It’s a promising time to be a late-night talk-show host in contention for an Emmy: Old-timers David Letterman and Jon Stewart, who combined have won a record-breaking 22 Emmys, have retired their proverbial jersey numbers and there’s finally room for fresh talent to prove its mettle.

In addition to returning contenders Jimmy Fallon, Jimmy Kimmel, John Oliver and Stephen Colbert (in a different show), this year’s competition features a bevy of fresh options, with such comics as Samantha Bee, implementing her crackling political wit on her eponymous talk show, and James Corden, whose infectiously appealing carpool karaoke segments have gone viral.

The circus-like chaos pervading the presidential campaign has provided invaluable fodder for shows such as “Real Time With Bill Maher” and Oliver’s “Last Week Tonight.” His “Donald Drumpf” segment, which revealed the Republican candidate’s ancestral surname, broke HBO viewing records and had social-media feeds atwitter.

Ever-sarcastic Chelsea Handler entertained fans on her new Netflix show, and Jerry Seinfeld satisfied his love of witty banter and classic automobiles in season 7 of “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee.” Larry Wilmore put a humorous spin on current events on his eponymous show.


“The Daily Show with Trevor Noah” (Comedy Central)
“Conan” (TBS
“Full Frontal With Samantha Bee” (TBS)
“Jimmy Kimmel Live” (ABC)
“Last Week Tonight With John Oliver” (HBO)
“The Late Late Show With James Corden” CBS
“Late Night With Seth Meyers” (NBC)
“Late Show With Stephen Colbert” (CBS)
“Real Time With Bill Maher” (HBO)
“The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” (NBC)

“@midnight With Chris Hardwick” (Comedy Central)
“Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee” (Crackle)
“Last Call With Carson Daly” (NBC)
“The Nightly Show With Larry Wilmore” (Comedy Central)
“Watch What Happens Live” (Bravo)