Late-night comedy shows' ratings have plummeted recently, and many believe it is due to their constant attacks on President Donald Trump since he took office.
In fact, it's gotten so bad that Seth Meyers took it upon himself to give Trump supporters the middle finger and told them they needed to pick between supporting Trump or watching his show:
"It's time to make a decision, guys. Get off the fence. Do you support him, or do you support this show that constantly mocks and denigrates everything about him?
My name is Seth, and I'm here to say that if you like Trump, then go away."
But there's one late-night comedian who hasn't ventured into attacking the president, and his name is Jimmy Fallon. Fallon appeared on “Sunday Today” on NBC to promote his new children's book, “Everything Is Mama.” During the interview, Fallon was asked why he wasn't going after Trump. He responded:
“It's just not what I do. I think it would be weird for me to start doing it now. I don't really even care that much about politics. I've got to be honest. I love pop culture more than I love politics. I'm just not that brain.”
This may be a smart decision for Fallon, as late-night comedy is taking a major hit in ratings. The Washington Examiner reports:
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.)
President Trump has even fired back on Twitter at the late-night comedians:
Late Night host are dealing with the Democrats for their very “unfunny” & repetitive material, always anti-Trump! Should we get Equal Time?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 7, 2017
Fallon currently holds the number two spot in ratings for late-night comedy shows.