television talk show is, on the face of it, a rather strange institution.
We pay people to talk for us. Like the soap opera, the talk show
is an invention of twentieth century broadcasting. It takes a very
old form of communication, conversation, and transforms it into
a low cost but highly popular form of information and entertainment
through the institutions, practices and technologies of television.
talk show did not originate over night, at one time, or in one place.
It developed out of forty years of television practice and antecedent
talk traditions from radio, Chatauqua, vaudeville and popular theater.
In defining the talk show it is useful to distinguish between "television
talk" (unscripted presentational address) and "talk shows"--shows
organized principally around talk. "Television talk" represents
all the unscripted forms of conversation and direct address to the
audience that have been present on television from the beginning.
This kind of "live," unscripted talk is one of the basic things
that distinguishes television from film, photography, the record
and book industries. Television talk is almost always anchored or
framed by an announcer or host figure, and may be defined, in Erving
Goffman's terms, as "fresh talk," that is, talk that appears to
be generated word by word and in a spontaneous manner. Though it
is always to a degree spontaneous, television talk is also highly
structured. It takes place in ritualized encounters and what the
viewer sees and hears on the air has been shaped by writers, producers,
stage managers and technical crews and tailored to the talk formulas
though it resembles daily speech, the kind of talk that occurs on
television does not represent unfettered conversation. Different
kinds of television talk occur at different times of the broadcast
day, but much of this talk occurs outside the confines of what audiences
and critics have come to know as the "talk show." Major talk traditions
have developed around news, entertainment, and a variety of social
encounters that have been reframed and adapted for television. For
example, talk is featured on game shows, dating or relationship
shows, simulated legal encounters (People's Court) or shows
that are essentially elaborate versions of practical jokes (Candid
Camera). All of these shows feature talk but are seldom referred
to as "talk shows."
A "talk show," on the other hand, is as a show that is quite clearly
and self-consciously built around its talk. To remain on the air
a talk show must adhere to strict time and money constraints, allowing
time, for instance, for the advertising spots that must appear throughout
the show. The talk show must begin and end within these rigid time
limits and, playing to an audience of millions, be sensitive to
topics that will interest that mass audience. For its business managers
the television talk show is one product among many and they are
usually not amenable to anything that will interfere with profits
and ratings. This kind of show is almost always anchored by a host
or team of hosts.
shows are often identified by the host's name in the title, an indication
of the importance of the host in the history of the television talk
show. Indeed, we might usefully combine the two words and talk about
good example of the importance of the host to the form a talk show
takes would be The Tonight Show. The Tonight Show premiered
on NBC in 1954 with Steve Allen as its first host. While it maintained
a distinctive format and style throughout its first four decades
on the air, The Tonight Show changed significantly with each
successive host. Steve Allen, Ernie Kovacs, Jack Paar, Johnny Carson,
and Jay Leno each took The Tonight Show in a significant
new direction. Each of these hosts imprinted the show with distinctive
personalities and management styles.
many talk shows run for only weeks or months before being taken
off the air, once established, talk shows and talk show hosts tend
to have long runs. The average number of years on television for
the thirty-five major talk show hosts listed at the end of this
essay was eighteen years. Successful talk show hosts like Mike Wallace,
Johnny Carson, and Barbara Walters bridge generations of viewers.
The longevity of these "super stars" increases their impact on the
forms and formats of television talk with which they are associated.
Television talk shows originally emerged out of two central traditions:
news and entertainment. Over time hybrid forms developed that mixed
news, public affairs, and entertainment. These hybrid forms occupy
a middle ground position between news and entertainment, though
their hosts (Phil Donahue, Oprah Winfrey, and Geraldo Rivera, for
example) often got their training in journalism. Approximately a
third of the major talk show hosts listed at the end of the essay
came out of news. The other two thirds came from entertainment (comedy
the journalistic tradition, the names Edward R. Murrow, Mike Wallace,
Ted Koppel and Bill Moyers stand out. News talk hosts like Murrow,
Koppel, and Moyers do not have bands, sidekicks, or a studio audience.
