnny Carson, the undisputed heavyweight champion of late-night TV, Cavett generally was considered the most successful of the pretenders to Carson's throne...
 
3.
Conan O'Brien
Conan O'Brien grew up in a large, Irish Catholic family in Massachusetts. At an early age, he began a love of comedy and goofing off, this carried on when he entered the prestigious Harvard University, acting out many pranks in his time, as well as become the president of the Harvard humor magazine...
 
4.
David Letterman
Television would never be the same after David Letterman made his second attempt at a television show in 1982. But his career before becoming host of the show was quite an interesting and long one. Letterman was born in Broad Ripple, a neighborhood in Indianapolis. His childhood was relatively unremarkable...
 
8.
Jon Stewart
Producer, The Daily Show
Jon Stewart was born Jonathan Stuart Leibowitz in New York City, New York, to Marian (Laskin), a teacher, and Donald Leibowitz, a physics professor. His family is Ashkenazi Jewish (from Austria, Ukraine, Poland, and Belarus). Stewart moved to Lawrenceville, New Jersey during his childhood. He graduated from the College Of William And Mary in Williamsburg...
 
9.
Stephen Colbert
Stephen Tyrone Colbert (pronounced "col-BEAR") was born on May 13, 1964 in Washington, D.C., and grew up in Charleston, South Carolina. He is the son of Lorna Elizabeth (Tuck) and James William Colbert, Jr., a doctor and medical school dean at Yale, Saint Louis University, and MUSC. He is the youngest of eleven children, and is of Irish Catholic background...
 
10.
Bill Maher
Bill Maher was born William Maher in New York City, New York, and grew up in River Vale, New Jersey. His father, William Aloysius Maher, Jr., who was of Irish descent, was a radio announcer and news editor. His mother, Julie (Berman), was a nurse, who was from a Jewish family. Maher was raised in his father's Catholic faith...