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Jon Stewart Joins Roster of Most Influential Late-Night Hosts

Jon Stewart Joins Roster of Most Influential Late-Night Hosts
When Jon Stewart exits “The Daily Show,” he will join a small group of elite hosts who changed the tone and importance of talkshows. Here are a dozen others (in chronological order) whose influence was long-lasting.

Steve Allen

He created the template for late-night talk with “Tonight Starring Steve Allen,” which ran from 1954-57 on NBC. There was a desk, chatter with multiple guests, comedy, and music guests, including Elvis Presley — even though Allen hated rock ‘n’ roll. Allen did man-on-the-street interviews and had a gallery of comic players, including Tom Poston and Don Knotts.

Jack Paar

As more TV sets were sold in the 1950s, more people tuned in for late-night TV. Jack Paar put late-night on the map when he took over “Tonight,” partly because he generated more publicity than anyone else at the time. He wept on the show, he broadcast from the new Berlin Wall, and
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