There is always a desire to know what the latest news is with celebrities. We trust in celebrity interviewers to get the truth out of, even the most tight lipped, celebrities. From who’s dating who, to baby news, to breakdowns, we always tend to look to celebrity interviewers to get the most captivating information from the stars. Sometimes, in the process of interviews, the interviewee doesn’t even realize what they have admitted, until it’s too late. Often, these are the best news makers.
Only the most skilled interviewer is able to pry such sensitive information out of their guest. The most memorable interviews are often obtained by the most admired interviewers. We are often brought to the edge of our emotions, whether we are siding with or against the interviewee. These interviewers always captivate us and get to the truth of any situation. This list is comprised of 10 of the best celebrity interviewers to date.
10. Johnny Carson- The Tonight Show
The original late night king, Johnny Carson, established the late night talk show format with The Tonight Show. Carson’s show ran from 1962-1992 and introduced us to the late night television will still enjoy today. Many guests graced the chair next to Carson and remain interviews still discussed today. Madonna had her very first talk show interview on Carson’s show in 1987. She wore a bustier top, which was the segue for Madonna to flirt with Carson saying, she figured if she were to present herself as a virgin to anyone, it should be Carson. Diane Lane, in 1983, talked about her mother being playmate of the year in 1957. This is proof that Carson was able to casually draw out answers from many guests and he is still greatly admired today.
9. James Lipton- Inside the Actor’s Studio
James Lipton, arguably one of the best interviewers, has an interesting story. He maintains that he never gave up on acting and that it is a dear passion of his. Lipton awaited the day where one of his own students would sit on his stage. The student was, Bradley Cooper and before the interview could start, the two burst into tears. Lipton said it was the best night of is life. He has interviewed many talents including: Paul Newman, Barbara Walters, Billy Crystal, Martin Sheen and many more. Lipton’s famous ten questions are: “What is your least favorite word? What turns you on? What turns you off? What sound or noise do you love? What sound or noise do you hate? What is your favorite curse word? What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? What profession would you not like to do?” Finally; “If heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the pearly gates?”
8. Jimmy Fallon- The Tonight Show
Originally known for his impersonations, Jimmy Fallon has made his way through acting, and then to finally host The Tonight Show. Previously, Fallon hosted Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, until 2013. With his quick fire comedic style, Fallon is able to have his guests engage in some hilarious activities. This allows the viewer to see another side of these celebrity stars. Fallon has interviewed Ryan Gosling and his dog, George. Gosling described an embarrassing encounter at a Turkish bath house in New York. In other interviews, Fallon has arm wrestled Jason Statham and Hugh Jackman, played charades with Scarlett Johansson and Drake, and has even played Faceketball with Bradley Cooper. These outrageous examples are what helps define Jimmy Fallon as an influential celebrity interviewer. His humor helps expose the person within the celebrity.
7. Ellen- The Ellen DeGeneres Show
In 1986, Ellen DeGeneres was the first comedienne to be invited to take a seat with Johnny Carson. This was considered a very high achievement. In 2003, DeGeneres launched her daytime television show, The Ellen DeGeneres Show. By May of 2009, Ellen had hosted her 1000th episode and interviewed Oprah Winfrey, Paris Hilton and Justin Timberlake, among others. Ellen’s laid back approach and her love for dancing has interviewees like: Josh Duhamel, stripping down whenever they visit. She is undeniably one of the most fun and likable talk show hosts on air.
6. Barbara Walters- 20/20
A pioneer for female journalists, Barbara Walters has been an inspiration to men and women everywhere. She is known for her interviews of political leaders such as: Fidel Castro, Margaret Thatcher, Vladimir Putin, as well as pop culture names like: Michael Jackson, Katherine Hepburn and Anna Wintour. Walters, after years of pursuing Katherine Hepburn, was finally granted the opportunity to interview her. She was wildly criticized for asking her what kind of tree Hepburn would be. Her response was, “An oak” because of their strength and beauty.
5. Larry King- Larry King Live
A man of many marriages, Larry King has had interviews regarding anything from politics to UFO sightings. Larry King Live aired from 1985-2010. King has been known to ask open ended questions resulting in a softer interview. He has said that getting the interviewee to talk about themselves and putting himself in the background were the keys to his success. The list of interviewees is a vast one. Hosting such celebrities as: Tammy Faye, Barbara Walters, John Edward from the paranormal show Crossing Over, Oprah Winfrey, Anna Nicole Smith etc…. King has been criticized for focusing on sensationalized stories, but remains an icon in the world of interviewers.
4. Jon Stewart- The Daily Show
Since 1999 Jon Stewart has been hosting The Daily Show, on Comedy Central. Though he is known for his political satire, he has received critical acclaim which has resulted in 16 Emmy Awards. The comedic stance of the show allows Stewart to take the news and interviews to a level that isn’t supported in a serious news format. Stewart has markedly interviewed: President Barack Obama– and confronted him on his poor first debate during the 2012 elections, former Vice-President Al Gore– where he grilled Gore about selling “Current TV” to Al Jazeera which is largely funded by oil money. Although these are hardly the only high intensity interviews Stewart has had, they are certainly memorable.
3. Oprah Winfrey- The Oprah Winfrey Show
Oprah Winfrey’s show and interview style allowed for a group therapy type of interview setting. In the 1990’s, Winfrey changed her show from tabloid oriented to a more genuine, soul searching, format. She has interviewed countless celebrities, and who can forget her interview with an extremely energetic, couch jumping Tom Cruise? Though Oprah has been accused of going easy on interviewees that she has a fondness for, she has certainly developed the platform for celebrities and politicians to over share.
2. David Letterman- The Late Show
Starting in 1982, David Letterman became a night time routine for many viewers. His famous “Late Night Top Ten” and evening monologue get the audience warmed up. Bill Murray was Letterman’s first guest on Late Night and always has an explosive entry when he returns as a guest. On the show, Murray has shown up in costumes such as Liberace and Peter Pan. In 1994, Madonna appeared on the show and openly discussed her sex life and consistently used an abundance of profane language. Whenever Madonna is a guest she always seems to have Letterman tongue tied.
1. Howard Stern – The Howard Stern Show
Amicably dubbed “The King of all Media”, Howard Stern, is a polarized celebrity. As an equally loved and hated member of the media, Stern is undeniably provocative. His questions are direct and difficult to side-step. Earlier this year, Stern interviewed Eric Stonestreet (Cam from Modern Family). Before you knew it, Stonestreet admitted to being an account holder on an app called Tinder, where men meet women to “hook up.” He also confessed to having a crush on Tina Fey. Stonestreet isn’t the only celebrity to come clean about shocking truths to Stern. Courtney Love shared that she had an affair with Gavin Rossdale while he was married to Gwen Stefani and that Stefani knew about it. Stern seems to be able to get celebrities to admit their deepest darkest secrets. It’s no wonder he is referred to as “the shock jock.”