Late-night talk show

Late-night talk shows often feature guest interviews. Barack Obama (left) is seen here being interviewed by David Letterman (right).
The cast of Tonight Starring Jack Paar in 1960
Tomorrow (host Tom Snyder at right, interviewing John Lennon) followed a low-key interview format.
Panoramic view of a typical late night talk show set featuring band, front stage and audience seat area. Pictured CONAN at Stage 16 at Warner Bros. Studios, Burbank.

Genre of talk show popular in the United States, where the format originated.

- Late-night talk show

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House band

Group of musicians, often centrally organized by a band leader, who regularly play at an establishment.

American jazz composer, lyricist, and pianist Eubie Blake made an early contribution to the genre's etymology

House bands remain a late-night talk show fixture, with many of them also serving as straight men for the host's jokes, musically introducing guests, playing in and out of commercials, composing original pieces of music for sketches, and backing up musical guests.

The Tonight Show

The title card for The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, the current incarnation of the show
Bookmark promotion for Allen's late-night show
Jack Paar, 1950s
Jack Paar and U.S. Senator John F. Kennedy in 1959, prior to the 1960 presidential election.
Dick Cavett, Alan King and Johnny Carson
New Year's Eve 1962, with (L-R) Skitch Henderson, Johnny Carson and Ed McMahon.
Woody Allen and Carson, 1964
Jay Leno in 1993
First Lady Laura Bush and Jay Leno
Will Ferrell and Conan O'Brien
O'Brien quickly gained online support during the controversy.
Leno and President Barack Obama on the set of The Tonight Show during a break in taping, October 25, 2011.
Fallon in late 2013, months before inheriting The Tonight Show.
Ernie Kovacs, regular substitute host during the Steve Allen era.
Host Jack Paar, announcer/sidekick Hugh Downs, and bandleader Jose Melis during the Paar era.
Dick Cavett and Jack Paar, 1973
Johnny Carson in 1957
Johnny Carson in 1965
Jay Leno in 1995
Jimmy Fallon in 2007

The Tonight Show is an American late-night talk show that has aired on NBC since 1954.

Talk show

Television programming or radio programming genre structured around the act of spontaneous conversation.

David Letterman interviewing guest Teri Garr on Late Night with David Letterman in 1982.
Oprah Winfrey made the tabloid talk show popular.
Dick Cavett and Jack Paar
Tetsuko Kuroyanagi

Late-night talk shows that focus primarily on topical comedy and variety entertainment. Most traditionally open with a monologue by the host, with jokes relating to current events. Other segments typically include interviews with celebrity guests, recurring comedy sketches, as well as performances by musicians or other stand-up comics.

The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson

Doc Severinsen led the NBC Orchestra beginning in 1967, he held the role until the show's finale
Carson as Carnac the Magnificent, a reoccurring comedic role he introduced in 1964.
Carson's first Tonight Show on New Year's Eve, 1962; shown with Skitch Henderson and Ed McMahon
With Dick Cavett and Alan King
Some memorable moments. Top left: Carson's first show with Groucho, 1962. Top right: Carson practices pitching at Yankee Stadium, 1962. Bottom left: Tiny Tim's wedding, 1969. Bottom right: Carson does a skydiving demonstration, 1968.

The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson was an American late-night talk show hosted by Johnny Carson on NBC, the third iteration of the Tonight Show franchise.

Late night television

One of the dayparts in television broadcast programming.

U.S. TV dayparting; late night television is in shades of green and labelled "Late Fringe" and "Post Late Fringe".

In the United States and Canada, the term is synonymous with the late-night talk show, a type of television comedy talk show and variety show.

Late Night with David Letterman

Actor Jerry Lewis with Letterman on Late Night, 1982
Letterman interviewing Teri Garr in 1982
Letterman at the 1987 Emmy Awards
Jay Leno on Late Night in 1992, shortly before his debut on The Tonight Show.

Late Night with David Letterman is an American late-night talk show hosted by David Letterman on NBC, the first iteration of the Late Night franchise.

Arsenio Hall

American actor, comedian, talk show host, producer and writer.

Hall in July 2012

He hosted the late-night talk show, The Arsenio Hall Show, from 1989 until 1994, and again from 2013 to 2014.

The Arsenio Hall Show

The Arsenio Hall Show is an American syndicated late-night talk show created by and starring comedian Arsenio Hall.

Late Show with David Letterman

Title card used from April 22, 2013 to May 20, 2015, based on the marquee outside of CBS Studio 50 at the time
Late Show with David Letterman logo
Letterman interviewing Michelle Obama in 2012
View from the proscenium of the Ed Sullivan theater
View of the stage with David Letterman's desk and guest seats
View from the balcony

The Late Show with David Letterman is an American late-night talk show hosted by David Letterman on CBS, the first iteration of the Late Show franchise.

The Tonight Show with Jay Leno

Title card used for the second incarnation (2010-2014)
Jay Leno in 1993
Intertitle used from 2002 until the conclusion of Leno's first incarnation in 2009
Logo used from 2010-2014

The Tonight Show with Jay Leno is an American late-night talk show hosted by Jay Leno that first aired from May 25, 1992, to May 29, 2009.