Their roles as talk show hosts are extensions of their roles as
reporters and news commentators. Their shows appear in evening when
more adult and older aged viewers are watching. The morning host
teams that mix "happy talk" and information also generally come
from the news background. This format was pioneered by NBC's Sylvester
"Pat" Weaver and host Dave Garroway with the Today show in
the early 1950s. Hosts who started out on early morning news talk
shows and went on to anchor the evening news or primetime interview
shows include: Walter Cronkite, John Chancellor, Barbara Walters,
Tom Brokaw, and Jane Pauley. Each developed a distinctive style
within the more conversational format of their morning show.
from a journalism background but engaging in a wider arena of cultural
topics were hosts like Phil Donahue, Oprah Winfrey, and Geraldo
Rivera. Mixing news, entertainment, and public affairs, Phil Donahue
established "talk television," an extension of the "hot topic" live
radio call-in shows of the 1960s. Donahue himself ran a radio show
in Dayton, Ohio before premiering his daytime television talk show.
Donahue's Dayton show, later syndicated nationally, featured audience
members talking about the social issues that affected their lives.
the field of entertainment/variety talk, it was the late night talk
show that assumed special importance. Late night talk picked up
steam when it garnered national attention during the talk show "wars"
of the late 1960s and early 1970s. During this time Johnny Carson
defended his ratings throne on the Tonight show against challengers
Joey Bishop, David Frost, Dick Cavett and Merv Griffin. Late night
talk show wars again received front page headlines when Carson's
successors, Jay Leno, David Letterman, Chevy Chase, Arsenio Hall,
Dennis Miller, and others engaged in fierce ratings battles after
Carson's retirement. Within the United States these talk show wars
assumed epic proportions in the press, and the impact that late
night entertainment talk show hosts had over their audiences seemed,
at times, to assume that of political leaders or leaders of state.
In an age in which political theorists had become increasingly pessimistic
about the possibilities of democracy within the public sphere, late
night talk show hosts became sanctioned court jesters who appeared
free to mock and question basic American values and political ideas
through humor. Throughout the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s Johnny Carson's
monologue on the Tonight show was considered a litmus test
of public opinion, a form of commentary on the news. Jay Leno's
and David Letterman's comic commentary continued the tradition.
ratings battle between Leno and Letterman in the early 1990s echoed
the earlier battles between Carson, Dick Cavett, and Griffin. But
it was not just comic ability that was demanded of the late night
hosts. They had to possess a lively, quick-paced interview technique,
a persistent curiosity arising directly from their comic world views,
lively conversational skills, and an ability to listen and elicit
information from a wide range of show business and "civilian" guests.
It was no wonder that a relatively small number of these hosts survived
more than a few years on the air to become stars. Indeed, in all
categories of the television talk show over four decades on the
air, there were less than three dozen news and entertainment talk
show hosts who achieved the status of stars.
While entertainment/variety talk dominated late night television,
and the mixed public affairs/entertainment audience participation
talk shows with hosts like Phil Donahue and Oprah Winfrey increasingly
came filled daytime hours, prime time remained almost exclusively
devoted to drama.
