->''"Welcome to '''Series/TheDailyShow with Jon Stewart'''. Ironically enough, I'm Stephen Colbert."''

Most light entertainment shows (be it morning news, chat show, or quiz show) will have a host. Generally speaking, it's always the same person/s day in, day out, providing seamless links, interesting conversation, probing questions, and needed stability to the show. But what if they want to go on holiday or — heaven forbid — fall ill... What then? The show must go on, after all.

Cue the guest host, a temporary stand-in until the full-time host returns. It may be one guest host, or a succession of guest hosts. If you're lucky, it's somebody appropriate and even chosen by the full-time host (or, in some cases, a previous regular host or the presenter of a foreign iteration of the show). If not, you could end up with a wild change of tone in the show.

There's another version of this where a show only has guest hosts on instead of a regular.

[[folder:Talk Shows]]
* ''Series/TheDailyShow'' uses the correspondents when the host is unavailable.
** ''Series/TheDailyShowWithJonStewart'': During his time as a correspondent, Creator/StephenColbert was the go-to guest host for Creator/JonStewart before he got his own show, ''Series/TheColbertReport''. During the summer of 2013, Creator/JohnOliver hosted while Jon was in Iran directing ''Film/{{Rosewater}}'', which helped in earning him his own weekly show on {{Creator/HBO}}, ''Series/LastWeekTonightWithJohnOliver''. On October 8, 2014, Jason Jones and Samantha Bee co-hosted after Jon suddenly became ill.
** Since ''Series/TheDailyShowWithTrevorNoah'', the show will sometimes go on hiatus when Trevor is unavailable instead of having a guest host, for example on November 4, 2015, when he underwent an emergency appendectomy ([[TheShowMustGoOn which he returned from]] ''[[TheShowMustGoOn the very next day]]''), and in the run up to the 2016 Academy Awards as he prepared for his stand-up special ''Lost In Translation''.
* The NBC talk show ''Later'' had a long string of guest hosts after the departure of Greg Kinnear in 1996; ''Friday Night'' host Rita Sever was the most prominent mainly because she was already there. Cynthia Garrett became permanent host on January 31, 2000, but NBC did little to promote the show and it ended in January 2001. For a year it became ''Later Presents {{Series/SCTV}}'', a slot for reruns of the 1980s sketch comedy show, before ''Last Call with Carson Daly'' replaced it.
* ''The Late Show with Creator/DavidLetterman'' went to guest hosts while Dave had heart surgery in 2000, and again when he was ill with shingles in 2003. When he was recovering from heart surgery, almost all of the guest hosts refused to sit in his chair. Letterman still made use of guest hosts until he retired.
** Musical director Paul Shaffer guest-hosted the night Dave couldn't be there because his son was being born, and at least one of the aforementioned episodes from 2003.
** Once during Letterman's ''Series/LateNight'' years, Dave was in his cabin in the woods while Larry "Bud" Melman guest hosted. Throughout the show, we see Dave in his cabin watching on TV.
* ''Series/TheLateLateShow'' had guest hosts for several months after Craig Kilborn suddenly left. Several people rotated as guest hosts, until it was whittled down to week-long auditions from Creator/CraigFerguson, D. L. Hughley, Damien Fahey, and Michael Ian Black. [[note]](The other people who tried out on-air: Jason Alexander, Jeff Altman, Tom Arnold, Tom Caltabiano, Drew Carey, Adam Carolla, Tom Dreesen, David Duchovny, Jim Gaffigan, Ana Gasteyer, ''Late Late Show'' writer Michael Gibbons, David Alan Grier, Lisa Joyner, Donal Logue, Rosie Perez, Ahmad Rashad, Jim Rome, and Aisha Tyler)[[/note]] Ferguson, who hadn't been interested in becoming a talk show host before he started guest-hosting and decided he liked it, ended up with the job. When he departed at the end of 2014, the same template was used by CBS while James Corden gets in some rehearsal time before taking over the series in March 2015.
* ''The Paul O'Grady Show'' had guest hosts take over when Paul had a heart attack and again when he was ill with the flu. The show must go on.
