Stephen Colbert joked about the president’s “feeble, fucking anemic firefly of a soul.” Seth Meyers teased that the vice president was somehow “already sunburned” before his visit to devastated Puerto Rico. And Jimmy Kimmel, that comedian turned public conscience, lectured all week long about everything from healthcare to mental health to gun control. But chances are good you didn’t watch any of it because viewership isn’t doing so well. Of course, they’re still the kings of late-night comedy. Nobody has cast out that lineup because nobody has really showed up to watch. While America was laughing at Twitter and watching YouTube videos, late night was slipping. Writing in the Transom, Ben Domenech of The Federalist points out that the late-night viewership of ABC, CBS, plus NBC this week barely broke 8 million viewers. Not long ago retired NBC funnyman Jay Leno was bringing in 6 million viewers all on his own. What caused the network comics to start flopping? Obviously, the generational demographics and technological developments can’t be discounted — millennials don’t watch as much television, and if they do it’s online or after the fact. Assuming those younger viewers aren’t suddenly going to stay up late to watch broadcast TV, then maybe something else has to give. But compare the late-night comedy numbers to Sean Hannity over at Fox News and Rachel Maddow at MSNBC. Those hacks don’t tell jokes (at least not well, anyway) but they still bring in more views. Domenech points out that Hannity averaged 3.5 million viewers, Maddow another 2.65 million last week. (Granted, these shows air before 11 p.m.) Perhaps the late-night lineup should consider dialing down the politics to keep the viewers they have and stop alienating the 63 million people who voted for Donald Trump. At the very least, it’s worth a try.
No kidding!! For example, you have someone like Jimmy Kimmel, who actually used to be funny, but is now a liberal late-night DNC talking points cry-babby. Who wants to watch that nonsense? The numbers are dwindling. And don’t get me started on the whole nauseating thank-athon for Hillary…WHO LOST!! lol These late-night guys, are NOT “late-night comedy.” They’re now just late-night liberal political hacks…and THAT is why their ratings are tanking. People don’t want to stay up late to watch that! Thanks to Philp Wegmann for that excellent op/ed.