14 Late Night TV Hosts Ranked by Popularity (Photos)

Stephen Colbert's followers revere him, while Arsenio Hall is in the doghouse. How late night TV hosts rank according to Positive Q Scores among adults

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Stephen Colbert, "The Colbert Report" 18+ Q Score: 20,18-34 Q Score: 25
  • Duane Weaver

    It is time for Letterman to go. He is by far the most expensive of the bunch with a Q score near the bottom.

    • Nick Martin

      The reason he's the most expensive is his show brings in the most revenue. He's starting to sink because of his age but for years he had a higher Q score than Leno despite having lower ratings. Letterman ranked higher than Leno in the annual Harris Poll of Nation's Favorite TV Personality 12 times! Leno only out ranked Letterman 3 times.

      • HLain

        Which all just shows how ignorant the average American is. Letterman should have never made it out of Indianapolis, he was under-qualified for anything but late night B-movie intermission comedy.

        • Nick Martin

          No, what you wrote just shows how ignorant you are.

  • Puddin'tane

    Pretty well agree….my fav is Jay Leno and I cannot tolerate Arsenio… sorry

    • Barbara Rainford

      you do no have look some of us do I tolerate Jay Leno I did not watch him

      • HLain

        Want to try that again, in English?

      • scott

        how is that ” whole language” bit working for you?

    • ColoMom

      I agree with you. I'll bet that a lot of you here don't remember the first time Arsenio had a late night show. He said he was going to ” kick Leno's ass”. Well he didn't & was soon gone. Nothing was seen of him for sometime. Then Jay being the great guy he is started bringing Arsenio on his program. If Arsenio appreciated it I never saw him say so. Arsenio continues to be a big headed jerk & will likely go down in flames again, he didn't learn from the first time.

      • kizzy

        Arsenio was not soon gone. His show lasted a minute or two. Don't be hating on him. His show is about as good as the rest of them. My two favorite are David Letterman and Jimmy Kimmel.

      • Nick Martin

        Please do research before you comment. Arsenio was hugely popular and was the first real competition to Carson in over 25 years. Arsenio was beating Leno in the ratings demo until Leno and his manager started a campaign of blacklisting guests if they did Arsenio and Dennis Miller. But what really killed Arsenio's show is when Letterman moved to CBS. Arsenio was carried on mostly CBS channels so he lost all of those CBS channels to Letterman. Hall stayed away from doing a nightly talk show to raise his son.

        • Timothy Yancy

          @@@The real reason Arsenio was canceled was the Powers the
          Be (Jew Media Moguls) told him not to interview Minister Louis Farrakhan of the
          Nation of Islam and he went against their orders. The Jews and Muslims are
          natural enemies like cats and dogs. The Jews were the investors and sponsors
          behind the show and they pulled the plug. Why wasn't this in the
          media/news? Guess who owns the media,
          Jews. The show was cancelled after that
          and he was blacklisted from show business. He and Eddie Murphy have the same
          agent, they did movies together and are best friends and you think he would not
          want to get another job? Why couldn't he?
          He was at the top of his game, popularity at the time, his brand was big and he
          had millions of followers. His plug was yanked to “Put him in his place”. This
          time they gave him a “Break” but keep him on a leash!@@@

          • sangsue

            You antisemitic piece of KKK garbage. Go burn a cross on someone's lawn and be sure not to trip on your white sheet. Then get back down on your knees to show your appreciation to your god Ted Cruz.

          • HLain

            I agreed with you up to the point about Ted Cruz. When you said that you made yourself look as stupid as Timmy Yancey.

          • Rachel Pancake Corrie

            Yes its true what Yancy says and if he doesnt like it, he can Drop Dead

  • potter19

    Kimmel should be higher; he's a real pro

  • linda christensen

    My favorite was Leno and also like Craig Ferguson

  • Hollywood Hal

    Arsenio was a waste of airtime then and he still is…

    • Chuck Jones

      Ouch, well that was a bit unfair don'tcha think?—what a meany you are…..

    • Lane

      I just love that Arsenio Hall guy, love Kimmell and Letterman also. No interest in the rest.

