10 talk show hosts who opened up about struggling with their mental health

10 talk show hosts who opened up about struggling with their mental health
Whether they struggled in the past or find that it's an everyday battle, hosts like (L-R) Wendy Williams, James Corden, Jimmy Kimmel, and Ellen Degeneres have had some heartbreaking moments in their lives (Getty Images)

10 late-night/talk show hosts who braved vulnerability and shared mental health struggles

Even the richest and most successful late-night hosts like Wendy Williams. Stephen Cobert, and Oprah Winfrey have said that they have suffered from mental health conditions (Getty Images)
Even the richest and most successful late-night hosts like Wendy Williams, Stephen Cobert, and Oprah Winfrey have said that they have suffered from mental health conditions (Getty Images)

In the glitzy world of late-night and talk show entertainment, where laughter often takes center stage, a remarkable number of hosts have peeled back the curtain to reveal their personal battles with mental health. Even the most charismatic hosts face their own share of challenges, including health problems, personal losses, and encounters with overly obsessive fans. Notable entertainers like Conan O'Brien, Oprah Winfrey, and David Letterman have experienced tragedies throughout their careers.

1. Conan O'Brien

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - SEPTEMBER 19: Conan O'Brien attends the 73rd Primetime Emmy Awards at L.A.
 Conan O'Brien discussed depression and anxiety in a 2015 interview (Getty Images)

According to Variety, Conan O'Brien delved into a conversation about depression and anxiety with Anderson Cooper during a screening event in 2015. During an appearance on 'The Howard Stern Show', Conan O'Brien opened up, "I used to think I needed to be incredibly unhappy in order to be funny... you get to a point where you don't care if it's true or not. You just think, you know what, I'd rather be happy." 

2. David Letterman

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 07:  Presenter David Letterman speaks onstage at the 32nd Annual Rock & Roll Ha
David Letterman has struggled with anxiety and depression (Getty Images)

David Letterman, known for personal scandals, notably affairs with employees, also grappled with anxiety and depression. In a 2012 interview, he discussed mental health with Charlie Rose, expressing reluctance toward medication due to potential side effects, leading to "nervous anxiety" when he stopped.

3. Stephen Colbert

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - SEPTEMBER 22: Stephen Colbert attends the 71st Emmy Awards at Microsoft Th
Stephen Colbert discovered early on that performing helped with his anxiety (Getty Images)

Stephen Colbert opened up about his struggles with anxiety, detailing panic attacks and a "nervous breakdown" in an interview with Rolling Stone. During the early days of marriage, he found solace in performing, discovering that it alleviated his anxiety.

4. James Corden

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 07: James Corden attends the
James Corden may make people laugh with his 'Carpool Karaoke' videos, but that doesn't mean that he hasn't faced hard times (Getty Images)

Despite bringing laughter with 'Carpool Karaoke', James Corden revealed a vulnerable side. As per the Daily Mail, discussing the end of his late-night show in April 2023, he expressed anxiety at Paley Fest, admitting to feeling scared and on unstable ground, yet emphasizing the need to embrace and navigate that fear.

5. Jimmy Kimmel

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - SEPTEMBER 12: Jimmy Kimmel attends the 74th Primetime Emmys at Microsoft T
Jimmy Kimmel goes to therapy, which helps with his anxiety (Getty Images)

Jimmy Kimmel openly embraces therapy for managing anxiety, highlighting its positive impact on decision-making and understanding boundaries. In virtual sessions, he acknowledges the challenge of saying no and the importance of active listening. Kimmel, who reflected on the issue in a past interview with Jeff Bridges, has consistently shared his own anxiety struggles.

6. Trevor Noah

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - JANUARY 26: Trevor Noah attends the 62nd Annual GRAMMY Awards at Staples C
In 2019, Trevor Noah was candid about depression in an episode of the podcast 'Death, Sex and Money' (Getty Images)

Trevor Noah opened up about his struggles with depression in 2019 on the podcast 'Death, Sex and Money', sharing a poignant conversation with 'The Daily Show's head writer during his early hosting days. In 2021, he revealed to CBS News his ADHD, connecting it to depressive symptoms and emphasizing the importance of managing his routine to prevent feeling overwhelmed.

7. Ellen Degeneres

BEVERLY HILLS, CALIFORNIA - JANUARY 05: Ellen DeGeneres attends the 77th Annual Golden Globe Awards
In 1997, Ellen Degeneres revealed during a visit with Oprah Winfrey that she was gay (Getty Images)

Ellen Degeneres, in 1997, bravely came out as gay on Oprah Winfrey's show. However, rather than experiencing elation, she battled depression. Sharing her journey on Dax Shepard's podcast 'Armchair Expert' in 2018, she shed light on the emotional aftermath of revealing her truth.

8. Oprah Winfrey

Oprah Winfrey attends the 2023 Academy Museum Gala at Academy Museum of Motion Pictures on December 03, 2023 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Taylor Hill/WireImage)
Oprah Winfrey first revealed back in 1986 on her talk show that she had been sexually abused as a child (Taylor Hill/WireImage)

In 1986, Oprah Winfrey courageously disclosed on her talk show that she had been a victim of childhood sexual abuse. Addressing the profound secrecy surrounding such trauma, she expressed to USA Today a hope that her revelation would shed light on the hidden pain of abuse victims and encourage openness and healing.

9. Wendy Williams

Wendy Williams attends Apple TV+'s
Wendy Williams has opened up about her drug addiction over the years
(Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images)

Wendy Williams has candidly discussed her battle with drug addiction, revealing in 2019 that she had been residing in a sober house as part of her recovery from cocaine addiction, as per People. On 'The Wendy Williams Show', she shared the ongoing challenges of substance abuse recovery and emphasized the lifelong struggle for those dealing with addiction. Additionally, Williams disclosed a diagnosis of Graves Disease, an autoimmune condition leading to hyperthyroidism, as reported by NBC News.

10. Graham Norton

LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 19:   Graham Norton attends the
UK talk show host Graham Norton nearly died in 1989 after he was violently attacked (Getty Images)

In a 2021 interview with CBC Radio's Q, UK talk show host Graham Norton revealed a harrowing incident from 1989. In his mid-20s, he survived a near-fatal attack when he was stabbed while walking home from drama school. Norton lost a substantial amount of blood and, reflecting on the incident later, recognized the gravity of how close he came to death.

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