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Top 5 Late Night TV Tweeters (and 5 Who Should)

Perhaps it's due to the never-ending grind of churning out funny material on a daily basis, or the pressure from TV networks to keep things light, but there's a serious dearth of good tweeters from the legions of late night TV. Letterman and Conan apparently can't be bothered to Twitter, and Kimmel, Leno, Fallon, and Ferguson mainly use it to promote their show with staid, boring propaganda that clearly must pass muster with network censors. As for their announcers, sidekicks, band leaders, and even head writers, most don't bother or are part of a motley bunch who use Twitter to promote their side projects (i.e. Paul Shaffer, Dicky Barrett). Thankfully, though, there are a few standouts, a mix of professional funnymen and supporting players who keep us following. Below is our list of the top five tweeters from after dark, and five more we'd love to see get online.

Late Nighters We're Following Now

1. Amir "?uestlove" Thompson, band leader and drummer of Late Night with Jimmy Fallon's house band, The Roots
Quite possibly the real-world inspiration for Dos Equis' The Most Interesting Man in the World, and a contender for hardest working man in the business, ?uestlove is monumentally busy -- prepping music for the show, producing an album or soundtrack, recording, DJing, educating followers about music history -- yet always has time for a tweet, like this gem: During Macy's Thanksgiving parade: "man, sitting on this trailer watching ronald mcdonald use his blackberry is....strange." He's a firehouse of updates, each more intriguing than the last.

2. Stephen Colbert, host of The Colbert Report
Inarguably the sharpest and most consistently funny host of a late-night show -- and the most fearless too -- Colbert's tweets are a mix of re-posted one-liners from the show and off-the-cuff topical zingers ("Tiger needs to buckle down & find that "one" special person to spend the rest of his life cheating on his wife with"). Though you aren't going to get any insight into the personal life of the man, we challenge anyone to find a better batting average of solidly amusing updates.

3. Bill Maher, host of Real Time with Bill Maher
We know Maher is a polarizing personality and many find his smug arrogance grating at times, but we give props where they're due, and he throws up a steady stream of funny, uncensored barbs ranging from the political ("I'd give a weeks pay for ten min with Sarah Palin - will someone pls ask her a difficult question? Its fun to watch know-nothings squirm!") to the personal ("Reiterating times sq is tokyo now! I feel like groping someone on the subway and masturbating to bukaki"). Bonus points for the frequency of his tweets, for which he soundly bests his peers.

4. John Hodgman, correspondent for The Daily Show, stymied PC
The playfully, conspicuously erudite writer, comedian, and Apple shill is good with snappy lines, pokes gentle fun at comments from other tweeters, and recently has been into posting witty mid-game updates of his Scrabble conquests ("Scrabble again. Made FLAIR for only ten. But it had panache. Still, @sweetfletcher destroys with ONYX") with other comedians/writers of the underground NY scene.

5. Guillermo Rodriguez, parking security guard, correspondent for Jimmy Kimmel Live!
Consider his anodyne, charmingly ungrammatical tweets a feel-good respite from the typical self-conscious snark of most tweeters (his movie review: "the new moon it was just ok"). Otherwise expect a steady stream of football picks, thanks to his many fans, his love of boxer Manny Pacquiao and his hopes for a Cowboys' Super Bowl. Perhaps he is the sole celeb who is precisely as he appears to be.

Late Nighters We Wish We Could Follow

1. Jon Stewart, host of The Daily Show
Okay, so technically he's on Twitter, but the proudly Twitter-cynical host hasn't bothered to update since May of '08 and we want him back, if just to see the inevitable back-and-forth jibes between him and Colbert.

2. Uncle Frank Potenza, from Jimmy Kimmel Live!
Kimmel's longtime stage security guard and unwitting butt of clueless-old-guy jokes would probably rival @shitmydadsays for awesome codger observations, or even @realtracymorgan for sheer daffyness.

3. Biff Henderson, stage manager for Late Show with David Letterman
The long-running regular on Letterman is always worth a chuckle, always just a half-beat behind Dave, and always seems like he's on-camera for the first time -- even though he's been doing it for decades. We'd love to hear what he's really thinking, especially now that Dave is knee-deep in an extortion plot trial.

4. Conan O'Brien, host of The Tonight Show with Conan Obrien
At first we were fooled by a faux-Conan (Fauxnan?) before realizing that the updates didn't have his signature goofiness and bizarro perspective. If he could squeeze through NBC's python-like censors, his offbeat wackiness and fish-out-of-water L.A. tales would make for great updates.

5. Larry Wilmore, "Senior Black Correspondent" for The Daily Show
A veteran TV writer for ages for shows like 'In Living Color,' 'Bernie Mac,' 'The PJs,' and 'The Office,' among others, Wilmore is fearless, funny, and loves to take on touchy racial topics -- the recipe for great tweeting. His TDS bits are relatively rare, so Twitter is a perfect outlet.

Hit up the comments for terrific Twitter types we missed, or others you'd like to see more from.

Tags: comedy, features, humor, late night tv, LateNightTv, switchedfollows, top, tweet, twitter