talk show hosts represent a potpourri of styles and approaches,
the number of talk show formats is actually quite limited. For example,
a general interest hard news or public affairs show can be built
around an expert panel (Washington Week in Review), a panel
and news figure (Meet the Press), a magazine format for a
single topic (Nightline), a magazine format that deals with
multiple topics (Sixty Minutes), or a one-on-one host/guest
interview (Bill Moyers' World of Ideas). These are the standard
formats for the discussion of hard news topics. Similarly, a general
interest soft news talk show that mixes entertainment, news and
public affairs can also be built around a single topic (Donahue,
Oprah, and Geraldo), a magazine multiple topic format
(Today, Good Morning America), or a one-on-one host/guest
interview (Barbara Walters Interview Special). There are
also special interest news/information formats that focus on such
subjects as economics (Wall Street Week), sports (Sports
Club), homemaking/fashion (Ern Westmore Show), personal
psychology (Dr. Ruth), home repair (This Old House),
literature (Author Meets the Critic), and cooking (Julia
Entertainment talk shows are represented by a similarly limited
number of formats. By far the most prevalent is the informal celebrity
guest/host talk show, which takes on different characteristics depending
upon what part of the day it is broadcast. The late night entertainment
talk show, with the publicity it received through the "talk show
wars," grew rapidly in popularity among viewers during its first
four decades on the air. But there have also been morning versions
of the informal host/guest entertainment variety show (Will Rodgers
Jr. Show), daytime versions (The Robert Q. Lewis Show),
and special topic versions (American Bandstand). Some entertainment
talk shows have featured comedy through satirical takes on talk
shows (Fernwood Tonight, The Larry Sanders Show), monologues
(The Henry Morgan Show), or comedy dialogue (Dave and
Charley). Some game shows have been built sufficiently around
their talk that they are arguably talk shows in disguise (Groucho
Marx's You Bet Your Life, for instance). There are also a whole
range of shows that are not conventionally known as "talk shows"
but feature "fresh" talk and are built primarily around that talk.
These shows center on social encounters or events adapted to television:
a religious service (Life is Worth Living), an academic seminar
(Seminar), a talent contest (Talent Scouts), a practical
joke (Candid Camera), mating rituals (The Dating Game),
a forensic event (People's Court), or a mixed social event
(House Party). The line between "television talk" and what
formally constitutes a talk show is often not easy to draw and shifts
over time as new forms of television talk emerge.
To Read a Television Talk Show
There are many ways approaches to understanding a television talk
show. It may be viewed as a literary narrative, for instance, or
as a social text. As literary texts, talk shows contain characters,
settings, and even a loosely defined plot structure which re-enacts
itself each evening in the talk rituals that take place in front
of the camera. These narratives center on the host as the central
recurring character who frames and organizes the talk. Literary
analysis of talk shows is relatively rare, but Michael Arlen's essay
on the talk show in The Camera Age, or Kenneth Tynan's profile
of Johnny Carson in The New Yorker, are superb examples of
this approach. Talk shows can also be seen as social texts.
shows are indeed forums in which society tests out and comes to
terms with the topics, issues and themes that define its basic values,
what it means to be a "citizen," a participating member of that
society. The "talk television" shows of Phil Donahue, Oprah Winfrey
become microcosms of society as cutting-edge social and cultural
issues are debated and discussed. By the early 1990s political and
social analysts began to pay increasing attention to these forms
of television and a number of articles were written about them.
new hosts and talk shows often appear in rapid succession, usually
following expansion cycles in the industry, significant changes
in television talk occur more slowly. These changes have traditionally
come about at the hands of a relatively small number of influential
talk show hosts and programmers and have occurred within distinct
periods of television history.
of Talk: The History of the Television Talk Show
The term "talk show" was a relatively late invention, coming into
use in the mid-1960s, but shows based on various forms of spontaneous
talk were a staple of broadcasting from its earliest days. Radio
talk shows of one kind or another made up 24% of all radio programming
from l927 to l956, with general variety talk, audience participation,
human interest, and panel shows comprising as much as 40-60% of
the daytime schedule. Network television from 1949 to 1973 filled
over half its daytime program hours with talk programming, devoting
15 to 20% of its evening schedule to talk shows of one kind or another.
As the networks went into decline, their viewership dropping from
90% to 65% of the audience in the 1980s and early 1990s, talk shows
were one form of programming that continued to expand on the networks
and in syndication. By the summer of 1993 the television page of
USA Today listed seventeen talk shows and local papers as
many as twenty-seven. In all, from 1948 to 1993 over two hundred
talk shows appeared on the air. These shows can be broken down into
four cycles of television talk show history corresponding to four
major periods of television history itself.
