If there were two things that Americans could not have foreseen 10 years ago, it would be Donald Trump’s ascension to power and the decline of late-night comedy as a cultural phenomenon.
The idea of a late-night comedian being apolitical or poking fun at all sides of the political spectrum is a thing of the past because hosts now routinely utilize their opening monologue to unrelentingly criticize Trump and Republicans in general.
The “Late Show” presenter Stephen Colbert’s remark to President Trump in May 2017 that “the only thing your mouth is good being Vladimir Putin’s c—- holster” was an early indication of this significant shift in comedy. Days later, in response to criticism from the public and claims of homophobia, Colbert walked back his remarks, but he didn’t retract them or apologize.
The CBS host did not experience any negative effects. The Late Show, which had an average of about 3 million viewers from 2017 to 2019, became the most viewed late-night program throughout the Trump administration, making Colbert the late-night king. Notably, Chris Licht, the current president of CNN, served as the show’s executive producer at the time.
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Colbert strengthened his #Resistance position by regularly inviting Democratic lawmakers and public people to appear on his show. Recently, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., made at least her fourth appearance on “The Late Show,” this time to advance the Democratic agenda in advance of the November elections. Dr. Anthony Fauci also sat beside Colbert to receive his COVID booster shot on television this week.
Political satirist Tim Young told Fox News Digital, “His show, like many other late-night shows, has just become a platform to peddle DNC talking points and politicians – without a challenge to them to face any of today’s serious concerns.” People are tuning out because “it’s nothing more than a promotional device to not only the liberal bubble, but a very specific component of the liberal bubble.”
The 2020 Democratic presidential hopefuls made appearing on “The Late Show” a requirement in 2019. Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Pete Buttigieg, and Cory Booker all made appearances at the Ed Sullivan Theater, and Kirsten Gillibrand and Eric Swalwell, in a first for presidential politics, declared their candidacies on Stephen Colbert’s show.
According to comedian and Fox Nation anchor Jimmy Failla, “Colbert courts as many big name Democrats as he can because he’s an activist first and a comedian second.” His sole purpose in life is to assist Democrats in feeding viewers the idea that they are morally better because it is the foundation of the Democratic ethos.
With Trump no longer in office, Colbert’s liberal audience has decreased to 2.1 million on average in 2022, a 27% drop from his peak audience. Colbert has also recently lost the title of King of Late Night to Fox News host Greg Gutfeld, whose program “Gutfeld!” has recently edged out the CBS rival with 2.2-2.4 million viewers.
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“It’s kind of weird that the biggest challenge facing Late Night hosts is five foot four but sure, Greg Gutfeld has changed the game,” Failla said. “One is that he approaches tales from a perspective that no one else does, and two is that he never takes himself seriously, which is the cardinal rule of comedy. Colbert and other men never make fun of themselves!”
The “Tonight Show” host Jimmy Fallon, who usually stays apolitical in comparison to his direct rivals, is possibly one of late-night television’s greatest failures. The NBC star had 3.3 million viewers on average in 2016. He averaged 1.4 million in 2022, dropping close to 60% of his audience.
Following his amicable conversation with then-candidate Trump just weeks before the 2016 election, liberals turned against Fallon. Fallon summoned his former NBC coworker for an equally cordial conversation, which finished with the host tousling Trump’s hair. Fallon has previously twice welcomed Hillary Clinton onto his show.
Trump’s detractors claim that interview made him more approachable and may have ultimately helped the Republican nominee on election day. Fallon expressed regret and referred to it as a “mistake” in 2018.
While Fallon expressed guilt for alienating his liberal audience, Jimmy Kimmel, the other late-night Jimmy, shows little to no regret over losing his conservative fans.
Kimmel, another outspoken Trump opponent, gained national attention for his monologues during the Trump administration for tighter gun control regulations and health care reform after his newborn son required heart surgery.
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The ABC presenter was asked if he worried that such advocacy would cause Republicans to switch channels during a 2017 interview with CBS. They were dismissed by him.
At the time, Kimmel remarked, “As a talk-show presenter, that’s not ideal, but I’d do it again in a heartbeat.” “I don’t know, I probably wouldn’t want to talk to them anyhow if they’re so put off by my views on healthcare and gun violence. Riddance, not good riddance.”
“Jimmy Kimmel Live” had an average of 2.2 million viewers in 2016. At 1.5 million in 2022, he has lost more than a third of his viewership.
Liberal comedians have consistently seen their audiences decline. The audience for James Corden’s “The Late Late Show” on CBS has decreased by 36% from 2016 and now averages 819,000 people. Between 2016 and 2022, the audience for NBC’s “Late Night with Seth Meyers” dropped by almost half, from about 1.5 million to 786,000. Since 2017, the audience for HBO’s “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver” has decreased by about 60%, averaging 528,000 viewers this year.
