Growing up, watching daytime talk shows was the thing to do between Summer camp and gearing up for the weekends. I can remember a few times when I’ve rushed home from school to catch ‘Oprah’ at four and ‘The Ricki Lake Show’ at five. Talk shows were the reality shows in the eighties and nineties, and all of us who were fans of these talk shows can probably recall a memorable episode. These particular episodes may have made you laugh, cry, scream at the television screen, or help you change your life by inspiring you. Talk shows have the ability to make you do all of that, although entertaining their audience was their true purpose. There were shows that made it as a topic with family or as a topic in the school’s cafeteria. Below is a list of our favorite daytime talk shows from back in the day! Did your favorite make the list?
The Montel Williams Show
The Montel Williams show ran for 17 seasons from 1991 to 2008. Williams touched on a lot of controversial topics such as teen pregnancy and racism. During the last few seasons, Williams focused more on inspirational stories like finding lost loves, or women who overcame certain dangers (such as rape or attempted murder).
The Jenny Jones Show
Jenny Jones focused on a variety of topics. Her topics ranged from light-hearted topics like secret co-worker crushes and freeloading adult children living with their parents to more serious topics like out-of-control teens and paternity tests. The show ran for 11 seasons from 1991 to 2003.
The Ricki Lake Show
Ricki’s show focused more on topics from a younger person’s point of view. Her show touched on pop culture issues like dating, LGBT issues, racism, finances, and more. However, it was Ricki’s celebrity guests that we’ve always looked forward to and musical guests were always fun to watch. The Ricki Lake show lasted for 11 seasons, starting in 1993 and ended in 2004.
Phil Donahue was the talk show we’ve watched for topics on political views, corporate corruption, and racial tension. One of the longest running daytime talk shows in history, Donahue lasted for 26 years, from 1970 to 1996.
Sally Jessy Raphael
Who could forget Sally with the signature red-framed glasses? The show ran from 1983 to 2002 and she touched on sensationalistic topics that received a lot of press coverage like the Monica Lewinsky/Bill Clinton scandal, the Nancy Kerrigan/Tonya Harding drama, and other controversial scandals. She also touched on topics regarding relationships and family issues. Oddley enough, the one show I remember is when Chilli from TLC was on the show, meeting her biological dad for the first time.
The Oprah Winfrey Show
Oprah was the reigning queen of the daytime talk show circuit until her last show in 2011. It ran for 25 seasons, starting in 1986, edutaining viewers, young and old. Oprah focused on topics about life, love, triumph, success, courage, family, and what our favorite stars from Janet Jackson to Tina Turner been up to. Oprah wasn’t afraid to touch on controversy like the time she invited an author who was accused of plagiarism. When she needed powerful and successful women on her show, she invited Terry McMillan and the cast of ‘Waiting To Exhale’. When she needed musical guests, she invited artists like Prince or Beyonce. When she needed inspiration, she invited Maya Angelou and the Obamas. Oprah, in my opinion, was a majority fave among daytime talk show viewers.