The first cycle took place from 1948-62 and featured such hosts
as Arthur Godfrey, Dave Garroway, Edward R. Murrow, Arlene Francis,
and Jack Paar. These hosts had extensive radio experience before
coming to television and they were the founders of television talk.
During this time the talk show's basic forms--coming largely out
of previous radio and stage traditions--took shape.
second cycle covers the period from 1962 to 1972 when the networks
took over from sponsors and advertising agencies as the dominant
forces in talk programming. A small but vigorous syndicated talk
industry grew during this period as well. In the 1960s and early
1970s three figures established themselves on the networks as talk
hosts with staying power: Johnny Carson, Barbara Walters, and Mike
Wallace. Each was associated with a program that became an established
profit center for their network and each used that position to negotiate
the sustained status with the network that propelled them into the
1970s and 1980s as a star of television talk.
third cycle of television talk lasted from 1970 to 1980. During
this decade challenges to network domination arose from a number
of quarters. While the networks themselves were initiating few new
talk shows by 1969, syndicated talk programming exploded. Twenty
new talk shows went on the air in 1969 (up to then the average number
of new shows rarely exceeded five). It was a boom period for television
talk--and the time of the first nationally publicized "talk show
wars." New technologies of production (cheaper television studios
and production costs), new methods of distribution (satellite transmission
and cable), and key regulatory decisions by the FCC made nationally
syndicated talk increasingly profitable and attractive to investors.
Talk show hosts like Phil Donahue took advantage of the situation.
Expanding from 40 markets in 1974 to a national audience of 167
markets in 1979, Donahue became the nation's number one syndicated
talk show host by the late 1970s. Other new talk show hosts entered
the field as well. Bill Moyers' Journal went on the Public
Broadcasting Service (PBS) in 1970, and William Buckley's Firing
Line, which had appeared previously in syndication, went on
PBS a year later. Both Moyers and Buckley, representing liberal
and conservative viewpoints respectively, were to remain significant
figures on public broadcasting for the next two decades. During
this time independent stations and station groups, first run syndication,
cable and VCR's began to weaken the networks' once invincible hold
over national audiences.
fourth cycle of television talk took place in the period from 1980
to 1992, a period that has been commonly referred to as the "post-network"
era. Donahue's success in syndication was emulated by others, most
notably Oprah Winfrey, whose Donahue-style audience participation
show went into national syndication in 1986. Winfrey set a new record
for syndication earnings, grossing over a hundred million dollars
a year from the start of her syndication. She became, financially,
the most successful talk show host on television.
By the early 1980s the networks were vigorously fighting back.
Late Night with David Letterman and Ted Koppel's Nightline
were two network attempts to win back audiences. Both shows
gained steady ratings over time and established Koppel and Letterman
as stars of television talk.
of each of these cycles of television talk preeminent talk show
hosts emerged. Following the careers of these hosts allows us to
we see how talk shows are built from within by strong personalities
and effective production teams, and shaped from without by powerful
economic, technological, and cultural forces.
Regis Philbin and Kathie Lee Gifford
Shifts in Late Night Entertainment: Carson to Letterman
Carson, for thirty years the "King of Late Night," and his successor,
David Letterman, were in many ways alike. Their rise to fame could
be described by the same basic story. A young man from America's
heartland comes to the city, making his way through its absurdities
and frustrations with feckless humor. This exemplary middle American
is "square" and at the same time sophisticated, innocent, though
ironic and irreverent. Straddling the worlds of common sense and
show business, the young man becomes a national jester--and is so
anointed by the press.
"type" Johnny Carson and David Letterman represent can be traced
to earlier archetypes: the "Yankee" character in early American
theater and the "Toby" character of nineteenth century tent repertory.
Carson brought his version of this character to television at the
end of the Eisenhower and beginning of the Kennedy era, poking fun
at American consumerism and politics in the late 1950s and 1960s.
brought his own version of this sharp-eyed American character to
the television screen two decades later at the beginning of the
Reagan era. By this time the "youth" revolts in the 1960s and 1970s
were already on the wane, and Letterman replaced the politics of
confrontation represented by the satire of such shows as Saturday
Night Live and SCTV with a politics of accommodation,
removal, and irony. His ironic stance was increasingly acknowledged
as capturing the "voice" of his generation and, whether as cause
or effect, Letterman became a generational symbol.
