Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Top 14 Talk Show Hosts Part II

Today as we present part II of our list of the Top 14 Talk Show Hosts.. it occurs to me that ABC is becoming a very relevant network even though Desperate Housewives has lost a bit off its fastball. Lost and Grey’s Anatomy are getting a lot of water cooler attention… and Monday night I even watched the GA season finale and taped 24!

Who is kookier? The women on GA or the looney tune Karen Golding who was arrested for stalking Union County Democrat big shot John Cryan? Golding says she had dated him for 2 years.. He admits to no physical relationship, yet compares her to the psycho in “Fatal Attraction” Golding got caught red handed entering Cryan’s unlocked car.. and the story made career ruining headlines when Golding called her pal Governor Corzine to post her 5000 dollar bail. To the multi-bazillionaire Corzine… it was a mere bag of shells. But that got Golding in the paper, and a lot of attention. The day after her arrest, her office was raided and computers were confiscated.. and as a result, she lost her job.

And what was she doing in Cryan’s car?? Before you think of something lascivious … Sunday’s Star Ledger reports that the police said she wrote Cryan a letter asking if he needed support since that day happened to be the one year anniversary of his father’s death. Hmmmm… maybe she’s kooky.. but at least she‘s thoughtful. By the way, investigators anonymously told the Ledger that the confiscated computer revealed some sexually charged emails going back and forth between the 2... Yet Cryan says… the 2 were never involved. Hmmmmm

But how does she rank among the Grey’s Anatomy mashuganas? Izzie’s infatuation with her patient and her boneheaded heart stopping idea to stop his heart so he would move to the top spot on the Casey's Top 40 Heart transplant list instead of another patient on Sunday’s Grey’s Anatomy… now that’s a true nut job! All the single women on that show are crazy! And you can throw Dr. McDreamy in with the rest of ‘em for his decision to reconnect with Meredith instead of his much hotter, more mentally stable wife! But after the whole Izzy- Denny storyline reached its stunning climax.. I half expected the cast of South Park to jump out and yell… “Oh my God! They Killed Denny!”

Now back to the list… picking it up at #7!


7. Mike Douglas - Whaddya think, I used to turn off the TV after Match Game in the afternoons as a kid? Heck no.. it was the Dinah Shore Mike Douglas doubleheader in the days before Channel 2 had 5pm newscasts. Mike cracks the list as a nice guy host who knew how to put on an entertaining show every afternoon… with a different co-host every week!

6. Merv Griffin - Not only a great talk show host.. But a great success in many other ways too! He’s actually one of my heroes. Lets see… he created Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy.. And of course Dance Fever.. where Wayne Gretzky met his gambling ring leader wife.. So if it wasn’t for Merv… Gretzky’s name wouldn’t have been dragged through the mud! Merv’s show was great… every night on Channel 5 and he had all the great stars too! And all he had to do was sit there and say Oooooooo! He is also an incredible businessman selling one of his casinos to Donald Trump for a huge profit! Way to go Merv! He just released a dvd with clips from his show.. And he looks exactly the same as he did when I was a kid. He just appeared Thursday Night as a guest on #3‘s show!

5. Oprah - Have you noticed people don’t name their children after her? Oprah is Oprah.. She gets the big stars.. She lets that no talent buffoon Tom Cruise play on her couch.. (Did you see Tuesday’s Law and Order SVU.. They really showed what a true moron Cruise has turned into!) Oprah even handles the regular every day topics including a gastroentologist who did a fascinating show last year about a topic that apparently isn’t a regular every day occurrence for some.. I feel bad for those people… Is there anywhere else to read the comics each morning? And what’s the deal with the character in For Better or For Worse who cheated on her husband? These are the freaking comics! I don’t want to see infidelity there! Even Andy Capp’s wife stays loyal.. Although I’m sure Mr. Wilson has some serious fantasies about Dennis the Menace‘s mom! Oprah has been the Queen of Daytime for close to 20 years now.. But what is the deal with this Steadman fella?

