Talk show

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A talk show (American and Australian English) or chat show (British) is a television or radio program where one person (or group of people) will discuss various topics put forth by a talk show host. Sometimes, talk shows feature a panel of guests, usually consisting of a group of people who are learned or who have great experience in relation to whatever issue is being discussed on the show for that episode. Other times, a single guest discusses their work or area of expertise with a host or co-hosts. A call-in show takes live phonecalls from callers listening at home, in their cars, etc. Sometimes, guests are already seated but are often introduced and enter from backstage. Gay Byrne, Steve Allen, Jack Parr, Johnny Carson, Ed Sullivan, Oprah Winfrey, Mosunmola Abudu and others are often considered[by whom?] to have revolutionized talk shows.



Television talk shows often feature celebrity guests who talk about their work and personal lives as well as the their latest films, TV shows, music recordings or other projects they'd like to promote to the public. The hosts are often comedians who open the shows with comedy monologues.

Talk-radio host Howard Stern also hosted a talk show that was syndicated nationally in the USA, then moved to satellite radio's Sirius. The tabloid talk show genre, pioneered by Phil Donahue but popularized by Oprah Winfrey was extremely popular during the last two decades of the 20th century.

Politics are hardly the only subject of American talk shows, however. Other radio talk show subjects include Car Talk hosted by NPR and Coast to Coast AM hosted by Art Bell and George Noory which discusses topics of the paranormal, conspiracy theories, fringe science and the just plain weird. Sports talk shows are also very popular ranging from high-budget shows like The Best Damn Sports Show Period to Max Kellerman's original public access show Max on Boxing.


Talk shows have been broadcast on television since the earliest days of the medium. Joe Franklin, an American radio and television personality, hosted the first television talk show. The show began in 1951 on WJZ-TV (later WABC-TV) and moved to WOR-TV (later WWOR-TV) from 1962 to 1993. [1]

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