The shift from Carson to Letterman represented not only a cultural
change but a new way of looking at television as a medium. Carson's
camera was rooted in the neutral gaze of the proscenium arch tradition;
Letterman's camera roamed wildly and flamboyantly through the studio.
Carson acknowledged the camera with sly asides; Letterman's constant,
neurotic intimacy with the camera, characterized by his habit of
moving right up to the lens and speaking directly into it, represented
a new level of self-consciousness about the medium. He extended
the "self-referentiality" that Carson himself had promoted over
the years on his talk show. Indeed, Letterman represented a movement
from what has been called a transparent form of television
(the viewer taking for granted and looking through the forms
of television: camera, lighting, switching, etc.) to an opaque form
in which the technology and practices of the medium itself become
the focus of the show. Letterman changed late night talk forever
with his post-modern irreverence and mocking play with the forms
of television talk.
Shifts in the Daytime Audience Participation Talk Show: Donahue
When Oprah Winfrey rose to national syndication success in 1986
by challenging Phil Donahue in major markets around the country
and winning ratings victories in many of these markets, she did
not change the format of the audience participation talk show. That
remained essentially as Donahue had established it twenty years
before. What changed was the cultural dynamics of this kind of show
and that in turn was a direct reflection of the person who hosted
The ratings battle that ensued in 1986 was between a black woman
raised by a religious grandmother and strict father within the fold
of a black church in the South against a white, male, liberal, Catholic
Midwesterner who had gone to Notre Dame and been permanently influenced
by the women's movement. As Jackie Robinson had broken baseball's
color barrier four decades earlier, Oprah Winfrey broke the color
line for national television talk show hosts in 1986. She became
one of the great "Horatio Alger" rags-to-riches story of the 1980s
(by the early 1990s People Weekly was proclaiming her "the
richest woman in show business" with an estimated worth of $200
million), and as Arsenio Hall and Bob Costas ended their six and
seven year runs on television in the early 1990s, it became clear
that Oprah Winfrey had staying power. She remained one of the few
prominent talk show hosts of the 1980s to survive within the cluttered
talk show landscape of mid-1990s.
factors contributed to this success. For one thing, Winfrey had
a smart management team and a full-press national marketing campaign
to catapult her into competition with Donahue. The national syndication
deal had been worked out by Winfrey' representative, attorney-manager
Jeffrey Jacobs, and King World's marketing plan was a classic one.
Executives at King World felt the media would pounce on "a war with
Donahue" so they created one. The first step was to send tapes of
Oprah's shows to "focus groups" in several localities to see how
they responded. The results were positive. The next step was to
show tapes to selected station groups--small network alliances of
a half-dozen or more stations under a single owner. These groups
would be offered exclusive broadcast rights. As the reactions began
to come in, King World adjusted its tactics. Rather than making
blanket offers, they decided to open separate negotiations in each
city and market. The gamble paid off. Winfrey's track record proved
her a "hot enough commodity" to win better deals through individual
To launch Winfrey on the air King World kicked off a major advertising
campaign. Media publications trumpeted Oprah's ratings victories
over Donahue in Baltimore and Chicago. The "Donahue-buster" strategy
was tempered by Winfrey herself, who worked hard not to appear too
arrogant or conceited. When asked about head-on competition with
Donahue she replied that in a majority of markets she did not compete
with him directly and that while Donahue would certainly remain
"the king," she just wanted to be "a part of the monarchy." By the
time The Oprah Winfrey Show went national in September of
1986 it had been signed by over 180 stations--less than Donahue's
200-plus but approaching that number.