4. Donahue - His innovative show handed Oprah her career and her billions… and was the king of his format until The Protege unseated The Mentor. Since he paved the way.. He ranks higher than Ms. Winfrey… He could talk about any variety of topics.. And he kept a stranglehold on the format till Oprah came along. He even survived a bizarre live show where audience members as a hoax fainted on live TV.. Nonetheless, Phil held his own as the audience members kept dropping like zombies, He made a comeback in 2002 on MSNBC, but the show didn’t last long. It also premiered the same day I started dating Trophy Wife! Check out this clip from a Donahue episode from the early 90s.. Look at the guy sitting in the audience with the tie. Hmmm.. He looks very very familiar.. Click play to see the clip!




3. Larry King - He is the linchpin to CNN’s prime time lineup. Some feel he has slipped a bit.. And sometimes he is not as sharp as usual.. But his show is THE best show on CNN and he is THE best host on any of the all news networks.. (With Wolf Blitzer a close 2nd). There is always something interesting going on with Larry… and he doesn’t allow himself to get overly swept up by these crazy Holloway and Duke Lacrosse topics like some of the other hosts do. His exclusives are pretty good.. Especially recent episodes involving Tammy Faye Bakker and Deep Throat Mark Felt… He just had David Blaine last Wed. night even though I still don’t know why he is popular. Trophy Wife called a pal during 24 last week and the friend couldn’t talk because she was watching …. David Blaine! Huh? Anyway, Larry is THE Man.

2. Letterman - While we are in legends territory.. He is my generation’s Johnny… even though he will never quite achieve what Johnny had. He has been on in Late Night for 24 years now.. And even though I don’t watch him as much as I used to… every time I see him.. I see a host who gives 100% and doesn’t sell out his sharp wit to get ratings. Its his show.. His shtick.. His pencil through the window.. And that’s the way it is. (Why does that woman always call him Mr. Carney?) Even though he was bitterly disappointed that he was stabbed in the back by Leno for the Tonight Show.. he has turned Late Night on CBS from a dead zone of boring crime shows into a major money maker. He also revitalized the whole block in NYC where the Ed Sullivan Theater is located.. Even though the growing popularity of the area made rent too costly for Sirajul and Mujibur! Truly a legend….. But always will be #2.

1. Johnny - He was the best.. Babe Ruth, Michael Jordan, and Wayne Gretzky all rolled into one! Johnny dominated the talk show field for all the years he was on. I don’t know why he got so upset that Joan Rivers got her own show.. But the intensely private Johnny kept most of his thoughts and opinions to himself. But for the time he held court on The Tonight Show… he was the King of Late Night television, and I don’t see how anybody will ever dethrone him from his mantle….


And there you have it.. My Top 14. Check out the article from MSN. They listed the top 12.. But unlike them, we did not include Arsenio and Larry Sanders.. Incidentally The Larry Sanders Show gave 24’s Chloe her first big break! Would Sanders interview David Blaine? Don’t hold your breath!

3 comments:

Ludwig von Pumphoven said...

Merv von Griffin is a composer too! He wrote that unforgettable Jeopardy Symphony that always gets stuck in your head when you're trying to think of something... "Doo dooo, doo doooo, doo dooo doooooo...." I betcha no doubt it's surpassed "Da-da-da DUMMM!" among the all-time most-recognizable musical themes in history....

Anonymous said...

Nate, I have to hand it to you. You are one of the most funniest people I know. Your South Park comment of “Oh my God! They Killed Denny!” was so funny. Celeste

Nate said...

Actually Celeste, I thought of that line on Sunday when I saw that Izzy was about to cut the wire.. and I thought.. "Gosh I hope they kill Denny off so I can use that joke!". Then once they knocked him off, it was just a matter of getting that Donahue clip edited and posted online so I could use the joke before somebody else thought of it!

By the way, I'm happy the actress who plays Izzy now has a movie career to fall back on... and leave it to Alex, the shallowest character to have the kindest, most profound line of the show in that macabre scene where he confronted Izzy in bed with the dead guy!

Glad you got a chuckle out of it!