Pop Culture | TV | 90s

10 Daytime Talk Shows We Always Watched When We Stayed Home From School

When you were a kid, staying home from school because you were sick, or because there was a snow day meant one thing: Daytime TV.

There weren't going to be good shows on for hours because most networks assumed you'd be at school. Obviously they didn't consider that some of us were going to be constantly sick, so we needed something to watch.

Instead of watching age appropriate shows, we were instead stuck watching the talk shows intended for a much older audience. But don't even pretend like you didn't love it.

We would sit there for hours while our noses were running and just watch these talk shows discussing really serious topics like "who's really the father?" and "can this psychic really talk to this man's dead grandmother?"

We watched these shows for hours and hours, but do you still remember all your old favorites?

1. The Montel Williams Show

Montel Williams
Viacom Enterprises

This show was perhaps one of the most touchy-feely ones out there. He seemed to focus more on the heartwarming stories like reconnecting people who had been apart and also discussing actual health issues.

Sylvia Browne was probably the most memorable guest on the show. She would come on and pull people out of the audience to communicate with their loved ones who had passed on. People would get really, really emotional discussing their loved ones, and hopefully it helped them get some closure.

2. The Ricki Lake Show

Ricki Lake
Columbia Pictures Television

She was the young, cool host! At the age of 24, she was the youngest talk show host in history. Her show was actually almost as popular as Oprah for a little while, but her topics were tailored to a younger audience.

No one else really focused on the things that were affecting those under 25, but Ricki Lake made sure that they also would be heard.

Although there was always that surprise guest who would come out when the doorbell rang, and then voila, someone special to make the segment even more exciting.

3. The Rosie O'Donnell Show

Rosie O'Donnell Show
Warner Bros. Television

Even though she has become a little bit more of a controversial figure in the world, in the 90s she was everyone's favorite talk show host.

She shot Koosh balls into the audience, she had the most famous guests that you actually cared about, and she was just generally fun to watch. We couldn't get enough of her in the 90s.

4. The Sally Jesse Raphael Show

The Sally Jesse Raphael Show
Syndiction

Sally Jesse Raphael would focus on a lot of women's issues like what it was like to be a working mom, addressing domestic abuse, and and discussing abortion.

Her trademark glasses were actually a total fluke. Raphael realized she needed glasses to read the cards before they taped so someone ran to the pharmacy to grab her a pair of readers. The only ones that would work were those big ol' red ones.

Apparently the audiences liked them so much they decided to keep them around as her trademark.

5. The Maury Povich Show

Maury Povich
Paramount Domestic Television

It was like a slightly tamer version of The Jerry Springer Show, but it was still pretty insane. Personally, this was my favorite to watch when I was home sick, especially when they would try to scare a bunch of teens into getting their acts together.

I never really understood why anyone would agree to go on the show, because you are honestly never going to find out anything good, but it was super fun to watch anyways. It did however get a little sad when someone found out they weren't the father and they actually wanted to be.

6. The Jenny Jones Show

Jenny Jones
Warner Bros. Television

She was a lot like Sally Jesse Raphael and Ricki Lake, but the most notorious episode is actually one that never aired.

On one episode a man revealed he had a crush on his best friend, and days later that friend killed him. They obviously weren't going to air that clip, but it was shown as part of a documentary years later.

7. Geraldo

Geraldo Show
Tribune Entertainment

He was always on the case, whether it was racism, activists, or anything that needed to be investigated. He also would interview controversial celebs like Tonya Harding.

The mustache is legend, and the fact that he got punched in the face by a guest is pretty iconic as well.

8. The Jerry Springer Show

Jerry Springer
Multimedia Entertainment

No show was more ridiculous or outrageous, and yet no show was as entertaining to watch. It was almost like watching a WWE fight, because the characters were so insane and then would end up in a fight.

At the end of every episode, Jerry would break it down for us, revealing the true lesson we should have learned, but let's be real... We just wanted to watch people throw a chair.

9.  The Queen Latifah Show

Queen Latifah Show 90s
Sony Pictures Television

While her show didn't last that long, it was still really great. We all knew her as a rapper and an actress, but it was nice to see her softer side.

She had a lot of awesome guests and honestly the show should have lasted longer than it did. Although she did bring it back eventually, so at least she got a second shot!

10. The Phil Donahue Show

Phil Donahue
WLWD

Phil Donahue's show was pretty groundbreaking when it started. Did you realize that his show is credited as the first one to demonstrate breakdancing on television?

The show ran for 26 years, and had almost 7,000 episodes, but the ratings began to fail when they started to go into the "trashier" topics.

Which of these daytime talk shows were your favorite? I mean, they were all such winners it's pretty hard to choose.

If it wasn't a crazy talk show, we were probably watching one of those weird after-school specials. They had the weirdest plots but we couldn't look away.

Or if we wanted something a little more relaxing, we could throw on some classic Bob Ross and just watch him create masterpieces before our very eyes.

H/T - Thought Catalog / Today / Ranker

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