Joe Franklin is an American radio and television personality. From New York City, Franklin is credited with hosting the first television talk show. The show began in 1951 on WJZ-TV and moved to WOR-TV from 1962 to 1993.
After retiring from the television show, Franklin concentrated on an overnight radio show, playing old records on WOR-AM on Saturday evenings. He currently interviews celebrities on the Bloomberg Radio Network.
An author, Franklin has written 23 books, including Classics of the Silent Screen. His 1995 autobiography Up Late with Joe Franklin chronicles his long career and includes claims that he had dalliances with Marilyn Monroe, Jayne Mansfield, and that Veronica Lake "threw herself at me, but I always refrained." He has appeared as himself in countless films, notably Ghostbusters and Broadway Danny Rose.
Franklin's show was often parodied by Billy Crystal during the 1984–1985 season of Saturday Night Live, a routine that originated by noted guitarist Arlen Roth doing onstage Joe Franklin routines in the 1970s with sax/keyboard player Timmy Capello in his band. Capello later brought the routine to Crystal when he toured with him. Franklin was also a pioneer in promoting products such as Hoffman Beverages and Ginger Ale on the air.