Top 5 First Talk Show Guests Recommended by Teachers

If you hosted a late-night talk show, who would you have as your first guest?

That is the question we posed to hundreds of ESGI and ThinkFives followers. The results are quite eclectic just like our audience. They cover the political spectrum, entertainment, education and family.

So whether it’s Jimmy Fallon’s replacement, or a brand new live talk show you’re hosting on Facebook Live, here are a few guests for you to consider.

Gerry Brooks

Perhaps the most surprising name on the list is Gerry Brooks, the education celebrity who has gone from principal of an elementary school in Kentucky to Internet star. He has garnered millions of followers on social media with his folksy, hilarious videos, usually shot from the front seat of his car.

About 6 years ago, Gerry uploaded his first YouTube video, and subsequently has added over 180 videos to his channel that has amassed over 102,500 subscribers. He’s a strong proponent for improving education through action and he’s worth following on YouTube.

My Mom

4th on our list but number one in the hearts of everyone is our moms. Teachers believe interviewing their mom was the best way to start a new endeavor. Moms are great for good family yarns and if opening night rattles your nerves, who better to relax and calm you down than Mom?

One word of warning however, once Mom gets warmed up, she might steal the show. And how do you keep her away from pulling out your baby pictures and talking about how you were so slow to potty train?

Dolly Parton

What our Top5 list illustrates — is what millions of people already know — Dolly Parton is amazing!  Looking back at her 50 years of work — as a singer, actress, and entrepreneur — you get a sense of how amazing she is with all the success in a diverse line of work.

According to the Weekly Grove (has to be a reliable source, right?), “Everyone sees her as theirs.  She transcends boundaries by connecting with people from many walks of life.”  Or how about a headline from the New York Times (perhaps more credible), “Is There Anything We Can All Agree On? Yes: Dolly Parton.”

Whether it be music (“I Will Always Love You”), movies (9 to 5), or entertainment (Dollywood), Dolly Parton is a star for the ages and we’re sure would be a great first guest.


#2 on our list is someone who is a natural for any talk show but beware: she is someone who will probably turn the mic on you. That would be the world-acclaimed Oprah.

And what better guest can there be than a woman who has touched millions of people with her TV show, movies, and charities, including her OWN Magazine and Network.

Oprah is a larger than life personality, but for those who have met her, it is Oprah the person who is even more admired.  Long after she decided to end her television show, she continues to offer people support and spread positive awareness.

Michelle Obama

The top person who teachers would love to book as their first guest is one of the most admired women in the world, Michelle Obama.

For many, her realness is what fuels her popularity. It’s the raw candor that so many believe is missing from most politicians and celebrities. “When they go low, we go high” are arguably Michelle’s most famous words but according to the Washington Post, “her post-White House stardom is far removed from campaign rhetoric and instead rooted in relatability. So what happens when a former first lady stops being polite and starts getting real? Fans love her even more.”

Whether it is promoting physical and mental health or highlighting opportunities for women, there would be no shortage of topics to explore with Michelle, a great choice as a first guest.

Honorable mentions

  • Donald Trump
  • Tom Hanks
  • Barack Obama
  • Jill Biden

Who would be your first guest if you hosted a talk show?








  1. Love Gerry Brooks! He’s hilarious but also has a clear view of the education system, students, teachers and parents. Have met him a couple times and he’s amazing! 🤩

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