* ''Series/TheTonightShow'' had several examples over the years:
** During the Steve Allen era, Steve got a primetime Sunday-night show in 1956 which necessitated being absent Monday and Tuesday nights. Ernie Kovacs hosted on these nights until both men left due to the show's short-lived format change to a ''Nightline''-style show in March 1957.
** After Jack Parr left the show in 1962, there was a six-month period of guest hosts including Hugh Downs, Groucho Marx, and [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7nwgPJMVdDs Jerry Lewis]] due to ABC holding Carson to his contract as host of ''Who Do You Trust?''
** Carson had various guest hosts over the years, although in the later years he would take one day off a week and leave it to guest hosts. Eventually, there came to be a single "permanent guest host" (Joan Rivers and Jay Leno both had this position), a phrase referred to by Creator/PennAndTeller as the "rare triple oxymoron".
** On May 12, 2003, Leno swapped places with Katie Couric as a publicity stunt: he co-hosted ''Series/{{Today}}'' with Matt Lauer, while she hosted ''The Tonight Show'' later that night. This marks the only time in either of Leno's two tenures as ''Tonight Show'' host that he used this trope.
* In the run up the the debut of the original ''Series/TheArsenioHallShow'' Arsenio contemplated having a guest host for the first episode, as a gag.
* In an attempt to boost its sagging ratings, producers of CBS's ''Series/ThePatSajakShow'' decided to make several changes in February 1990. The biggest change was having a guest host on Fridays. This didn't save the show, and it was cancelled two months later, on April 10. The kicker? Sajak was ''out of the country'' when CBS brought down the axe. ''The entire final week of his show consisted of guest hosts.'' He NeverGotToSayGoodbye.
* The syndicated talk show ''Live! (with Regis and Kathie Lee/Regis and Kelly/Kelly and Michael/Kelly and Ryan)'' had guest hosts replace each co-host as they left: in 2000 between Kathie Lee Gifford's departure and Kelly Ripa's arrival; in 2011 between Regis Philbin's departure and Michael Strahan's arrival; and again in 2016 between Strahan's departure and Ryan Seacrest's arrival.

[[folder:Interview/Information Shows]]
* Charlie Rose had nothing but guest hosts for a short while.
* The whole point of ''The Friday Night Project'' was to have a guest host on every week while regular hosts will help and support them. Basically, a reverse chat show.
* ''At the Movies'' had a long string of guest co-hosts after Gene Siskel died before settling on Richard Roeper. For medical reasons, Ebert also had guests standing in for him, before Roeper's departure and the show's revamp.
* One episode of ''Series/RealTimeWithBillMaher'' featured Creator/SethMacFarlane hosting the webcasted Overtime segment in place of Bill; before this, Bill had never had a guest host on ''Real Time'' '''at all.'''
* In the first episode of ''WestenAnimation/TheSimpsons'' featuring the news, regular anchor Kent Brockman is on vacation and Scott Christian is filling in.

[[folder:Panel Games]]
* ''Series/HaveIGotNewsForYou'' started out with Angus Deayton who, [[RoleEndingMisdemeanor after damaging news stories about himself]], was sacked from the show after the second episode of Series 24. They started replacing him with guest hosts; this was intended as a temporary fix until a regular replacement was chosen (and a kind of audition process for the job), but it proved so popular that it became a permanent element of the show.
* Similarly, ''Series/NeverMindTheBuzzcocks'' used guest hosts for Series 18 (after Mark Lamarr left the show) until Simon Amstell took over the helm at the start of Series 19. From there Bill Bailey, one of the team captains, left the show with guest team captains filling the gap until finding a permanent one with [[Series/TheMightyBoosh Noel Fielding]]. This stable period ended once Amstell left the show following Series 22, leaving the programme with guest hosts once more.
* Series 51 of ''Radio/ImSorryIHaventAClue'' had Creator/StephenFry, Jack Dee, and Rob Brydon chair two episodes each because no one could really replace Humph.

