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The six worst talk shows on TV right now - VIDEOS

by Bob Sassone, posted Feb 12th 2009 11:04AM
MauryIt's amazing how many bad talk shows there are on the air. I'm not talking about The Late Show with David Letterman or Late Night with Conan O'Brien or Jimmy Kimmel Live. Those are good shows, and if you clicked on this list expecting to find any of them, you're going to be disappointed. The shows I picked are the talk shows that deal in exploitation, human degradation, and feature terrible, terrible people. In short, daytime talk shows!

Well, OK, I did include one late night talk show, but you'll have to click after the jump to see which one it is.

1. Maury (syndicated). Really, was there any question that this would be number one? It shouldn't even be called Maury anymore, they should just go ahead and call it Paternity Tests!, since that is what it's most known for. Doesn't Povich have enough money? Can't he do something else in his life besides this show? What does Connie think of this? Who knows, considering she co-hosted one of the worst shows from a few years ago. If aliens watch our TV broadcasts and happen upon this show every single morning, we're all doomed.

2. Jerry Springer (syndicated).
I've said this before, but I don't even think that all of the people you see on this show are even real. I think they're actors, or at the very least have been heavily coached and prodded on how to act (or have seen the show and act this way on purpose). Not only do I not understand why anyone would want to be on this despicable show (and this does indeed go from the "worst" to the "despicable" category), I don't understand why anyone would want to be in the studio audience. But that would be another post, "Worst TV Show Audiences."

Note that the clip below is from Season 14, Episode 915. Let me repeat: season 14, episode 915. Mother of God.

3. Dr. Phil (syndicated). In some ways, this might be the worst of the lot, because it's the daytime talk show with some credibility: it's produced by Oprah Winfrey, the show is mainstream, and Dr. Phil is a bestselling author. That's what makes it so dangerous. I know some very reasonable, nice, intelligent people who just love his show, and I'm sad to say that they just don't get it. This guy is sleazy, exploitative, and often just plain wrong, and it's all put in a nice, shiny, approved-by-Oprah "I'm only trying to help" package. Luckily, his ratings are down, but don't kid yourself, this show is going to be here for a very long time.

I was going to include a clip from the prime time show where he called a 13 year-old kid a potential killer, but I won't. Let's just link to posts where he pseudo-apologizes for annoying Britney Spears, gets into legal trouble for his weight-loss plan, and does a ratings stunt show with Pat O'Brien.

4. Nancy Grace (CNN Headline News). Much like Dr. Phil, just a look at this woman and the first sound of her voice when you tune into her show is enough to shift even the most cast iron of stomachs into flip-flops. Grace is judge, jury, executioner, press agent, and prosecutor, no matter what the case is. All done with an unappealing, charmless snarl.

I'll spare you any actual footage from her show. Instead, Amy Poehler!

5. The Tyra Banks Show (syndicated).
While I admit that I'm not the demographic for this show (a demographic that I'm guessing is 20-something women who either have weight issues or dating problems), this is one sorry show. It's one of those talk shows where you just wonder, why are these people coming on this show? They either look arrogant, completely pathetic, or really lost. And then there are the shows where Tyra reveals some secret about herself that you really wish she'd have kept to herself. Enjoy the clip below.

6. Last Call with Carson Daly (NBC).
If we were doing a list of non-freak show talk shows, Last Call with Carson Daly would be in the number one slot. It's one of the slightest talk shows in the history of television: it isn't funny, the guests are usually the ones that barely make it on the couches of the other late night hosts, and the whole thing is over in a half hour. If there's one great decision that NBC has made in the past couple of years, it's giving the 12:35 am slot to Jimmy Fallon and not Daly.

(A clip would be embedded here is there was ever anything even remotely interesting on Last Call with Carson Daly.)

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marvel and dc

rachel ray?

the only exception i can give is doctor oz because its a useful show and maybe that nate guy.