well as refined marketing and advertising techniques, cultural issues
also featured prominently in Winfrey's campaign. Winfrey's role
as talk show host was inseparable from her identity as an African
American woman. Her African American heritage and roots surfaced
frequently in press accounts. One critic described her in a 1986
Spy magazine article as "capaciously built, black, and extremely
noisy." These and other comments on her "black" style were not lost
on Winfrey. She confronted with the issue of race constantly and
was very conscious of her image as an African American role model.
a USA Today reporter queried Winfrey bluntly about the issue
of race in August of 1986, asking her "as someone who is not pencil-thin,
white, nor blond," how she was "transcending barriers that have
hindered many in television," Winfrey replied as follows:
I've been able to do it because my race and gender have never
been an issue for me. I've been blessed in knowing who I am, and
I am a part of a great legacy. I've crossed over on the backs
of Sojourner Truth, and Harriet Tubman, and Fannie Lou Hamer,
and Madam C.J. Walker. Because of them I can now soar. Because
of them I can now live the dream....
remarks represent the "double-voiced" identity of many successful
African American public figures. Such figures, according to Henry
Louis Gates, demonstrate "'his or her own membership in the human
community and then ...resistance to that community.'" In the mid-1980s,
then, the image of Oprah Winfrey as national talk show host played
against both white and black systems of values and aesthetics. It
was her vitality as a double-sign, not simply her role as an "Horatio
Alger" figure, that made her compelling to a national audience in
the United States.
Hosts like Letterman and Winfrey played multiple roles. They were
simultaneously star performers, managing editors, entrepreneurs,
cultural symbols and setters of social trends. Of all the star performers
who dot the landscape of television, the talk show host might have
the most direct claim to the film director's status as auteur. Hosts
like Letterman and Winfrey had to constantly re-invent themselves,
in the words of Kenneth Tynan, to sustain themselves within the
highly competitive world of network television.
The talk show, like the daily newspaper, is often considered a disposable
form. The first ten years of Johnny Carson's Tonight shows,
for example, were erased by NBC without any thought to future use.
Scholars have similarly neglected talk shows. News and drama offered
critics from the arts, humanities, and social sciences at least
a familiar place to begin their studies. Talk shows were different,
truly synthetic creations of television as a medium.
talk shows have become increasingly important on television and
their hosts increasingly influential. They speak to cultural ideas
and ideals as forcefully as politicians or educators. National talk
show hosts become surrogates for the citizen. Interrogators on the
news or clown princes and jesters on entertainment talk shows, major
television hosts have a license to question and mock--as long as
they play within the rules. An investigation of the television talk
show must, finally, delineate and examine those rules.
first governing principle of the television talk show is that everything
that occurs on the show is framed by the host who characteristically
has a high degree of control over both the show and the production
team. From a production point of view, the host is the managing
editor; from a marketing point of view, the host is the label that
sells the product; from an power and organizational point of view,
the host's star value is the fulcrum of power in contract negotiations
with advertisers, network executives, and syndicators. Without a
"brand-name" host, a show may continue but it will not be the same.
second principle of television talk show is that it is experienced
in the present tense. This is true whether the show is live or taped
"as-if live" in front of a studio audience. Live, taped, or shown
in "reruns," talk shows are conducted, and viewers participate in
them, as if host, guest and viewer occupy the same moment.
social texts, television talk shows are highly sensitive to the
topics of their social and cultural moment. These topics may concern
passing fashions or connect to deeper preoccupations. References
to the O.J. Simpson case on television talk shows in the mid-1990s,
for example, reflected a preoccupation in the United States with
domestic violence and issues of gender, race, and class. Talk shows
are, in this sense, social histories of their times.