      • Ron L

        None are funny they are narrow minded and insulting creeps, I like Craig Ferguson after the meathead Letterman unfunny host. I don't hate those listed I think they are to liberal and closed minded pot headed moron's.

    • http://yahoo.com/ Crazy2lolo

      I'm with you Hollywood Hal… I watch Aresnio once, everyone was Black… In his band all Blacks.. Now that the Blacks has there own late night show, I hope they stop crying…..

      • KH

        Exactly right. Glad Im not the only one that noticed.

      • Destiny

        Do you somehow not see how ignorant and racist that was?

        • http://yahoo.com/ Crazy2lolo

          To Destiny
          With a name “Destiny” You must be Black.. How many times on Entreatment News Some B- Actress Demand more “Blacks” should be in TV and Movies?? Crying about their “RIGHTS”.. Blacks only talk's about their rights. Not understanding that they look like a Chimpanzee, Monkey or a APE.. Don't get me wrong I love to own an Monkey… Tell me why Arsenio Hall Don't have 1 white in his Band?? Maybe an Asian?? Even an Mexican?? So where is the “RIGHTS”????

    • Ron L

      I don't see how he has managed to stay on the air, he is wacko

  • skulldruggery

    funny how the only black man on the air at night with a show crackers cant stand lol

    • Barbara Rainford

      Thank you some of them have a problems with successful African American

      • Chuck Jones

        Not surprising that # 1 on their enemy's list is the current POTUS and CIC, Barack Obama; they (RW Cons) hate him more than they hate AL Qaeda notwithstanding that this president took out AL Qaeda's leader, OBL and other top terrorists of that organization….. Go figure!!!

        • HLain

          I couldn't care less that Obama is black. I don't like him because of his extreme left-leaning liberal politics. I don't know why blacks think he's so great. He hasn't done anything to help you either. I'm all for a black President. My ideal ticket would be Allen West/Condoleeza Rice but blacks call them “uncle Toms” and won't support them. So who is it really that has problems with successful Black Americans? (They are NOT African Americans, they did not come from Africa.) Condi Rice has more talent and a better education then Hilary will ever have but who will ignorant Americans, black and white elect? We all know the answer.

          • Chaz Jones

            Fyi, Hillary Clinton earned her Jurist Prudence Law Degree from Yale Law School and the two ladies (Hillary and Condi) are equally intelligent and shouldn't be compared as they each have similar, but not same experiences. As for Allen West, the man is a misguided, out of control ignorant bu*ff/0on who isn't fit to be dog catcher as far as I'm concerned. He got booted out of the Army b/c he conducted himself in a manner unbecoming of a military officer and I'm glad he is no longer a member of the US Congress representing FL, or any other state; he's unqualified and lacks the intelligence and the level headedness required to represent his constituents. Success is a relative term; T. Cruz is successful at being a total jerk! …..GOBAMA, best POTUS we've had in a long, long time!

      • deezer twelve washingbeard

        No, he is awful. Network TV could go out on a limb and give more African Amercans a chance to host a show. Arsenio isn't the victim of racism, he's just bad at his job.

    • squiggs

      I'm black and he drives me crazy. I can't watch his show.

      • patti

        me too. I could watch Chris Rock, any others but Arsenio is just not that forward and has too soft of an approach. Watched his Prince interview…OMG! talk about living in the past. Princes moustache looked grey and could the man speak up a bit. Neither Arsenio or Prince made a damn bit of sense or humor.

        • Lane

          I didn't know Chris Rock interviewed guests. Where can I find this.

    • http://batman-news.com gerald harris

      Sorry skull he is horrible this time around and beleive me i am no cracker

      • Lane

        Who uses the word cracker in 2014; it sounds so silly. Stop it already. Oh! do they still do that in the south. Sorry.

    • HLain

      I'm white and live in Florida so I guess I'm cracker. Before that I lived in Indiana and that made me a Hoosier. I still don't know what either one means. Sorry but Arsenio is boring, not quite as boring as Letterman but still boring. Replace Arsenio with Dave Chappelle though and I'm there!

  • K Le Blanc

    Kimmel is an ass wipe, hell never heard of most of them, can't believe Arsenio had the courage to try again, other than Leno most like Colbert and especially Jon “stewie” Stewart are left wing pusses

    • Jackass Hunter

      Cute. Insult late night comedians, who are there to lighten your mood, cheer you up, add some positives to your day, based on your ignorant political beliefs.

