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40 First Guests of Late-Night TV

Mike Vicic - March 2, 2009


The test shoots are over, the pickle has passed from David to Conan to Jimmy, and Late Night with Jimmy Fallon is ready for its debut. That can mean only one thing! Robert De Niro will earn a 'First Guest' medal tonight.

De Niro will join quite an exclusive club. Of course, Bill Murray, is the consummate First Guest of late-night TV, having received that medal three different times. But who else has been a late-night First Guest? TV Tango went through the archives and found 40 First Guests of late-night TV — all since Late Night with David Letterman premiered back in February 1982.

Check out the list below and see who was the First Guest on your fave late-night talk show.  We only included series that started at 11PM or later; so you won't find Dogg After Dark or any other primetime (or daytime) talk shows.  If we found a clip of the premiere episode, we included a link for that video. 


Oh, and by the way, if you want to know the story about the pickle, just scroll to the bottom and watch the embedded video.

40 42 First Guests of Late-Night TV

1"Thicke of the Night" had Barry Manilow by satellite before the first in-studio guest interview.

2"Into the Night" had Wilson Phillips as the musical act before the first guest interview.

3"Vibe" had President Clinton by satellite to start the show plus a few brief celebrity appearances before the first in-studio guest interview.

4"Jimmy Kimmel Live" introduced Snoop Dogg as the guest host for the week before the first guest interview.

5"Chelsea Lately" had a roundtable with Chyna and others before the first guest interview.