Oliver has achieved success despite his audience’s decline. Literally. Last month, “Last Week Tonight” won the Outstanding Variety Talk Series Emmy for the sixth time in a row, dominating the field since since Jon Stewart stepped down as “The Daily Show” host.
Bill Maher, an HBO colleague of Oliver’s, has, however, been particularly overlooked by the TV Academy recently.
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Compared to other late-night broadcasters like Oliver, Seth Meyers, James Corden, and Trevor Noah, Maher, host of “Real Time with Bill Maher,” frequently makes more headlines, stirs up more discussion on social media, and draws in more people.
However, despite receiving 12 nominations over a 13-year period for Outstanding Variety Talk Series, “Real Time” has not been recognized since 2017, while its more politically correct rivals continue to be nominated on an annual basis. His lengthy list of prior Emmy nominations includes his time serving as host of ABC’s “Politically Incorrect.”
Maher was recently asked why he believes the TV Academy gives him the cold shoulder.
Maher said this week to NewsNation, “I tell the truth. “I don’t perform for just one side of the country and make remarks designed to win their approval. There is nothing improper about that. There are some really great individuals you mention who put on excellent performances, but my connection with the audience has always been much more significant than any accolades.”
Maher’s TV audience has decreased over the years, similar to other late-night shows (he has lost about 1 million viewers since 2017). Maher, though, has continued to be able to drive news cycles, unlike the other candidates. For instance, he urged last week that Vice President Kamala Harris be removed from the Democratic ticket in the event that President Biden runs in 2024. He questioned the accepted LGBTQ doctrine in May, which provoked a ferocious response from the left.
He continues to be an outspoken liberal who mocks Trump and other notable Republicans, but he also regularly criticizes “woke” progressive politicians, frequently taking potshots at the Democratic “Squad” and its leader Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, something that other late-night comedians wouldn’t dare to do. He frequently exposes the obvious hypocrisy of his own Hollywood contemporaries.
Maher stated in the interview that “so many things about the left now contain some kind of silliness, and I not just call that out; I love calling it out.” “Firstly, condemning their own side for what is costing them elections is the thing that liberals should be doing more than anything else. However, I’m also a comedian. I go to humorous places.”
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In the years following Trump, the late-night scene has changed. Conan O’Brien terminated his unsuccessful TBS program last year after dropping 57% of his audience from 2016 to fewer than a quarter million people, but he has found greater success with his podcast, which he started in 2018. After overseeing the CBS program since 2015, Corden revealed in April that he will step down from his position as host of “The Late Late Show” in 2019. “Full Frontal with Samantha Bee” was canceled by TBS after the far-left host’s viewership plummeted by a staggering 79% from 1.25 million viewers in 2017 to 268,000.
The late-night adjustments, according to comedian and radio presenter Joe Piscipo, are the “pendulum coming back,” he says, adding that “the corporate heads may virtue signal” but “all they care about is the bottom line.”
“They have no interest in any of the skill. Thus, when the numbers begin to decline slightly, they vanish “explained Piscopo.
They were fired because, in the words of Joe Concha, a Fox News contributor and the author of the just released book “Come On, Man! The Truth About Joe Biden’s Terrible, Horrible, No-Good, Very Bad Presidency,” “Their ratings deeply sucked.”
Concha said, “They sucked since all of these performances repeated each other and were totally predictable.
Bee, who made headlines in 2018 for calling Ivanka Trump a “feckless c—-,” made the startling statement that she would “pull punches” for President Biden.
“I can’t deny that has happened, and I believe it is probably true everywhere,” Bee said to Dan Rather. Why would I deliberately sabotage something that looks to be a terrific idea, pretty much across the board? “You’re like, OK, well, we could be making jokes about the infrastructure plan, but in general, I’m like, Wow, this is great.”
In a another interview, Bee admitted that, in order to appease her audience, she did not want to question the “hero” story of former Democratic New York Governor Andrew Cuomo during the pandemic. On her show at the time, Bee referred to Cuomo as “America’s favorite Teen Beat cover gov.”
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The departure of Trevor Noah from “The Daily Show” last week marked another change in the late-night landscape.
After seven years, I finally recognized that my time is up, Noah told the audience that had gathered in the studio. “I’ve enjoyed hosting this show, though, in the most lovely way. It has both been one of my greatest joys and one of my greatest trials. We’ve laughed together, we’ve wept together, and I liked trying to figure out ways to make people laugh even when the stories are particularly s—-y on the worst days, but after seven years, I feel like it’s time.”