      • Nick Martin

        How is Leno not left wing? Just because he's made a few weak jokes against Obama? John “stewie” Stewart takes down right wingers nightly. Hardly a pussy.

      • Clay

        I heard it takes one to know one?!

    • Justin

      God damn, cons suck so much ass.

    • http://batman-news.com gerald harris

      Kimmel is an asswipe never thought he was funny, my main man Stewbeef gut punches cons and teabaggers and other morons in general, while left leaning he will let you have if your shit is stupid. it is the only TV show that i watch on a regular basis

    • sangsue

      And you're just a right wing inbred mutant pussy.

    • Ron L

      Good Points can't disagree, I like Craig Ferguson Show it comes on after meat head letterman.

  • JC

    Who participated in this bs? Some are cancelled and I never heard of some; questionable report.

  • fr8train

    Arsenio gives great interviews…he's not overly funny but he is a good host. He seems more passionate than funny. If he doesnt make it as a host maybe his calling is as a jounalist for like 20/20 or 60 mins. Both of those need a refresher in staff.

  • BigJackGoff

    OK ARSENIO: Now you know why NBC left YOU off the list !!!!!

  • JimC

    Not too sure who did this survey, but it looks wrong…never heard of some of them: Colbert is a numbnut as is Stewart !

  • ganges

    Its only my opinion, but for wit and delivery, nobody comes close to David Letterman..And for the most unfunny late night host ever, Jay Leno, hands down.

    • Morrison Thompson

      how do you explain why he is so successful doing standup to packed houses? He and Ferguson are the only ones who are successful as stand up comics as well. Seth Myers sure ranked high for someone who just started.

      • ganges

        I don't explain anything other than what my comment said.. It was my opinion, regarding my own tastes.

        • Morrison Thompson

          usually when someone says, hands down, they usually have something to back it up. since it is only your opinion, that should have been left out.

          • ganges

            Hands down is my opinion… Why is that difficult for you? I believe also (my opinion) that you are just trolling for an argument, so this is my last comment.

          • ColoMom

            Promise that this is your last comment??? That would be nice.

      • ColoMom

        You are right about Jay. He is great at stand up. Hope he will come here. Nothing much was said about how low Letterman ranked. No surprise to me. I still remember when Cher told him he was an ‘asshole’ on his program . It bought the house down & no one disagreed.

        • Nick Martin

          Letterman was the hottest host in Late Night when this happened and it only helped his cred. It wasn't a negative thing.

    • HLain

      Letterman is about as witty as terminal colon cancer.

  • Clay Campbell

    David Letterman is a liberal a hole

    • Bag the Baggers

      And you're just a silly little Contard.

    • Nick Martin

      Hmmm, and you know this how??? Letterman has never revealed his political persuasion. But I bet you are a big Leno fan and think he's a conservative, right? Well, Leno has revealed his political leanings in an in-depth interview a few years ago and he said he was liberal and had never voted for a republican or conservative.

      • ColoMom

        ‘Letterman has never revealed his political persuasions.'…….. really . You just have to watch him for 5 minutes & it reveals itself. Unlike Leno he is not nice to people of all persuasions. I don't watch late night for politics I watch it for laughs. And now that Jay is gone I only watch Jon Stewart. How Colbert is number 1 is beyond me. He is right down there with Arsenio. Colbert is down right mean, I don't like that from anyone.

        • Nick Martin

          You do realize Colbert is playing a character?

          Well, then you obviously haven't watched Letterman much. Letterman was pretty much apolitical on Late Night on NBC. He rarely did any political humor ever. Once he moved to CBS he started doing more but unlike Leno he usually doesn't do jokes about political policy. His jokes mostly center on politicians doing stupid things like Clinton being fat and eating McDonalds and being a horn dog and the whole sex scandal. With G.W. Bush it was all about him misspeaking and doing goofy, dumb things. With Obama, he may be a bad President (depending on which side you're on) but he really isn't funny. He rarely misspeaks or trips or does dumb things.