it is host-centered, occurring in a real or imagined present tense,
sensitive to the historical moment, and based on a form of public/private
intimacy, the television talk show is also a commodity. Talk shows
have been traditionally cheap to produce. In 1992 a talk show cost
less than $100,000 compared to up to a million dollars or more for
a prime time drama. By the early 1990s developments in video technology
made talk shows even more economical to produce and touched off
a new wave of talk shows on the air. Still, the rule of the market
place prevailed. A joke on Johnny Carson' final show that contained
75 words and ran 30 seconds was worth approximately $150,000--the
cost to advertisers of a 30-second "spot" on that show. Each word
of the joke cost approximately $2000. Though the rates of Carson's
last show were particularly high, commercial time on television
is always expensive, and an industry of network and station "reps,"
time buyers and sellers work constantly to negotiate and manage
the cost of talk commodities on the television market. If a talk
show makes money over time, its contract will be renewed. If it
does not, no matter how valuable or critically acclaimed it may
be, it will be pulled from the air. A commodity so valuable must
be carefully managed and planned. It must fit the commercial imperatives
and time limits of for-profit television. Though it can be entertaining,
even "outrageous," it must never seriously alienate advertisers
we can see from the examples above, talk shows are shaped by many
hands and guided by a clear set of principles. These rules are so
well known that hosts, guests and viewers rarely stop to think about
them. What appears to be one of television's most unfettered and
spontaneous forms turns out to, on closer investigation, one of
its most complex and artful creations.
TALK SHOW HOSTS, 1948-94
Emerson (1948-60), Arthur Godfrey (1948-61), Arlene Francis (1949-75),
Dave Garroway (1949-61,69), Garry Moore (1950-77), Art Linkletter
(1950-70), Steve Allen (1950-84), Ernie Kovacs (1951-61), Mike Wallace
(1951-), Merv Griffin (1951-86), Edward R. Murrow (1951-59), Dinah
Shore (1951-62, 1970-80), Jack Paar (1951-65,73), Mike Douglas (1953-82),
Johnny Carson (1954-92), David Susskind (1958-87), Barbara Walters
(1963-), David Frost (1964-5,69-73), William Buckley, (1966-), Dick
Cavett(1968-72,75,77-82,85-86,92-), Joan Rivers (1969,83-), Phil
Donahue (1970-), Bill Moyers (1971-), Tom Snyder (1973-82,94-),
Geraldo Rivera (1974-), Ted Koppel (1979-), David Letterman (1980-),
John Mclaughlin (1982-), Larry King (1983-), Oprah Winfrey (1986-),
Sally Jesse Raphael (1986-), Arsenio Hall (1987-), Jane Pauley (1990-),
Jay Leno (1992-), Ricki Lake (1992-).
by Robert Erler and Bernard Timberg
Bill. The Late Shift: Letterman, Leno, And The Network Battle
For The Night. New York: Hyperion, 1994.
Corliss, Richard. "The Talk Of Our Town." Film Comment (New
York), January-February 1981.
Phil. Donahue: My Own Story. New York: Simon & Schuster,
Hugh. On Camera: My 10,000 Hours On Television. New York:
Heaton, Jeanne Albronda and Nona Leigh. Tuning In Trouble: Talk
TV's Destructive Impact On Mental Health. San Francisco: Josey-Bass,
Hal. Television Myth and the American Mind. New York: Praeger,
Alan. Talking Heads: Political Talk Shows and Their Star Pundits.
New York: St. Martin's, 1991.
Latham, Caroline. The David Letterman Story: An Unauthorized
Biography. New York: Franklin Watts, 1987.
David. "Interview." Playboy (Chicago), October 1984.
Livingstone, Sonia, and Peter Lunt. Talk On Television: Audience
Participation And Public Debate. London: Routledge, 1994.
Robert. The Today Show. Chicago: Playboy, 1977.
Munson, Wayne. All Talk: The Talkshow In Media Culture. Philadelphia,
Pennsylvania: Temple University Press, 1993.
Bernard. "The Unspoken Rules of Television Talk." In, Newcomb,
Horace, editor. Television: The Critical View. New York: Oxford
University Press, 1994.
Kenneth. Show People. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1979.
Patricia Joyner. Public Intimacies: Talk Show Participants And
Tell-All TV. Creskill, New Jersey: Hampton, 1995.
See also Allen,
at Large; Godfrey,
Edward R.; Paar,
to Person; Rivera,
Sylvester "Pat"; Winfrey,