Recently, it seems as though the old players in the late night comedy field are tapping out to make way for a younger, fresh-legged, fresh-comedy, A-Team. As the battle between late night comedians rages on, we cannot help but wonder who is winning the war? How do these charismatic super-hosts compare on the ultimate scale of late night comedy?

 

Here is how we rank the real stand-outs in stand-up:

 

1. Jimmy Fallon. The first place ranking among late night hosts has to go to Jimmy Fallon, the recent host of NBC’s “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” (which airs weeknights at 11:35 p.m.), and previous host of “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.” This man is a phenomenon. He has been hosting “The Tonight Show” since Jay Leno’s departure in February, and Fallon has yet to have an off night. The chemistry between Fallon and his faithful house band, The Roots; his hilarious wingman, Steve Higgins; the chemistry between Fallon and his guests; the chemistry between Fallon and his nationwide audience — it all works.

 

The dramatic spike in ratings since Fallon took over the show certainly reflects this obvious congruence. Leno was an exceedingly adequate host of “The Tonight Show” in his day; in fact, there are many faithful fans of his who will miss his sardonic swagger and wry humor, but no one has realized the true potential of the spirit of Johnny Carson’s “The Tonight Show” until Fallon took the spotlight. Fallon has captured the hearts (and target demographic) of his adoring audience; his down-to-earth, unpretentious aura and undeniably captivating personality, not to mention his all-star team of comedy writers behind his hilarious sketches, make for one of the best late night shows on television. His humility and authenticity above all set him apart from just about everyone else in the industry: “My goal is to make you laugh so you go to sleep with a smile on your face and live a longer life.”

 

2. Conan O’Brien. A close second place goes to the most enigmatic red-head in show business: the one and only Conan O’Brien. “Conan” is a unique show named after its unique host and mastermind. The show claims its own brand of late night comedy that naturally distinguishes itself from any other show on television. While “The Tonight Show” opts for a more mainstream brand of comedy, “Conan” utilizes a quirky and less predictable approach to making people laugh. O’Brien himself has a naturally funny and eccentric vibe that makes the show feel relaxed and effortlessly witty. Most importantly for a late night comedian, O’Brien does not take himself too seriously, allowing for some playful self-deprecation and hilarious moments between he and his sidekick, Andy Richter. Catch Conan on TBS Monday through Thursday at 11:00 p.m.

 

3. Seth Meyers. The third spot goes to Seth Meyers, the brand new host of “Late Night” after Fallon recently left to take over “The Tonight Show.” Meyers earns this high ranking due to his success in taking on the admittedly daunting task of inheriting “Late Night” from Fallon, a very hard act to follow indeed. However, NBC executives clearly chose Fallon’s “Late Night” successor wisely; Meyers seems to be learning fast and earning high ratings along the way. Previous to his new “Late Night” digs, Meyers wrote and hosted the “Weekend Update” portion of “Saturday Night Live,” where he served as a news anchor of sorts, introducing sketch characters and delivering the news with a satirical twist.

 

Meyers has stayed true to his comedy roots, enlisting fellow former SNL cast member and star of the comedy series “Portlandia,” Fred Armisen, as his hilarious sidekick and occasionally doing bits in the sketch-comedy style of “Saturday Night Live.” Meyers has learned how to translate his “straight man” role in comedy (the objective body in a comedy sketch that sets up the joke for the other character to deliver the punchline) to his new position as an independent host, defining his own signature style. Meyers is truly making a name for himself as a witty, likable, and professional late night host. Catch Meyers hosting “Late Night weeknights at 12:37 a.m.

 

These are my top picks for late night hosts. Share your favorites by posting in the comments below, or shoot me a tweet @JenksUOhMeASoda