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The Real Reason Talk Show Hosts Always Sit On The Right Side

Talk shows have long been a staple of American television. From Johnny Carson and Oprah Winfrey to the numerous iterations of "The Tonight Show," you'd be hard-pressed to find someone that hasn't at least seen one episode of a talk show. The genre has stayed popular for decades, but there have been tons of changes to the format, like more diverse hosts and differences in the content on each show.

Despite the evolution of talk shows, one thing has stayed mostly the same: the way the stage is set up. Aside from only a few talk show hosts — several of whom also happen to be outside of the U.S. — most of these individuals sit on the right side of the stage from the viewer's perspective, while the guests sit to the left. If you've ever found yourself asking why that is, keep reading to find out more of the history behind talk show seating arrangements.

Talk shows may be royally influenced

Talk show hosts may mirror the way royal families display power. According to Best Life, hosts sit on the right, much like kings historically sit at the right hand of banquet tables. When hosts sit behind a desk, it creates a further distance between them and their guests and also mirrors the way royals distance themselves from commoners.

Not only is the right typically reserved for royalty, but since English speakers read from left to right, our eyes have a natural tendency to rest on the right side of a space — making that side a perfect spot for a host to get all the focus. As Best Life further explains, "This positioning also makes sense in terms of the host's ability to communicate. Since the vast majority of humans are right-handed, this position keeps the host's dominant hand between him and whoever is to his right, making it easier to film them interacting with their guests." This means that when a host picks up a prop, they don't have to worry about obstructing the audience's view by reaching across themselves.

While a few talk show hosts have switched things up in terms of how they set their stages, the majority of hosts still stick to the right-side rule. Next time you watch your favorite late-night comedian, try to appreciate the thought that went into their set design — which is probably more than we realize.