[[folder:Game Shows]]
* Creator/{{GSN}} had some fun with this on AprilFoolsDay 2003 with its originals: Mark L. Walberg hosted ''Series/FriendOrFoe?'' (normally hosted by Lisa Kennedy), Kennedy hosted ''Series/WinTuition'' (normally hosted by Marc Summers), Graham Elwood hosted ''Series/{{Whammy}}!'' (normally hosted by Todd Newton), Newton hosted ''Series/RussianRoulette'' (normally hosted by Walberg), and Summers hosted ''Series/{{Cram}}'' (normally hosted by Elwood). A few things happened in relation to this:
** ''Series/{{Lingo}}'' had Marc and Mark playing against Graham and Kennedy, with Newton serving as onstage announcer/comic relief to regular host Chuck Woolery.
** It was the last first-run episodes of ''Friend or Foe?'', ''[=WinTuition=]'', and ''Russian Roulette''. ''Roulette'' had the giant Whammy from ''Whammy!'' present in the audience, and ''[=WinTuition=]'' had then-network vice-president and game show fan Bob Boden as the Answer Kid.
** As part of the weirdness, GSN also aired the last episode of a special Valentine's Week (read: "Aired Pilot Week") of ''The New Newlywed Game'' that ABC showed in February 1984, which had Jim Lange hosting and Rod Roddy announcing.
* ''Series/FamilyFeud'' had two episodes, both during the original Richard Dawson version (1976-85), where one round was hosted by a guest. One game opened to Sammy Davis, Jr. hosting the first question, and a later game had contestant coordinator Caryn Lucas host one question since Dawson had just injured his ribs in a car accident and needed some time to adjust a slipping brace. (Dawson said in an interview that he absolutely hated to stop tape.)
* ''Series/TheHollywoodSquares'' had some fun moments:
** During the 1986-89 era, guest hosts included regular panelists Jm J. Bullock and Joan Rivers, along with announcer/regular panelist Shadoe Stevens. Most of these were due to regular host John Davidson being unavailable, but a couple different games had Joan Rivers and Series/{{ALF}} (yes, really!) hosting while Davidson sat in a square. When Stevens filled in, '''Creator/HowardStern''' took his place.
** During the Tom Bergeron-hosted revival (1998-2004), Rosie O'Donnell hosted one round with Tom sitting in her square. Later on, during a Game Show Hosts week, Peter Marshall (who helmed the original ''Squares'' from 1966-1981) returned to guest host one episode while Bergeron sat on the panel.
** The Bergeron version also had guest ''announcers'' during the two Game Show Hosts weeks in 2002 and 2003. The first had [[Series/ThePriceIsRight Rod Roddy]], and the second had Shadoe Stevens (who announced the first couple seasons of the Bergeron version as well) return one last time. Respectively, Rod and Shadoe were taking over for Jeffrey Tambor and John Moschitta. Creator/HenryWinkler (yes, [[Series/HappyDays Fonzie]]) also filled in for Tambor on a few occasions.
* Jim Peck filled in for Creator/JackBarry several times on ''Series/TheJokersWild''. When Barry died and the show was handed over to Creator/BillCullen, Peck got to return for a couple more guest hosting stints when Cullen was unavailable.
* This also happened in the long life of ''Series/LetsMakeADeal'':
** Dennis James filled in for Monty Hall on the original version, and Geoff Edwards filled in on ''The All-New Let's Make a Deal'', the show's second revival in 1984-86.
** Announcer Dean Goss hosted two deals during the 1985-86 season of ''All-New'' because Hall (who was also executive producer) wanted to pass the torch should the show be renewed for a third season. [[WhatCouldHaveBeen It wasn't.]]
** Going the other way, the 1990s version (originally hosted by Bob Hilton) had Monty take over as "guest host" in October 1990. Hall felt that the show was failing due to poor reception of Hilton as host, and planned to fill in until he could scout out a replacement for what would have been the second season. However, NBC just opted to can the show in January 1991 — and bring ''Series/WheelOfFortune'' back over from CBS to replace it.
