Talk show hosts are usually known for their gift of gab and most are considered outgoing. At the same time, some of the most famous talk show hosts have been or are shy. Often shyness propels these hosts to go the extra mile in preparing their shows and perfecting their craft. Below is a list of some of the most well-known shy talk show hosts.
1. Barbara Walters
Barbara Walters is a famous newscaster known for her deft handling of interviews with public figures. Barbara made history a couple of times during her career, both for becoming the first female anchorwoman on network television and for commanding a million dollar a year salary when similar male counterparts made less. In 1974, Barbara was named cohost of the “Today Show”.
Despite her flair for asking the right questions, some of those she has interviewed have said that her nervousness distracted them. It is also reported that Barbara grew up a shy and lonely child with only her mentally handicapped sister for a playmate, due to her father’s frequent business moves.
2. David Letterman
David Letterman is the host of the television talk show, “The Late Show with David Letterman”. Despite Letterman’s outgoing persona that he’s famous for, he is known for being shy, having only a few friends, and staying away from social gatherings. He is also known for planning out every detail of his show in an effort to combat his own anxiety and shyness about being in the public eye.
3. Garrison Keillor
Garrison Keillor is a noted author, comedian, radio show host, and newspaper columnist; and also shy. Keillor discusses shyness as a personality trait that should be accepted and welcomed rather than the subject of scrutiny and desire to change. He argues that shy people are misunderstood and bullied about changing the way that they interact with the world. He believes that shyness is not a disability to be overcome and that shy people should be proud of who they are.
4. Johnny Carson
Johnny Carson was the host of the television talk show, “The Tonight Show”; a post he held for 30 years before his death on January 23rd, 2005. Carson’s fame was celebrated several times over with six wins at the Emmy awards. Despite being a comfortable and exceptional talk show host and performer, Carson was known for being reclusive and shy in his personal life. Carson talks about how he is more comfortable in front of an audience because he is in control:
“I can remember when I was in high school, if I pulled out my old high school annual book and read some of the things, people might say, ‘Oh, he’s conceited, he’s aloof.’ Actually, that was more shy. See, when I’m in front of an audience, you see, it’s a different thing. If I’m in front of an audience, I can feel comfortable.”