          • ColoMom

            Obama rarely misspeaks or does dumb things!!!!! Ha!! You must be living under a rock. 58 states!!! pronouncing Corpsmen as Corpsemen. Ha! But that is not the issue here.

          • Nick Martin

            And when Obama does things like that Letterman has a joke about it. The problem is Obama doesn't do it much. Letterman does do jokes about Obama very often, he just doesn't hammer him the way he did Clinton and Bush because Obama just isn't that funny. Nobody ever said Letterman was a liberal shill when Clinton was president! Its kind of like Jimmy Carter. If you go back and look at Carson's monologues in the late 70's, he didn't do a lot of Jimmy Carter jokes but he did a ton of Billy Carter (Jimmy's idiot brother) jokes. Carter may have been a bad president but he wasn't that funny.

            This whole concept of Letterman being a liberal was spawned from the Sarah Palin daughter joke he told that got Palin and the rest of the right wingers panties in a bunch. Ironically, Leno told an almost identical joke about Palin's daughter being knocked up by Senator John Edwards and Palin and the rest of the right didn't say a thing about it.

    • ganges

      David Letterman will take down liberals just as fast as any body else he lampoons… Besides, we are talking about comedy. What the hell do politics have to do with it?

  • Jerry O'Brien

    I don't have a problem with any success Arsenio finds, I just don't get him, he”s not funny or interesting to me, and apparently lots of other people, he stank at it 15 years ago and he is no different now. He is ranked right where he belongs.

  • InterNick

    How are people pulling the race card here? Arsenio is the least liked across the board, including black people. Is it racist against white people that people said negative things about Letterman. Of course not. People like you are the main reason that racism still exists. Its brought up more by pathetic, pity searching people such as yourselves than anyone else. Knock that chip off of your shoulder and quit using BS excuses as a crutch and I bet you will find a lot more success in your life.

  • byr5253

    Lets break this down. You have a show on T.V. People watch your show. Advertisers pay money to advertise during the time slot. IF YOUR SHOW DOESNT HAVE VIEWERS THE NETWORKS CAN'T SELL ADVERTISING AND YOU GET CANCELLED. David letterman is supposedly at the bottom of the list. If he wasnt popular and didn't have a lot of viewers he would have been canceled years ago. If Jay leno was higher on the list then why was he replaced? You can spin the story how ever you want but the Neilson ratings are the only thing that matter. This list is a joke!

  • Ron R

    They should replace Letterman with Jay Leno. Their ratings would go up big time. Leno beat Letterman out for the tonight show a long time ago & after many years we can see why. Letterman the stiff, nasty, unfunny, boring, left wing political hack, should have retired a long time ago. His constant, non stop, nasty attacks of republicans, destroyed what little he had of a poor, mediocre, boring show. Letterman never came anywhere near Johnny Carson.

    • Jackass Hunter

      Cute story. Though it's questionable why you obviously watched Letterman enough to know so much about him. Easy to tell you're a con based on the poor though process and unprovoked resort to personal attacks.

    • ganges

      In all of the Letterman watching you have done, you have never seen him lambaste liberals? He goes wherever there is a joke and nobody or nothing is sacred, just the way it should be….Truly, I don't think you have watched him at all..

    • Romeo Blue

      I would love to see that…NBC would lose its mind

    • Nick Martin

      Yeah, the way he nastily attacked all those republicans was so terrible. Just like the way he attacked Ted Kennedy, Bill Clinton, Hilary Clinton, Nancy Pelosi, Al Gore, Jessie Jackson, etc,. etc. I just hate when someone who is biased makes equal fun of both sides. It's just so terrible when a liberal, left wing hack's biggest targets in the last 20 years have been Bill Clinton and Ted Kennedy and how he did hardly any jokes about Reagan and Bush Sr. in the 80's.

  • Michael Myers

    I can't stand David Letterman, but Jon Stewart is a ass and should be rated -5, Jimmy Kimmell is arrogant and self absorbed. Jimmy Fallon should be rated a bit higher and the rest are rated pretty accurately.

    • Daniel Aldana

      Fallon sucks. He tries too hard to be liked to the point that he does impressions that he then admits are not that good.

  • patti

    Fallon has this. Best late night running.

  • threeseven

    arsenio hall has the best late nite show I don't care what your SO CALLED RATINGS ARE!