* ''Series/{{Password}}'' had a few examples over time:
** During the original 1960s version, announcer Jack Clark filled in on a few occasions.
** For the ABC era, Monty Hall hosted a few weeks (one of which had Allen playing against his wife, Creator/BettyWhite). In 1975, Betty herself hosted a week.
** Much later in his career (1980), Ludden was too ill to host ''Password Plus'', so Creator/BillCullen filled in for four weeks while Geoff Edwards temporarily took over for Bill for two weeks on ''Series/ChainReaction''. (Both shows aired on NBC at the time.)
** After Ludden retired from ''Plus'', Tom Kennedy took over as host… but one episode has his brother, Jack Narz, host so that Kennedy could play the game himself.
* ''Series/ThePriceIsRight'' has had many examples:
** The original version (1956-63 on NBC, 1963-65 on ABC) had guest hosts fill in for Bill Cullen when he took ill or went on vacation — Creator/MervGriffin, Arlene Francis, and Don Pardo all held the role during the NBC era, while Johnny Gilbert, Jack Clark, and Robert Q. Lewis all held the reins during the ABC era. Notably, Lewis' turn as host actually had Bill as that day's celebrity bidder (an element introduced when ''Price'' changed networks).
** When ''Price'' returned in 1972, there were two versions: the daytime series then hosted by Bob Barker, and a nighttime version hosted by Dennis James (until 1977, then also hosted by Barker until its demise in 1980). James hosted the daytime episodes of December 24-27, 1974 because Bob had the flu on the taping date, the only time to date that daytime ''Price'' has had a guest host (barring April Fool's Day 2014).
** ''Price'' also had rotations of guest announcers. After Johnny Olson died, the guests were Rod Roddy, Gene Wood, Bob Hilton, and Rich Jeffries, with Rod eventually getting the job. Rod's declining health between 2001 and 2003 also led to several fill-ins by Burton Richardson (who previously did the short-lived 1994 syndicated version) and Randy West, plus one week by Paul Boland.
*** A then-retired Gene Wood did some post-production announcing work on reruns in Summer 1998.
** After Rod died in 2003, the substitutes consisted of Burton and Randy along with Daniel Rosen, Art Sanders, Roger Rose, Don Bishop, Jim Thornton, and Rich Fields, with Rich ultimately getting the job. Burton also did the December 22, 2006 show due to Rich having laryngitis.
** Following Rich's departure in 2010, another rotation occurred: JD Roberto, Jeff Davis, Brad Sherwood, David H. Lawrence XVII, Steve White, and [[Series/TheWeakestLink George Gray]], who was chosen as Rich's successor.
** Also, far too many fill-in models to list.
** After Drew Carey took over for Bob Barker as the show's host, he pulled a flip-flop with Craig Ferguson for AprilFoolsDay 2014. Drew hosted ''The Late Late Show'' with George Gray as announcer and the models as sidekicks, while Craig Ferguson hosted ''Price'' with Shadoe Stevens announcing, and Secratariat and Geoff Peterson as "models".
* In 1974, Gene Rayburn guest hosted ''Series/{{Tattletales}}'' for a week as regular host Bert Convy played the game with his wife, Anne. Gene actually hosted the ''Tattletales'' prototype in 1973, which was originally called ''Celebrity Match Mates'' (Convy would get the job after Gene landed the ''Series/MatchGame'' revival).
** On at least two occasions, "Tattletales" had a special "Emcee Week", where Bert would host for two days out of the week, and each of the other days would be hosted by a guest host while the Convys played the game. In 1975, the guest hosts were [[Series/ThePriceIsRight Bob Barker]], [[Series/MatchGame Gene Rayburn]], and [[Series/{{Showoffs}} Bobby Van]]. The following year, Bob Barker, [[Series/{{Concentration}} Jack Narz]], and [[Series/FamilyFeud Richard Dawson]] were the guest emcees.
* ''Series/WheelOfFortune'' has also had this happen frequently:
** Creator/AlexTrebek guest-hosted a week on daytime in 1980 and another episode in 1985, filling in for Chuck Woolery on the former and Pat Sajak on the latter.
