With David Letterman leaving his post on the Late Show, the scope of late-night talk will never be the same. While no program will reach the iconic status of Letterman’s, late-night has experienced several shake-ups in its history. Do you remember these 10 shows of late-night past? (We vote to reboot The Mo’Nique Show.)
The Howard Stern Interview
The 30-minute program aired on E! from 1992-1993 and featured a wild-haired Stern doing one-on-one interviews with celebrity guests. The show soared to the top of E!’s ratings during its run. (And thank goodness, because Stern’s 36-episode contract was reportedly $1.1 million.) Stern was notorious for asking celebrities personal questions on the show, which is why it became must-watch TV.
The Wanda Sykes Show
The Wanda Sykes Show aired on Fox in November 2009 but was canceled the following April after only one season. The show opened with a monologue from Sykes before going into a panel discussion about hot topics. Fox had high hopes for the show because it replaced fan favorites MADtv and Talkshow with Spike Feresten in the Saturday night slot. However, it eventually ended up on the chopping block.
Late-night powerhouse Bill Maher hosted this half-hour politically-focused program from 1993-2002. It first appeared on Comedy Central before moving to ABC, where it finished out its run. Politically Incorrect was one of the first offerings to seamlessly infuse political figures and entertainers in a riveting dialogue. Maher got into hot water when he said the terrorists responsible for 9/11 were “not cowardly.” The controversy led to declining advertisers, and eventually the show received the boot for poor ratings.
Fashionably Late with Stacy London
London, a stylist, hosted this variety show on TLC for a little over a month in late 2007. (Talk about a blip on the radar.) The frothy hour featured celebrity guests and commentary on entertainment, fashion, and beauty.
The Whoopi Goldberg Show
Goldberg lit up late night from 1992-1993 with her own syndicated show, where she interviewed everyone from Elizabeth Taylor (her first guest) to Will Smith. She ended her run with 200 episodes under her belt. Not too shabby.
The Jon Stewart Show
Stewart’s first foray into talk was this 1993 30-minute MTV program, where he chatted with Letterman and Courtney Cox, among others. But after The Arsenio Hall Show got canceled (more on that later), Paramount Television acquired The Jon Stewart Show as its replacement and extended it to an hour. Sadly, the show didn’t perform as well as it did on MTV, so it was canceled in 1995.
The Keenen Ivory Wayans Show
The show ran from August 1997 to March 1998 and featured an opening monologue from Wayans as well as comedy sketches. The program showcased an all-female in-house band called Ladies of the Night and featured guests including Jada Pinkett Smith and Samuel L. Jackson.
Vibe also launched in August 1997 and served as a spin-off from the magazine of the same name. While it only lasted until October 1998, the syndicated show featured two different hosts during its run: Chris Spencer and Sinbad. Oh, and President Bill Clinton was a guest on the first episode.
The Arsenio Hall Show
Hall, a comedian, headed this show from 1989-1994 and from 2013-2014 during a failed reboot. In all, it ran for six seasons with 1,406 episodes in total. Notable guests included Madonna, President Clinton, and MC Hammer.
The Mo’Nique Show
BET aired Mo’Nique’s talk show from October 2009-October 2010 for two entertaining seasons. The program was standard talk fare, with a monologue from Mo’Nique and sit-downs with various celebrities. During her first episode, she featured Steve Harvey, Monica, and Jeremih. But the best part about The Mo’Nique Show was at the end, where Mo’Nique would tell her viewers to “take their arms and wrap them around themselves and squeeze real tight, because we’ve all just been hugged.” So tender.