Do it in English: 7 western interviewers from whom everyone takes an example

    People have always been interested in what famous people live. That is why celebrity interviews have always been popular.

    For some reason, in the Russian-speaking countries, shows in the format of an interview or “evening show” were not popular until the 2010s. Hardly anyone now remembers the show titled “The Hour of the Owl,” “Good Evening with Igor Ugolnikov,” or “Once Evening.”

    The first truly popular television show in this format was “Evening Urgant”, which was released in 2012. Then the Russian-speaking people tasted the genre and loved it. But for some inexplicable reason there were no similar shows in runet. Until 2017 - then the YouTube channel “vDud” appeared .

    Reference. vDud is an interview show in which Yuri Dud, the creator and presenter of the project, talks to famous people from the field of music, film, politics, culture and Internet activities.

    The show was created as a hobby, but its first release in one day gathered more than 100,000 views. As of October 2018, the channel has 4 million subscribers - and the number is steadily growing.

    Today, Yuri Dud is considered the most famous interviewer of the Internet. But the format of such shows on American television was popular long before Dudy and Urgant.

    Today we recall the top 7 English-language masters of the modern interview. And also we will tell you what level of English you need to have in order to watch each of them in the original. So let's go.

    James Lipton - Inside the Actors Studio

    "In the studio of acting skills" - this is the legendary show of James Lipton, which started in 1994 and is still ongoing. In the entire history of the project, 274 episodes were shot (October, 2018), in each of which Lipton conducted interviews with a famous person.

    The format of the show is interesting because the interview is conducted in front of an audience of students who can also ask questions, so the interview is lively and non-standard.

    During the year of the show’s existence, it was noted by most stars of the world scale. Among them, Julia Roberts, Angelina Jolie, Matt Damon, Brad Pitt, Jim Carrey, Al Pacino and dozens of others.

    Lipton asks a lot of questions to the interviewee. Here are a dozen of the most beloved, which he asks almost all the participants of the show:

    1. What is your favorite word?
    2. What is your least favorite word?
    3. What inspires you?
    4. What depresses you?
    5. What sound or noise do you like?
    6. What sound or noise do you hate?
    7. What is your favorite curse word?
    8. What profession would you like to try if possible?
    9. What would you never want to do?
    10. If God exists, would you like to hear from him in front of the gates to heaven?

    All interviews are very interesting, seasoned with a vigorous share of humor. But to watch them in the original, you need to know English well - the level of Upper-intermediate or higher.

    The diction of Lipton himself is almost always extremely clear, but in releases up to 2006, the sound is not very good, so you need to put a lot of effort into understanding. And often, invited guests do not bother to speak clearly.

    For example, an excerpt from "In the studio of acting skills" with Al Pacino, 2006. To understand what Al Pacino says, even with a good level of language you need to try.

    "Inside the actors studio" is a great show with a good sense of humor, and we definitely recommend it for an advanced level of learning English.

    Jimmy Fallon - The Tonight Show

    "The Tonight Show" is a legendary entertainment show on NBC, which has been running since 1954 (!) Of the year. And this makes it the oldest talk show, the release of which continues today. Over the entire history of the project filmed more than 12,000 episodes. And it is 6 times cooler than the famous "Santa Barbara".

    Jimmy Fallon has been a talk show since 2014. During this time, he starred in 944 episodes (October 12, 2018).

    The format of the Russian show "Evening Urgant" is almost completely copied from Fallon's "Evening Show". At the same time, Jimmy Fallon personally participated in the adaptation of “The Tonight Show” for the Russian audience and gave advice for the development of the show.

    The Tonight Show is filmed in a humorous interview format. The presenter and the invited guests are joking a lot and laughing a lot. Because of this, it is difficult for an unprepared viewer who teaches English as a foreign language to watch editions.

    Very often, talk show heroes openly laugh and try to say something. This damn interferes with the understanding of the dialogue. But despite this, the humor is valid, every issue of the show is interesting to watch.

    An excerpt from The Tonight Show featuring John Cen, an American wrestler, 13-time WWE champion and 3-time world heavyweight champion. The show is very dynamic, but due to the high speed of speech and emotional characters it is not always possible to make out what they say. But it looks all the same fun.

    True, there is a huge plus - on the official channel “The Tonight Show” all videos are loaded with subtitles. Therefore, if you do not have enough skills to understand the speech by ear, you can safely include a text string.

    We recommend watching “Evening Show” with subtitles for students already from Pre-intermediate and Intermediate levels. They help to feel the real English language in an informal setting. Despite difficulties in listening, dialogues are rarely complex. Most often, this comic squabbles on various topics.

    If you want to watch without subtitles, then you need the Advanced language level.

    Ellen DeGeneres - The Ellen DeGeneres Show

    “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” or simply “Ellen” is an American talk show hosted by comedy actress Ellen DeGeneres. The show first appeared on screens in 2004, and to date (October 2), 2465 episodes have already been released.

    The format of humorous talk shows is really popular in the US and Ellen is no exception. But the beauty of this show is that it is divided into a series of small separate scenes with different characters. Interview with a famous person - only one of them.

    "Ellen" is so fond of the American audience that the transfer has won 11 Emmy Awards.

    Ellen DeGeneres possesses excellent diction and articulation, her language is rather simple, but she uses many phraseological units. So watching this show is also a great training for conversations and interesting phrases.

    Small scenes within the show help not to be dispersed on long interviews. On the official YouTube channel TheEllenShow you can enable subtitles under each video.

    Fragment of The Ellen DeGeneres Show with singer Lady Gaga, 2018. The conversation on personal topics is interrupted by jokes in the topic, so it sounds very natural and does not bother.