** On AprilFoolsDay 1997, Trebek hosted ''Wheel'' again, with Pat and LovelyAssistant Vanna White playing for charity and Pat's wife, Lesly, in Vanna's usual role and Johnny Gilbert co-announcing with Charlie O'Donnell. Pat also hosted that day's ''Series/{{Jeopardy}}'' - which, notably, was otherwise a normal game (with most fans agreeing he acquitted himself very well).
** Original LovelyAssistant Susan Stafford had Summer Bartholomew and Cynthia Washington fill in for her a few times in 1979 and 1980 due to injuries. Arte Johnson also held this role for one day in 1980, likely to plug his NBC show ''Knockout''. After Susan left in 1982, the show rotated hosting duties among Bartholomew, Vicki [=McCarty=] (Iovine), and Vanna White, the last of whom has been the show's hostess ever since. Susan returned for one week of daytime episodes in 1986 so Vanna could recover after her boyfriend was killed in a plane crash. In January 1991, Tricia Gist filled in for two weeks to accommodate for Vanna's honeymoon, and returned two months later due to Vanna having a bad cold.
** Same thing with their announcers. The main announcers are Charlie O'Donnell (1975-80, 1989-2010), Jack Clark (1980-88), M.G. Kelly (1988-89), and Jim Thornton (2011-). Charlie, Johnny Gilbert, and Don Morrow all filled in for Jack at various points (the former two also doing so in Spring and Summer 1988, shortly before and after Clark's death), and Don Pardo did two weeks taped at Radio City Music Hall during M.G.'s tenure.
** When Charlie returned, he missed two weeks in late 1995, for which Gilbert again filled in. After Charlie's death, several announcers rotated: Johnny Gilbert, Rich Fields, Lora Cain, Joe Cipriano, John Cramer, and the aforementioned Jim Thornton, the last of whom became his successor.
** ''Wheel'' also had a guest ''director'' for some weeks in Season 31. Longtime director Mark Corwin died after directing only two weeks of episodes, so ''Jeopardy!'' director Kevin [=McCarthy=] handled that season's road shows taped in Las Vegas, while associate director Bob Cisneros and technical director Robert Ennis filled in until the former was promoted to full-time director. Ennis also filled in again briefly in 2014 while Cisneros was having neck surgery, and after Cisneros left in 2015, Ennis himself became the permanent director.
* The 1990-91 incarnation of ''Series/ToTellTheTruth'' had this happen unintentionally. The {{pilot}} episode, hosted by Richard Kline, aired on the East Coast by mistake instead of the actual first episode. Original host Gordon Elliott was fired early on over a salary dispute, so Lynn Swann took his place. Then Swann had to leave, so Creator/AlexTrebek took over... however, ''he'' had to leave in the middle of a taping session due to his wife going into labor, so creator Creator/MarkGoodson was called in at the last minute to host a couple episodes until Trebek could return.

* ''Radio/AmericanTop40'' has had several guest hosts, when the regular host (Casey Kasem, Shadoe Stevens, Casey again, now Ryan Seacrest) was either unavailable or wanted a little time off.
* Sister show ''Radio/AmericanCountryCountdown'' went through this several times. Original host Don Bowman had several substitutes when he was unavailable, including producer Bob Kingsley, who later got [[AscendedExtra promoted to permanent host]] from 1978 to 2005. Every now and then, Bob would take a week off and usually have his place taken by a DJ at a major country radio station. When Kingsley left to start his own show, ''Radio/BobKingsleysCountryTop40'', there was a three-week rotation of guest hosts on ''ACC'' before [[Music/BrooksAndDunn Kix Brooks]] was officially established.
* Over at ''Radio/BobKingsleysCountryTop40'', Bob has continued his usual practice of letting a major-market DJ fill in for him once or twice a year, but on a couple occasions, he let a CountryMusic ''singer'' take his place: Jeffrey Steele did a week each in 2008 and '09, and Jack Ingram did another week in 2008.