July 13 2011 at 2:49 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jo Ann

O'Brien and Kimmel are good talk shows - they both are so silly and they don'tknow how to talk - give me a break - and as others have asked about Oprah!!where is the hypocrit on the list, and that is not the worse name that she could be called. I am so so so sick of hearing about her weight problem, she should get a life!!!!!!!!!!!!!

February 18 2009 at 1:07 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Tyra isn't #1? Forrest Gump taught us someone who is slow can lead a productive life. Tyra teaches us that someone with severe mental retardation can have a successful show.

February 14 2009 at 2:48 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
tv junkie

hulu carries maury and springer? wtf.

February 13 2009 at 12:19 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply


not only is the premise just miserable and pathetic but the entire presentation from the set, the camera that goes backstage, right down to that last "sound mark" on maury's production company credit just drives me up the wall.

MAURY makes JERRY SPRINGER look like Masterpiece Theater.

February 12 2009 at 8:32 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Bob Sassone

What, was I supposed to leave Springer off of a "worst talk show" list just because it's so obvious? Think of what people would have thought if I hadn't named his show.

February 12 2009 at 6:20 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Bob Sassone's comment
Cincinnati Mike

Didn't mean to be so harsh, Bob. My point was that the entire concept for the article was kind of obvious. As such, it was a rare misfire for always-reliable Sassone.

February 13 2009 at 9:12 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Where's Oprah on this list?


February 12 2009 at 1:55 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
rick cokely

How is it that this not only doesn't include the Steve Wilkos show, but it also does not have it listed at number 1? Seriously, that show is terrible in every way. It brings on guests that have serious issues (such as father breaking his baby son's arms because he is upset about whatever) or some guy molesting the kids of one of his girlfriends. Steve then tries to incite rage in the mother or person that brought the "wrongdoer" on. It's despicable and seriously should be removed from TV. I'm no prude but these people have real problems and they are being exploited and made to think that "hey it's ok to do this because I will get to be on Steve Wilkos!" rather tahn offering them real help. At least Dr. Phil offers help, and I've seen Maury send people to rehab or therapy if they ask.

February 12 2009 at 1:04 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to rick cokely's comment

maury doesn't send anyone to "rehab". he sends them to BOOT CAMP where some self-described motivational speaker (who probably lives in a van down by the river when he's not booked on maury) to shout at and degrade CHILDREN mostly.

remember JENNY JONES? maury picks up the damaging where JJ left off.

February 12 2009 at 8:54 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I'll give Carson Daly this much: he has on some of the best musical guests, and often before they "hit it big" and appear on other shows. But even once they've gotten big, they still sometimes stop by.

Of course, 2 years ago I had a ticket to a live taping of "Last Call" where one of my favourite singers (Joshua Radin) was performing. The day before the taping, I checked on the "Late Late Show" website and saw that they had some tickets left for the taping of THEIR show that same night, with KT Tunstall as the musical guest (I like her, but not as much as Radin).

I skipped Carson Daly and went to Ferguson. So that'll tell you how much I really think of his show -- even one of my favourite singers in the world couldn't bring me there when I was given a choice.

February 12 2009 at 12:22 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to Paul's comment

carson daily is a king size DOUCHE and YOU are a DOUBLE DOUCHE for even trying to minimize his douche-y-ness by mentioning any possible positive aspects to his show that might lead an unsuspecting viewer to waste even a nanosecond of time viewing his royal douche bag's program.

February 12 2009 at 8:41 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Music is the only redeeming aspect of Daly's show (but barely). The interviews are horrible on all aspects: uninteresting guests and boring conversations. The last part could be partly salvaged if Daly knew how to have an actual conversation. Instead, we're treated to boring chatter and awkward silences. I'm surprised NBC doesn't find an up-and-coming comic to host the show and use the 1/2 hour as a farm system for future talent.

February 13 2009 at 2:53 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Cincinnati Mike

TV Squad: the blog that DARES to call Jerry Springer trashy! Other TV blogs...you've been SERVED!

February 12 2009 at 12:12 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Cincinnati Mike's comment
Joel Keller

As much as I hate to do it, I have to give a +1 to Cincy for that one.

February 12 2009 at 4:18 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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