    This is one of the most easy-to-understand English-language shows, so EnglishDom experts recommend it from the Intermediate level. And with subtitles it can be viewed already from the level of Pre-intermediate. Especially it is recommended to students who want to tighten phraseological units and phrasal verbs.

    Larry King - Larry King Live

    The Larry King Show is one of the most famous talk shows in the United States that was broadcast on CNN from 1985 to 2010. For 25 years, the broadcast of the show did not change either the lead or the time going on the air. A total of 6120 transmission issues were filmed.

    The show has gained tremendous popularity not only in the USA, but also far beyond its borders. In 2000, as a guest on the Larry King show, even Vladimir Putin appeared.

    Larry King is considered one of the most respected interviewers in the world. He wrote a number of books on the art of the interview, so his dialogues with famous personalities are always interesting and non-trivial.

    An excerpt from the Larry King show featuring the world famous illusionist David Copperfield. The language is rather difficult to perceive, because everyone speaks quickly and does not articulate words, often swallowing sounds. But at the same time, such interviews are an excellent training for listening to the real language, such as it really is.

    Larry King's show discussed a wide variety of topics: from science to politics, so it will be interesting to watch for people who want to expand their horizons. But it is still quite difficult for perception, so the minimum level of language for its understanding is Upper Intermediate.

    Bonus If you like the way Larry King interviews, he has a newer show called “Larry King Now”. The format is essentially the same, but the design has become more new.

    Here is one of the highlights of the updated Larry King show:

    Oprah Winfrey - The Oprah Winfrey Show

    The Oprah Winfrey Show is one of the most famous talk shows in the world, which was broadcast in 145 countries. The show had a huge impact on the pop culture of the United States, so it was listed in the “50 Greatest Shows in American History According to TV Guide”.

    The history of the Oprah show is impressive - it went on the air from 1986 to 2011. A total of 4561 episodes were released, in which Oprah interviewed countless celebrities from various spheres of life.

    Oprah is a great example of American English. Her interviewing style is very specific - she can switch between serious topics and jokes literally instantly. Probably it is for this that the audience loves her so much. True, her voice is very low, which makes it difficult to perceive her speech.

    Fragment of The Oprah Winfrey Show with the participation of the famous singer Beyonce. Some Oprah phrases are hard to read, and everyone speaks very fluently. Therefore, to view the show you need a high perception of language by ear.

    Oprah show will be interesting to watch for everyone who at least a little follows the life of famous people. All interviews are held within the framework of a friendly conversation, without staged dynamics.

    EnglishDom tutors recommend The Oprah Winfrey Show to all students who seek to pull up American English. True, knowledge of the language and the ability to recognize speech by ear should already be very high. For viewing it is better to sit down with the level of upper-intermediate, and even better - Advanced.

    Howard Stern - The Howard Stern Show

    In the United States, Howard Stern is called the “father of all media”, but in the Russian-speaking space few have heard of him. The maximum where he could be seen was on the jury of the show of America's Got Talents.

    And all because he conducted his interviews not on television, but on radio. Suddenly! One of the best interviewers in the world was a radio host on the wave of Sirius XM Radio. The first editions of the show were released in 1986. But the show has gained so much popularity that since 1994, studio studios began recording and broadcasting on American television channels. And since 2006, the Howard Stern Show has its own YouTube channel .

    Howard Stern loves provocations in an interview. He asks uncomfortable questions, tries to catch the interlocutor, provokes emotions. As a result, the dialogues are very juicy and dynamic. Even if you listen to them without video tracking.

    Howard has a great speech articulation, like any experienced radio host. Therefore, with speech recognition there are practically no problems. But the leading vocabulary uses a variety of, so you need to have a good vocabulary. To understand you need a minimum level Intermediate.

    An excerpt from the Howard Stern Show featuring Paul McCartney. Howard's speech becomes a little incomprehensible only when he displays emotions. But in general, everything is legible and intelligible.
    We recommend The Howard Stern Show to students who are working on the perception of oral speech. Very often, we use excerpts from this show as examples for teaching auditory perception at the Intermediate level. In addition, it is convenient to listen to them in audio format.

    David Letterman - The Late Show

    “Late Show” with David Letterman is a traditional show of the American television channel CBS, the first issue of which was seen by the world in 1993.

    Over the years, the show has received such a huge popularity that it ranked seventh in the rating of the 50 greatest shows in American history according to TV Guide.

    The Letterman Show is held in the classic late show format, but it doesn’t have as much humor as, for example, Jimmy Fallon. David talked with the stars about the news about their career, about interesting events from their lives, about thoughts and aspirations. In general, just that interests many fans of stars.

    David Letterman's diction is very correct and clear, so the listener understands most of the words and phrases he says. The vocabulary is basically standard, but sometimes complex philosophical topics slip through, which are not easy to understand even with perfect knowledge of the language.

    Interview of David Letterman with Emma Watson. David asks Emma about her new project, which was then the film "Noah" on the Old Testament theme. There are some specific vocabulary, but in general everything is available.

    David Letterman retired from the program in 2015, now “The Late Show” is led by Stephen Colbert. But records with Letterman without any problems are available on the Internet.

    In general, we recommend The Late Show to all students with an Intermediate and Upper-Intermediate level of knowledge. Although individual interviews and topics may seem difficult, so you need to choose the best option.


    Talk shows are a unique program format that is enjoyed by millions of viewers. But we are not the only Dudy and Urgant live. After all, with the help of interesting interviews you can successfully learn English.

    The seven interviewers from this article are not the only worthy representatives of their profession. In fact, they are much more. Therefore, you can choose programs and podcasts that you like in style and content. Improve your English with pleasure. is an online English learning platform.

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