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Colbert’s Late Show topped Fallon’s Tonight Show in ratings for the first time

Photo: Neilson Barnard/Getty Images

According to a report from The New York Times, Stephen Colbert’s Late Show has just beaten Jimmy Fallon’s Tonight Show in total viewers for the first time, suggesting that the man who spent years viciously satirizing Republicans on The Colbert Report is more appealing to viewers these days than the guy who adorably ruffled that thing on Donald Trump’s head back in September.

It’s not exactly a runaway victory for Colbert, as he only managed to beat Fallon by about 12,000 viewers (and Fallon still beat Colbert in the all-important “under 50-years-old” demographic), but he’s been steadily gaining on NBC’s late-hight hose for a while now, initially coming the closest in the week of January 16 before Trump’s inauguration. That does seem to suggest that Colbert taking his show in a more political direction while Fallon continues playing beer pong with celebrities was a wise decision, especially when Colbert can easily grab headlines with an appearance from Jon Stewart.


The New York Times story notes that these ratings could swing back the other way at any moment, “particularly if these frenetic opening weeks of the Trump presidency show any signs of dying down,” but seeing as how Trump (or recent gift to the world Sean Spicer) say or do something stupid pretty much every day, it seems safe to assume that this freneticism won’t die down anytime soon. That could be very good news for Colbert and CBS.

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