* With his increasing age and a serious bout of pneumonia late in his career, Radio/PaulHarvey had a bevy of guest hosts late in his career. The most frequent guest host was his son, Paul Harvey Jr., but several other ABC Radio personnel sometimes filled in, as did former senator Fred Thompson. Two of the regular substitutes, Gil Gross and Doug Limerick, took over on the show's format following Harvey's death, but it was canceled only two weeks later and replaced with ''The Huckabee Report''.
* ''CMT Country Countdown USA'', another country music countdown show, uses a variant of this trope. Each show is hosted by Lon Helton (formerly the editor of the now-defunct ''Radio & Records'' magazine) and a different country music singer every week.
* ''Hancock's Half Hour'' had Harry Secombe playing the part of Tony Hancock for a couple of episodes when Hancock himself was ill - this was then immediately lampshaded upon the real Hancock's return with an episode revolving around Hancock tracking down Secombe to thank him for the favour, which revealed Secombe to be [[HeroOfAnotherStory living a rather sitcom-like existence in Wales]]. Sadly, none of these episodes are known to have survived, except as scripts.

[[folder:Other Shows]]
* For some months, Wrestling/{{WWE}} attempted it on its flagship show ''Wrestling/WWERaw'' to varying degrees of success and critique. The supposed reason was that when Donald Trump "bought" the show, he was going to name Ric Flair as General Manager...but when he sold it back to Vince [=McMahon=], ol' Vinnie Mac wouldn't hear of it (canonically, Vince detests Ric on the air, and reports about their backstage relationship vary). In reality, the idea was forced upon WWE by executives at Creator/USANetwork, the channel that aired the show. The concept stopped a few months after [=WrestleMania=] 26.
** The idea ''did'' bring in some people you probably wouldn't associate with wrestling, including Pee-Wee Herman (which, at least canonically, Vince was ''pissed'' at) and '''Bob Barker''' (who turned the show into ''The Price Is RAW'' and seemed to be having quite a bit of fun).
* The animated series ''WesternAnimation/TalesFromTheCryptKeeper'' was occasionally hijacked by Creator/ECComics' other narrators, the Vault-Keeper from ''The Vault of Horror'' and the Old Witch from ''The Haunt of Fear''.
* Due to the in-story disappearance of central character Linkara, ''WebVideo/AtopTheFourthWall'' featured either his then-girlfriend WebVideo/IronLiz or several of his recurring characters (all played by Linkara himself) guest hosting his VideoReviewShow.
** This would later happen with WebVideo/TVTrash as well
* ''Series/SaturdayNightLive'' may have been initially planned to have a permanent host (there are references to Creator/AlbertBrooks refusing the position), but started out in 1975 with different guest hosts each week. Thirty-eight years later, there still isn't a full-time host.
* This came up a few times on ''Series/TheLarrySandersShow''. One time they couldn't find anyone to guest host, so they had to settle for Hank hosting solo. It didn't go well.
* When ''Series/{{Punkd}}'' was brought back in 2012, instead of having TheHost with Ashton Kutcher, it was a host for each episode.
* ''Podcast/RandomAssault'': Many guests; you can count em on both hands.

* Parodied by ''Website/TheOnion'' in their video sketches, where Clifford Banes has '''never''' appeared as host of ''In the Know with Clifford Banes'' due to an increasingly unlikely series of circumstances...unless you count the time one of his guest hosts claimed to be Clifford in an incredibly lifelike mask.
* Outside of a few episodes where the actual 'host' appeared (and failed) to get his gig back after recovering from his injuries from a tape shelf collapsing on him, ''Series/CheapSeats'' was permanently guest-hosted by 'tape library interns' Jason and Randy Sklar, and not smarmy ESPN host parody Ron Parker (the show's full name was ''Cheap Seats without Ron Parker'').
* Parodied in a recurring ''Series/SaturdayNightLive'' sketch where the regular female host of a female-oriented talk show (''Woman To Woman'', ''Maternity Matters'') is unavailable, so the show's producer, a gruff, irascible, insensitive man named Roger Brush (Fred Armisen), fills in.