Types of Talk Shows

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Talk shows have been shown on American TV for nearly as long as television has been popular in America. A talk show can be loosely classified as any TV program in which people discuss something.

Interview Talk Shows

  • On an interview talk show, the host of the talk show interviews celebrities and experts about topics of their choice. Often, a celebrity will make an appearance on an interview talk show to discuss an upcoming project or movie release, while academic experts will appear to be interviewed when their subject of expertise comes up in the media in conjunction with a news event. Interviews are often incorporated into a diverse variety of talk shows, but they also exist as a category of talk show by themselves. "David Letterman," "The Tonight Show."

Political Talk Shows

  • Political talk shows exist to allow pundits and talk show hosts to discuss the political goings-on in the country. Political talk shows generally receive a spike in popularity during presidential elections and other notable political events, and they generally run on Sunday mornings and afternoons. Examples: "McLaughlin Group," "Meet the Press."

Issue-Based Talk Shows

  • In these talk shows, guests appear on the show to discuss the issues that are going on in their lives. In many cases, these talks shows present sensationalized accounts of intricate relationship intrigue. Many of these issue-based talk shows air during daytime hours and often involve loud outbursts from agitated guests who find themselves growing increasingly upset while confronting friends or loved ones who have wronged them in some way. Examples: "Jerry Springer," "Maury Povich."

Comedic Talk Shows

  • Talk shows with a comedic bent have been gaining in popularity in recent years. In these comic talk shows, a host provides comedic commentary on current events, celebrity scandals and other notable items of discussion. The focus during these talk shows is on being both entertaining and informative, with laughs taking precedence over the delivery of news. Examples: "The Daily Show," "The Colbert Report."

Talk Show Hosts

  • One of the most important parts of any successful talk show is the appeal and talent of the host who presides over the talk show. Whether the host is working on a sensationalized issues talk show or a serious political broadcast, the quality of the host directly affects the quality and entertainment factor of the talk show itself.

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