The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

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CSUN students pick nightly talk show favorites

Associated Press

Talk-Show Hosts Statistics Pie Chart

Graphic by Ashley Horton /The Sundial
Graphic by Ashley Horton /The Sundial

Late-night talk show hosts have been providing television viewers with their nightly entertainment for decades and there’s more late-night comedy than ever before.

With the wide array of viewing options we see today, the competition is steep in the world of late-night talks shows.

A late-night personality has to stand out from the crowd to compete for the highest ratings. A new generation of hosts are capturing a younger audience by making their shows more memorable and exciting to watch.

Veterans of the late-night talk show circuit, such as Jay Leno and David Letterman, established strong fan followings over the years. These talk-show legends have big reputations to live up to, and high expectations have been placed upon the rookies in the game, such as Stephen Colbert and Jimmy Fallon.

We asked 50 students at CSUN which late-night talk show host was their number one choice when it came to getting their nightly dose of humor. We rounded it down to the top five hosts of 2016, which included: Conan O’Brien, Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Fallon, Jimmy Kimmel and Trevor Noah.

The results concluded that 32 percent of CSUN students favored Jimmy Kimmel, 26 percent favored Jimmy Fallon, 20 percent favored Conan O’Brien, 14 percent favored Stephen Colbert, and eight percent favored Trevor Noah. It came very close to being a three-way tie between Conan O’Brian, Jimmy Fallon and Jimmy Kimmel, but the overall winner was Jimmy Kimmel.

“I’ve always been a fan of Jimmy Kimmel,” history major Eric Levi said. “He always makes me laugh and that’s what I’m looking for in a talk-show host.”

Political comedian Colbert was no newcomer to late-night television. His show, “The Colbert Report,” on Comedy Central reported the news in a satirical way. The announcement came that Colbert would be taking over for Letterman in hosting CBS’s “The Late Show,” exciting news for many of his fans. “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert,” offers audiences the traditional late-night talk show, but is more politically focused with a few humorous and controversial jokes thrown in for good measure.

“I enjoy Stephen Colbert’s satirical style of comedy,” political science major Colin Brooks said. “When he switched from ‘The Colbert Report’ to his new show I began watching him there, since I already knew I liked him as a talk-show host.”

Former SNL star and “Late Show” host, Jimmy Fallon, took over for Leno in hosting NBC’s “The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon.” Recently, Fallon won the 2016 People’s Choice award for favorite late-night talk show host. Fallon puts a modern twist on the conventional late-night talk show. Rather than a typical sit-down interview, he often gets them involved in hilarious games such as lip sync battles.

Jimmy Kimmel hosts ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” and has become well known for his originality and comedic antics. Some of Kimmel’s better known segments include “Mean Tweets,” which involves celebrities reading offensive tweets people have sent to them. This segment is a fan favorite, proving that celebrities can laugh at themselves, too.

Funny-man Conan O’Brian hosts TBS’s “Conan,” and is no newbie to the American talk-show scene. After previously hosting NBC’s “Late Night,” and “The Tonight Show,” Conan found the right place for his particular brand of humor. Conan’s humor is uniquely his own and he often improvises his material on the spot. This is shown through his outrageous sketches, such as his casual drive around town accompanied by Kevin Hart and Ice Cube.

“Conan O’Brien’s humor never gets old,” English major Veronica Platt said. “He’s my ultimate favorite and he has been for years now so I think I will always be a fan of his.”

Trevor Noah took over as host on Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show,” after Jon Stewart announced his departure. Noah already made a few appearances on the show but is a newcomer to hosting his own talk-show. Stewart supported the South African comedian in becoming his replacement. With the introduction of Noah came a new voice and manner to the show’s satirical delivery of global news stories.

CSUN students said that “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” was a popular choice because of his numerous sketches being shared via social media. They believed his laid-back attitude and often prankster mentality that made him the perfect source of entertainment they needed when winding down after a long day on campus.

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