Let’s face it – everyone loves late-night television. Some of the most popular shows, like the Late Show and the Tonight Show, have captivated viewers for decades because they showcase engaging hosts, spectacular live music, and the famous guests. Viewers just can’t get enough.
Given the appeal of late-night TV shows, it’s easy for their audiences to wonder about the statistics behind them. Our team at Joybird was wondering the same thing, so we conducted research to find out more about the famous guests that grace the highly-coveted sofas every weekday night and and the TV shows themselves.
To get our figures, we looked at every single guest that has appeared on 6 popular late-night television shows, The Tonight Show, The Late Show, Conan, The Late Late Show, Jimmy Kimmel Live! and Late Night, over the last 5 seasons. We then found trends within the data in various categories, including which profession appears more often and what person makes the most appearances. So, who is the most frequent guest on late-night TV? Are actors or musicians more likely to be guests?
Here’s what we found:
When looking at which show has the most guest per season on average, topping the charts with a whopping 616 guests per season is the Late Show with Stephen Colbert. Right behind him is The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon with an average of 598. But, interestingly, even the shows on the the low end of the spectrum have impressive numbers. Conan O’Brien comes in at an average of 435 guests and James Corden welcomes around 446 guests per season. That’s a ton a of sitting traffic! If any of these late-night shows ever need a replacement sofa, we can definitely help.
After we found out how many guests appear on late-night TV shows, we wanted to see what kinds of guests are appearing most frequently on each show. It turns out that actors make up 50% of the total appearances of the TV shows we researched. The next largest group, musicians, appear about 28% of the time.
We also wanted to look at which occupation each late-night TV show attracts the most. We found that James Corden welcomes the most actors on his show, while Conan O’Brien hosts the most comedians and Stephen Colbert hosts the most politicians. Interestingly, Jimmy Kimmel sweeps a couple of categories by hosting the most musicians, athletes, AND Reality TV stars.
We then went a step further and see what person is the most frequent guest in each category. We found that Bryan Cranston is the most frequent actor to make an appearance during the late-night hours. Taking the top spot is for athletes is Shaquille O’Neal. And for Reality TV, Kim Kardashian tops the charts.
Now that we know which professions more frequently appear on late-night TV, we wanted to break it down even more to find out exactly who is making the most appearances. Interestingly, when we researched the trends between the appearances between men and women, women appear less frequently than men across each of the late-night TV shows. Seth Meyers has the highest percentage of women with 38% while Conan O’Brien only has women on his show 28% of the time.
Of the women who appear on late-night TV shows, Aubrey Plaza is the most frequent with 20 appearances. Just two appearances behind her comes Anna Kendrick. And right after her is Mindy Kaling and Chelsea Handler, each with 17 appearances.
So, what guy takes the top spot for most frequent guest on late night shows? It was very close between the top 5, but Ice Cube takes the cake with 22 appearances over 5 seasons of late-night talk shows. He’s followed closely by John Oliver, an author and late-night television host himself, and Bryan Cranston, both with 21 appearances. And, bringing up the rear, is Ricky Gervais and Nick Kroll tied at 20 appearances.
On top of being the most frequent guest among the men, Ice Cube is also the most frequent guest overall. Rounding out the list is Anthony Anderson with 20 appearances, and Will Forte, Patton Oswalt, and Martin Short, all with 19 appearances each.
As you’re on your own sofa watching your favorite show, keep these stats in mind to see if you can find any other trends. And, while you’re here, browse a few of our favorite sofas that we think would make a great addition to any home or late-night TV show!