    • Rob Singer

      the best

  • deezer twelve washingbeard

    Stephen Colbert is right where he belongs. That cat is funny.

    • K.V.

      You can say that again! He is the BEST! <3 <3 <3

  • fred1452

    There is a “halo” effect around those the media like and so much of the public is influence by the media. Conan is horrible and a jerk, but the media love him. Jay's show was far better than Letterman's, but the media just didn't like him. Fallon's show is only OK but he is a horrible interviewer. I just don't understand some people's tastes.

  • K.V.

    I didn't even realize Arsenio Hall had a show anymore. I thought he went off the air in the early 1990's.

  • Black man

    Every time a black dude sucks at his job, and is criticized , it's automatically racism, or jealousy from the ” cracker” ..meanwhile nothing is said when the black man is praised. the denial is comical.

  • Black man

    Arsenic sucks! Plain and simple..

  • KB

    The only black late night show is rated low #whatsnew?

  • Nick Martin

    Q ratings mean very little. Chevy Chase had higher Q ratings than Leno or Letterman when he started failed FOX talk show in 1993.

  • luke

    Arsenio gives an outlet for people of color where most late night talk shows have Caucasians. Let's be honest, it's a fact. Including musical guests.

  • barto

    Letterman is not funny nor very bright but he is silly and is absolutely the ugliest man on TV. Who watches this idiot?

  • forester

    I could definitely live without all these hacks. Leno, Kimmel, Arsenio too. Ferguson is the best thing on TV! Still would watch Letterman too!

  • Timothy Yancy

    @@@The real reason Arsenio was canceled was the Powers the
    Be (Jew Media Moguls) told him not to interview Minister Louis Farrakhan of the
    Nation of Islam and he went against their orders. The Jews and Muslims are
    natural enemies like cats and dogs. The Jews were the investors and sponsors
    behind the show and they pulled the plug. Why wasn’t this in the
    media/news? Guess who owns the media,
    Jews. The show was cancelled after that
    and he was blacklisted from show business. He and Eddie Murphy have the same
    agent, they did movies together and are best friends and you think he would not
    want to get another job? Why couldn’t he?
    He was at the top of his game, popularity at the time, his brand was big and he
    had millions of followers. His plug was yanked to “Put him in his place”. This
    time they gave him a “Break” but keep him on a leash!@@@

    • sangsue

      So Jews run everything asshole? Then, as a Jew, I command you to jump off a cliff. Fucker.

  • Wayne Lunkwitz

    Letterman belongs in a rest home somewhere in a private room so no one has to listen to him mumble endlessly about his heart problems , and what he believes to be “popularity”.

  • http://yahoo.com/ Crazy2lolo

    Blacks cry about “There is only Whites in Movies and TV…. But in Movies and TV, Whites has Blacks as co-stars.. On Arsenio it's all Blacks…. WHY?????

  • Kit

    I'm a huge fan of Stephen Colbert! Stephen! Stephen! Stephen!

  • legbreaker

    Why did Arsenio cross the road? Because he got his dick stuck in the king of all of chicken fuckers ass ( Obama ) when they finished their weekly NAMBLA meeting.
    (North American Man Boy Love Association).

  • Ron L

    Craig Ferguson is number one toil lions yet you leave him out of the list. AH'S

  • K Dubb

    Arsenio Hall #1…
    Screw the haters!

  • John “E.G.” Marshall

    Greg Gutfeld–the best!

  • TMZ

    Arsenio, Ferguson, Leno, Handler and Conan are the best ones. Of course Johnny, but Johnny is gone. I don't watch the current NBC guys.

  • ScaryChicken

    CraigyFerg! Robot Skeleton Army! Unite!

  • eddie

    CBS should really shake up things and hire Steve Harvey who host a daytime show , to take Dave's place. The ratings would go sky high, pass it on.

  • George Tarantino

    What the actual fuck! Seth,Jon,Stephen,Conan and BOTH Jimmys HAVE SHOWS!! Chelsea is not funny,seing Jays name made me throw up and Arsenio Hall is..well,Arsenio. The only obvious chose really is Craig Ferguson!!

  • Bob Parr

    Craig Ferguson is very good. He would have the lowest budget but still delivers.