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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A guest host (or guest presenter in the United Kingdom) is a host, usually of a talk show, that hosts the program in lieu of the regular host if they fall ill, have another project or commitment, or are unable to host for some other reason.

Guest hosts may be seen as undesirable for a show's producer if they have to be used for an extended period of time, but if they do a well enough job, the guest host may often be able to parlay their run into their own talk show or other project.


The Tonight Show

This phrase was popularized on The Tonight Show during Johnny Carson's 30-year reign as host from 1962 to 1992. Toward the end of his tenure, Carson was granted more personal time off, and substitute hosts would be seen on the air more often.

Some guest hosts of The Tonight Show have gone on to host talk shows of their own. Jay Leno would eventually succeed Johnny Carson as Tonight Show host; David Letterman went on to host Late Night with David Letterman in the time slot following Carson; Joan Rivers went on to host The Late Show Starring Joan Rivers on Fox; early Carson guest host Joey Bishop went on to host The Joey Bishop Show on rival ABC, and David Brenner hosted the short-lived Nightlife in the late-1980s. Richard Belzer hosted Hot Properties on the Lifetime network in the mid-1980s. Carson himself had earlier been a guest host on Tonight Starring Jack Paar.

The Late Show with David Letterman

The Late Show with David Letterman featured several weeks of guest hosts substituting for David Letterman throughout the 2000s while Letterman recovered from a quintuple bypass surgery and shingles.

The View

The View first became popular with the guest host format in between the arrivals and departures of the program's youngest co-hosts, Debbie Matenopoulos, Lisa Ling, and Elisabeth Hasselbeck. Although a variety of celebrities took turns in the chair, only the younger co-hosts were eligible for the job. During its tenth season, The View began featuring a guest host each day; regular Barbara Walters did not appear with anybody yet was considered eligible to replace Star Jones, who left the previous year. Following the departure of Rosie O'Donnell in 2007 the program looked to return to a panel of five women. The moderator role was given to comedian Whoopi Goldberg in August and Jones' role was given to actress and comedian Sherri Shepherd the week following Goldberg's debut. The View used the guest host format in place of Elisabeth Hasselbeck in 2009 while she was on maternity leave.


Following the death of longtime host, Alex Trebek, Jeopardy! had a guest host format until a permanent host could be found. Those included past Jeopardy! champions Ken Jennings and Buzzy Cohen, executive producer Mike Richards, television news personalities Katie Couric, Bill Whitaker, Savannah Guthrie, Sanjay Gupta, Anderson Cooper George Stephanopoulos and Robin Roberts, Aaron Rodgers of the Green Bay Packers, talk show host Mehmet Oz, actress and neuroscientist Mayim Bialik, Reading Rainbow host LeVar Burton, Squawk on the Street co-host David Faber and Fox Sports broadcaster Joe Buck. Richards would be announced as the permanent host at season's end, with Bialik being taken on as a host for primetime tournaments airing on ABC. Michaels was soon fired due to past personal conduct issues and self-dealing allegations regarding his intervention making the host search pointless. Currently, the daily version of the show is currently hosted on a rotation by Bialik (when available due to commitments for her sitcom, Call Me Kat) and Jennings.

Jimmy Kimmel Live

At the end of June 2020 and in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, Jimmy Kimmel decided to take time off from his late night talk show Jimmy Kimmel Live! in July and August 2020 to spend more time with his family and prepare for hosting the 72nd Primetime Emmy Awards. He has since continued a break from hosting in those months before the start of the television season in September as a summer tradition, with guest hosts including Anthony Anderson and Chelsea Handler a part of the yearly rotation. Previously Kimmel has taken time off and had guest hosts as he dealt with personal health matters, including complications from the birth and development of his younger son.

Other guest host examples

United Kingdom

In the United Kingdom, some shows have guest presenters on a permanent basis. Have I Got News for You has used a different guest presenter for each show since Angus Deayton's departure in 2002. On The Jack Docherty Show in the late 1990s, Jack Docherty was absent so often that the show (retitled Not the Jack Docherty Show) more often than not had a fill-in. When Simon Amstell left his role on Never Mind the Buzzcocks, guest hosts took over the role to December 2013, not unlike a similar incident during Series 18.

Other uses

See also

This page was last edited on 22 November 2022, at 05:53
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