12 Unexpected Celebs Who Were Given Their Own Talk Show
"It was kind of like being the king of New York…I was pretty devastated when it ended."
Hosting a talk show isn’t an easy gig — but plenty of celebrities are willing to give it a try. Even with no prior interviewing experience, lots of unexpected stars have jumped into the world of daytime and late night. And while some of these famous faces have overwhelming success with their new endeavor, others end up canceled after just a few months on the air.
Celebrities like Khloé Kardashian and Bethenny Frankel have both given talk shows a shot and even though it doesn’t always work out in the long run, it’s definitely fun for their fans to watch along!
Find out which unexpected celebs were given their own talk show…
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1. Jennifer Hudson
It was just announced that Jennifer Hudson will be the latest celebrity to give daytime a try. The Grammy and Oscar winner is set to host “The Jennifer Hudson Show,” which will air on Fox — the network that gave Jennifer her start on “American Idol.” Jennifer says she hopes to use the show to connect with the fans that have been with her on her journey since the beginning.
“People from around the world have been a part of my journey from the beginning — 20 years ago — and I’m so ready to join their journey as we sit down and talk about the things that inspire and move us all. I have always loved people and I cannot wait to connect on a deeper level and let audiences see the different sides of who I am, the human being, in return… We’re about to have a lot of fun and shake things up a little bit!” Jennifer said.
2. Kris Jenner
Back in 2013, Kris Jenner was presented with the opportunity to host her own talk show – but it didn’t last long. “Kris” aired over the course of six weeks on a select few Fox stations around the country but was never broadcast nationally. Despite some major guests like Kanye West and Khloé Kardashian, execs called the show “uninteresting.” The show wasn’t picked up for a full season and Kris returned to reality TV.
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3. Fran Drescher
Over a decade after “The Nanny” wrapped up, Fran Drescher turned her attention to daytime television. In 2010, “The Fran Drescher Tawk Show” premiered, which Fran said would cover everything from pedicures to politics.
“I’m going to have a roundtable where I discuss global politics with five-year-olds, and we’ll have a segment called Cousins’ Corner, where me and some of my first cousins are going to give relationship advice to some poor woman in the audience. And I’m going to have a recurring bit called There Oughta Be a Law, where I’ll talk to the audience about how we need to demand more from our public representatives, and how we can convince them to do things like ban toxic chemicals in baby formula — you know, no brainers! So we’ll be talking about political issues, but in a unique way,” Fran told Elle.
Despite Fran’s big ideas, the show unfortunately didn’t resonate with viewers after being tested in several markets across the country. The show wrapped up after only 16 episodes.
4. Magic Johnson
In 1998, former professional basketball player Magic Johnson had a short-lived late-night talk show called “The Magic Hour.” He was joined by bandleader Sheila E. as well as comedian Craig Shoemaker, who was later fired for calling the show “an absolute nightmare.” But despite Craig’s negative thoughts about the show, its early episodes were actually a success with ratings briefly topping “Late Show With David Letterman.” Unfortunately, the viewership was fleeting and poor ratings led the show to be canceled after only one season.
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5. Khloé Kardashian
Much like her mom Kris, Khloé Kardashian also had a short-lived talk show. “Kocktails With Khloé” debuted in 2016 on FYI Network. Despite big guests like Kim Kardashian and the show bringing the network some of its highest ratings ever, it was canceled after only 14 episodes. While Khloé didn’t explain why the show was pulled off the air, it was reported that things were chaotic behind the scenes.
“FYI and Pilgrim Media Group appreciate everyone’s great work on the series and are pleased that the show brought new viewers and significant numbers to FYI’s linear and digital platforms. We are grateful to have had the opportunity to work with Khloé and thank her for her hard work and unique voice that she brought to the series,” the network said in a statement.
6. Busy Philipps
Busy Philipps gave late-night talk her own spin when she debuted “Busy Tonight” in 2018. The E! show received good ratings and racked up over 100 episodes before it was unexpectedly canceled by the network. Busy shared that she was “blindsided” by the news, especially since the head of the network had recently planned an “exciting” marketing meeting for the show. “Busy Tonight” fans tried to garner support to save the series and bring it to a new network but unfortunately it didn’t work out.
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7. Tony Danza
Tony Danza made his own attempt at daytime television back in 2004. That year, the “Taxi” star debuted “The Tony Danza Show” in the highly coveted time slot in the hour following “Live with Regis and Kelly.” Although not all markets across the country picked up the show, it did manage to last two full seasons.
“It was amazing having a live show in New York City. You know, when you go out at night, everybody figures you want to talk about them the next day so they’d be really nice to you. It was kind of like being the king of New York…I was pretty devastated when it ended…It’s not like you’re playing a part. You’re playing you and they rejected you,” Tony said.
8. Chevy Chase
Back in 1993, Chevy Chase hosted his own ill-fated talk show. He says that Fox paid him $13 million for the high-profile gig, which only ended up lasting a month. During its premiere, it immediately became clear that the very nervous Chevy wasn’t meant to be a host. The show ended up being a massive flop and was pulled from the air just a few weeks into his run. Chevy later admitted that he had wanted the show to be completely different — and ended up giving a chunk of his salary back to the network.
“The talk show that I went to Fox with was an entirely different concept than what was pushed on me. I would never do it again. What I wanted had a whole different feel to it, much darker and more improv. But we never got there,” Chevy told Time.
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9. Megan Mullally
Shortly after “Will & Grace” wrapped, Meegan Mullally made the jump to daytime TV, hosting “The Megan Mullally Show.” The TBS program aired 71 episodes before it was canceled by the network, just four months into its run. Viewers were reportedly confused seeing Megan out of her “Will & Grace” persona.
“I am extremely proud of the show we created and am thankful for the passion and tireless efforts of [executive producer] Corin Nelson and the entire staff,” Megan said in a statement.
10. Martin Short
Martin Short was given his own talk show in 1999. The part talk show, part sketch comedy show included celebrity interviews as well as skits where he dressed up as different characters. While the show only lasted until 2000, his character Jiminy Glick lived on for several more years in his own Comedy Central spinoff called “Primetime Glick.”
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11. Bethenny Frankel
“Real Housewives of New York” star Bethenny Frankel signed on for her own talk show in 2012 and it ended up lasting a little longer than she would have liked. The reality star said that during the two years that the show was on the air, she felt “diluted, filtered and somewhat constricted.”
“I am relieved…Unlike my time on Bravo, I felt a bit diluted, filtered and somewhat constricted. I am a free spirit. I am more comfortable in my natural surroundings and in a setting where I’m surrounded by crazy, where anything goes and where I can be authentically me. When interviewed about the show, I always said that it could only work if I was true to myself and only if it was genuinely a good fit and marriage which it turned out not to be,” Bethenny wrote on her blog.
12. Russell Brand
Russell Brand has actually hosted two separate talk shows throughout his career. Back in 2006, Russell briefly hosted a British talk show titled “The Russell Brand Show,” which was on the air for less than a month. He gave it another try in 2012 when he teamed up with FX for “Brand X With Russell Brand.” The late-night talk show lasted longer than his first foray into hosting, with the series sticking around until 2014.
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