To replace Jon Stewart as host of “The Daily Show” in 2015, Comedy Central chose South African comedian Noah, who was at the time essentially unknown. Stewart’s audience reached a high of 2.5 million people while he was hosting. Noah has struggled to maintain an average of 400,000 over the most recent months.
“Jon Stewart was a man of the people and an American who was open about his discontent with the system. Even though he tried to parody the system, Trevor Noah didn’t comprehend it “Young spoke to Fox News Online. “You can’t go from an honest Stewart who really understood Americans’ disdain for the government to someone who was just spouting talking points from the DNC,” said Stewart.
Concha stated to Fox News Online, “Seven years of Trevor Noah’s career were a resounding disaster. He never even came close to creating the same level of online excitement as Jon Stewart. He received a quarter of the ratings of his predecessor. And the reason for that is that Noah, like Colbert, Kimmel, and Seth Meyers, was a Democratic activist. He spent every evening giving dull lectures, which is exactly what lecturing entails.”
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The hosts have proven to be obedient Democratic Party loyalists. Meyers is such a dependable Democratic supporter that John Fetterman, a candidate for the Pennsylvania Senate, referred to him as “my boy” after he made a joke about Dr. Mehmet Oz, a Republican opponent. Colbert allegedly told Barack Obama, “I miss you,” and then said he couldn’t make jokes about Michelle Obama’s 2020 speech because it moved him so much.
“Saturday Night Live” on NBC has also been in a rut recently.
In the Season 48 debut, “Peyton and Eli Manning” provided play-by-play analysis of an intentionally poorly written Trump comedy, indirectly acknowledging the long-running weekend institution’s present identity dilemma.
In the cold open, Peyton, played by host Miles Teller, called out the show’s overwhelming reliance on Trump for fodder.
I must point out: Where is the political balance? Manning of Teller asked. “While they are making jokes about Trump and Columbus, Joe Biden is completely out of it. Are they really not even going to bring that up?”
It’s nothing unusual for “SNL” to refrain from attacking Biden. Only three times during his first year in office was Biden parodied in the show’s cold start, which customarily highlights the major news of the week. This represents around 14% of the 22 episodes that aired between January 30, 2021, and January 22, 2022. After a nearly 9-month dry spell, cast member James Austin Johnson made his acting debut as Biden in the Season 47 premiere in October. This marked the first time the president was parodied in the cold open.
According to the show’s library on the Peacock streaming service, Alec Baldwin parodied then-President Trump at least 11 times in the cold open between January 21, 2017, and January 20, 2018, or 52% of the 21 episodes.
Former “SNL” cast member Joe Piscopo claimed to Fox News Digital that the Biden administration “writes itself comedy,” but his alma mater is missing “opportunity” to make fun of the Democrats in charge despite having so much material at their disposal.
Piscopo added, “You’ve got to be fair-handed. I made fun of Ronald Reagan, but it wasn’t malicious, you understand?
Piscopo showed faith in “SNL” creator and veteran executive producer Lorne Michaels, stating he doesn’t need any guidance. He was clear that he didn’t want to be critical of the program that helped begin his career. However, the former cast member made a suggestion that the show would remain clear of political correctness by mentioning Eddie Murphy and Dave Chappelle’s most recent “SNL” appearances.
You require more of it, remarked Piscopo.
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Days after the 2016 election, when Kate McKinnon, dressed as Hillary Clinton, knelt in front of a piano and somberly performed Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah,” in the cold open, former cast member Rob Schneider claimed the moment marked a turning point. There was no punchline; it was simply a way to convey grief over Clinton’s defeat.
“I pleaded with God to please end with a joke. Stop doing this. Please stay away from there “In a recent interview with Glenn Beck, Schneider recounted. “At the conclusion, there was no joke, and I said, “It’s over.” It’s done. It won’t make a comeback.”
Later, cast members claimed they grieved over her failure and struggled to put on a show.
Schneider continued, “You could take the comic indoctrination techniques being used by the late-night hosts and swap them with one another. That is how you can tell something has lost its interest.”
McKinnon left “SNL” prior to Season 48, along with other “SNL” mainstays Aidy Bryant and Pete Davidson, creating a void of high-profile talent. That was not the only exodus, though. Additionally, viewers have been abandoning the program in droves, especially after Trump departed office. Averaging 7.4 million viewers in 2017, “SNL” will only draw 4.7 million viewers in 2022, a 37% decline.
Tim Young gave a pessimistic answer when asked if late-night television programs can change the situation, declaring that they are “done.”
“Not only is their content overtly political, but it also insults people’s intelligence. People don’t want to watch a program where the hosts and authors obviously have no regard for the audience and openly despise half of those who would watch “explained Young.
I find it absurd that major networks are unable to produce a late-night program that is entertaining, intellectual, and impartial.