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Smithsonian Associates - Entertaining, Informative, Eclectic, Insightful

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From Carson to Oprah to Stephen Colbert: A History of the TV Talk Show

Afternoon Lecture/Seminar

Thursday, January 5, 2023 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET
Code: 1J0225
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$20 - Member
$25 - Non-Member
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David Letterman with guest Teri Garr, 1982

From its start in the early 1950s, the talk show has been one of television’s most versatile and durable formats. Pioneering programs like “Today,” “Person-to-Person,” and “Tonight” established the basic features that have guided the format ever since, particularly the importance of the host as the chief focus of the proceedings.

Whether it was the sophisticated wit of Dick Cavett, the magnetic empathy of Oprah Winfrey, the innovative comedy of David Letterman, or the sharp political satire of Jon Stewart, the talk show has continued to provide viewers with a lively mix of entertainment, information, and compelling conversation.

Brian Rose, professor emeritus at Fordham University, looks at the fascinating history of the television talk show, and examines its changing appeal from decade to decade.

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