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Top 10 Daytime Talk Show Hosts

VO: Rebecca Brayton
One of the best things about staying home from school or work has to be the chance to watch your favorite talk show. Join WatchMojo.com as we count down the top 10 daytime talk show hosts. For this list, we’re taking aim at those people who hold the mics on some of our favorite daytime talk-shows. These are the most talented, more unique and most influential hosts to ever grace the medium. Special thanks to our users Mattyhull1, lukeedwardsimmons, camzu, Roni Pintchuk, hurjelert, Allison Kraus, Donnell Rojas and Shawnigsberg for submitting the idea through our Suggest Tool at WatchMojo.comSuggest
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Written by Tiffany Ezuma

Top 10 Daytime Talk Show Hosts


One of the best things about staying home from school or work has to be the chance to watch your favorite talk show. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’re counting down the top 10 daytime talk show hosts.

For this list, we’re taking aim at those people who hold the mics on some of our favorite daytime talk-shows. These are the most talented, more unique and most influential hosts to ever grace the medium.

#10: Maury Povich
“Maury” (1991-)

Known for his role in helping women find their baby daddies, Maury often doesn’t get the credit he deserves. He started as a news reporter and sportscaster, before joining the arena of tabloid talk shows and becoming known for catchphrases like “You are not the father!” or “You are the father!” as well as his penchant for blue sweaters. But let’s pay tribute to the man! Over the course of over 20-seasons, he’s helped countless teens get scared straight, given makeovers, and helped people come to terms with shocking sex secrets.

#9: Ricki Lake
“Ricki Lake” (1993-2004) / “The Ricki Lake Show” (2012-13)

Before her talk show, Ricki was better known as an actress thanks to her role in John Waters’ “Hairspray.” But her career really took off with her daytime debut in 1993. Unlike other talk shows, hers was aimed at Generation-X, a younger, hipper crowd of teens and young adults. And her show sure ran the gamut, with topics ranging from LGBT issues to interracial relationships to uncovering family secrets. She re-booted the show in 2012 after 8-years off the air but it wasn’t the same and lasted only one-season.

#8: Phil McGraw
“Dr. Phil” (2002-)

He started as Oprah’s recurring psychology expert, but producers could see that audiences loved his brand. Clinical psychologist Dr. Phil made his mark as the man you turn to for emotional support, counseling and folksy axioms aplenty. Unlike his contemporaries Maury and Jerry, his guests don’t physically fight each other; but they do often breakdown emotionally. And, he’s not the kinda host that’ll leave his guests to fend for themselves after he helps them; he’s known for bringing families back for multiple appearances, attempting to fix their problems on-air.

#7: Barbara Walters
“Today” (1966-76) / “The View” (1997-2014)

With a career that spans over fifty years, it’s safe to say Barbara’s a living legend. She first hit the daytime airwaves as a “Today Girl,” and moved up to the “Today” show’s anchor desk after a few years. Walters then gained a reputation as a hard-hitting journalist, mainly on primetime TV; but in 1997 she created “The View.” In her time as one of the popular daytime talk show’s co-hosts, she’s the fun side to her personality. Her spot at the table will be hard to fill.

#6: Sally Jessy Raphael
“Sally” (1983-2002)

Known for her oversized red glasses and sage advice, Sally Jesse was one of the first women to host her own national talk show. And hers was the “shock”-style of journalism, with topics like drag queens, out-of-control teens, and obscure religions filling the hours. The hostess herself was known for her in-your-face personality, trying to incite spur-of-the-moment reactions from guests with outrageous statements. After winning an Emmy for “Outstanding Talk Show” in 1989, “Sally” was eventually cancelled due to low ratings and the genre’s decline; but her legacy lives on.

#5: Phil Donahue
“The Phil Donahue Show” (1967-96)

Donahue hosted one of the most groundbreaking shows on our list – with nine Emmy Awards to show for it. As the first host to encourage audience participation, he tackled issues from the fun and frivolous to the more serious. As the first “shock journalist,” Donahue gets credit for opening the door to people like Oprah Winfrey and Sally Jessy Raphael with his progressive treatment of taboo topics. His show ran for almost 30-years, and holds the honor of being the longest continuous running syndicated talk show in the U.S.

#4: Jerry Springer
“The Jerry Springer Show” (1991-)

Say what you will about his guests; but you can’t deny that Jerry is a savvy businessman. As the former mayor of Cincinnati, Springer’s was originally a political talk show. But because of low ratings and threats of cancellation, Jerry pivoted to aim his show at a younger demo, transforming it into a home for controversial topics, chair throwing and fistfights. Some suspect his show is fake; but either way Jerry seems to be the voice of reason for his rowdy guests. There’s a reason we all chant, “Jerry, Jerry, Jerry!”

#3: Ellen DeGeneres
“The Ellen DeGeneres Show” (2003-)

Name one person who doesn’t love Ellen – see, you can’t; it’s virtually impossible. She’s America’s Sweetheart for her blend of humor, wit, and killer dance moves. After starting off as a standup comedian, then moving to sitcoms, Ellen took her throne as today’s queen of daytime. Her love of social media has made her show’s segments some of the most shared pictures and videos on sites like Twitter. And her charm has led her to win Emmys, People’s Choice Awards, and the hearts of viewers everywhere.

#2: Regis Philbin
“A.M. Los Angeles” (1975-81) / “The Morning Show” (1983-88) / “Live! with Regis…” (1988-2011)

Known for his larger-than-life persona, Bronx accent and as “the hardest working man in show business,” Regis was the guy everyone wanted delivering their morning news and celebrity interviews. His banter and relationships with co-hosts Kathie Lee Gifford and Kelly Ripa balanced out the show, giving it its unique conversational tone. On his own, Regis has hosted numerous other shows, and he even holds the Guinness World Record for most hours on camera. But it’s his decades as host of “Live!” that are the most fondly remembered.

Before we unveil our number one pick, here are a few honorable mentions:
- Rosie O’Donnell “The Rosie O’Donnell Show” (1996-2002)
- Montel Williams “The Montel Williams Show” (1991-2008)
- Cristina Saralegui “The Cristina Show” (1989-2010)
- Rachael Ray “Rachael Ray” (2006-)
- Mehmet Oz “The Dr. Oz Show” (2009-)

#1: Oprah Winfrey
“A.M. Chicago” (1984-86) / “The Oprah Winfrey Show” (1986-2011)

Oprah is hands-down the queen of daytime TV. Known for her intelligence, warmth, charity, and no-nonsense personality, Oprah was widely popular with the average woman and countless celebrities. At a time when other talk shows turned to tabloid sensationalism, she stood fast and instead focused on uplifting topics, confessional TV, audience giveaways, spirituality and her book club. However, her reach goes far beyond the TV screen, as she’s known in some circles as the world’s most influential woman, due to her persona and billion-dollar empire.

Do you agree with our list? Which daytime talk show hosts do you watch? For more sensational Top 10s published daily, be sure to subscribe to WatchMojo.com.
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