Here is our bizarre data point of the day: The Daily Show with Jon Stewart beat everyone else in October:

Late Night Talk Shows – October 2010

1. “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” – 1.3 million viewers
2. “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” – 1.2 million viewers
3. “Late Show with David Letterman” – 1.2 million viewers
4. “The Colbert Report” – 900,000 viewers
5. “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon” – 800,000 viewers
6. “The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson” – 700,000
7. “Jimmy Kimmel Live” – 700,000
8. “Chelsea Lately” – 650,000
9. “Lopez Tonight” – 450,000

(ranked on A18-49 Delivery, most current L+7 data)

Source: Hollywood Reporter

Category: Television

Please use the comments to demonstrate your own ignorance, unfamiliarity with empirical data and lack of respect for scientific knowledge. Be sure to create straw men and argue against things I have neither said nor implied. If you could repeat previously discredited memes or steer the conversation into irrelevant, off topic discussions, it would be appreciated. Lastly, kindly forgo all civility in your discourse . . . you are, after all, anonymous.

29 Responses to “‘Daily Show’ Beats Letterman, Leno”

  1. foosion says:

    Why is this bizarre?

  2. darth beta says:

    @Foosion, exactly, his show is clearly more entertaining.

    Better question who are the 800,000 people watching Fallon?

  3. dougc says:

    when will letterman come up with a new joke?

  4. Michael Gat says:

    Leno has been imploding since his “return” to late night. He may have been the master of intra-network politicking, but in every other sense he’s a has-been.

    Letterman, as doug notes, hasn’t come up with a new joke in a decade.

    In the meantime, Stewart is making himself into a national figure whose presence and antics are mainstream news.

    Like him or hate him, people are tuning in to watch.

  5. Michael Gat says:

    @darth beta

    There’s a guy who lives in an RV outside my place who seems to like running his engine all night to watch TV. He’s probably one of the 800K.

    Ooops. Got towed this morning. One less viewer.

  6. might this not have something to do with the “Guests” that have appeared on these, various, Shows?

    I heard tell that 44, his ownself, was, in fact, a “Guest” on TDS..

    Last I knew, the POTUS is, still, a ‘big draw’ ..

    “Better question who are the 800,000 people watching Fallon?”


    there are some that need their ‘Checks Cashed’ (to stay current at Rent-A-Center..)

    as an aside, re: Rent-A-Center, ever notice that the only thing they don’t “Rent”, is ‘a Clue’ ?

    it’d be a great Product, too bad it’d Kill their ‘Business Model’..

  7. Michael Gat,

    seems we were on the same channel..

  8. prismatic says:

    A better question is why is 44 on TDS and not on the other shows right before election ?… I guess its for the same reason that even the big buys at FOX respect him. Its for the same reason I always find time to watch TDS … and to visit TBP!

  9. Super-Anon says:

    Should I hedge my silver?

    I always like to leave important decesions to blog commenteirs.

  10. Gatsby says:

    Conan will be back in action next week so I wonder how that will impact the numbers. Are Conan’s viewers hiding out at the Daily Show? I hope not. Leno is spent and Fallon is just well…

    If anyone hasn’t seen it I recommend scouring YouTube for the Conan/Jon Stewart/Colbert brawl. It’s hilarious.

    Maybe we can get a Leno/Fallon/Lopez battle of the has-beens

  11. TripleSigma says:

    The american people are PATHETIC. They need to get their news while being entertained like children.

    Im going to take joy in watching the country collapse around its worthless paper currecny and massive defectis.

  12. RW says:

    Stewart’s guest list has certainly been impressive but I also have the impression, possibly inaccurate as I’m not a regular viewer, that the variety in the political persuasion of guests is pretty good too and tends to be those who have the courage of their convictions (or at least the hutzpah to face a skilled comedian). It is not that Stewart represents “news” so much as he fulfills what should be one of news media’s primary functions but appears to be no longer: Being really tough on bullshit and bullshitters.

    OT: The quote from Albert Einstein in the “Quote-of-the-day” feed today is a mistransliteration of one of my favorites so here’s the original in context (just for the record). It is from a letter to the family of his recently deceased lifelong friend, Michele Besso: “Now he has departed from this strange world a little ahead of me. That means nothing. People like us, who believe in physics, know that the distinction between past, present, and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion.”

  13. call me ahab says:

    I always like to leave important decesions to blog commenteirs.

    better than a magic 8-ball?

    They need to get their news while being entertained like children.

    what? I’m supposed to watch Katie Couric?

  14. Jojo says:

    (ranked on A18-49 Delivery, most current L+7 data)

    I am not sure how to interpret this, but it seems to be for the 18-49 age group. Carson/Leno always had a higher percentage of their audience being older folks. If you stretched the range to say age 64, then I’d bet that Leno eclipsed the rest by a good amount.

    Myself, I channel jump between Leno/Nightline. Then usually watch Kimmels monologue (he’s really not bad at all). I’ve always disliked Letterman though and can’t watch him at all.

  15. bergsten says:

    I think that Dancing With The Losers get higher ratings than all of them combined.

    That pretty much says it all.

  16. call me ahab says:


    Letterman was pretty good and very popular in the colleges back in 80′s- in his original time slot- now he just comes across like an creepy old dude-

    also- regarding Jon Stewart- comedian yes- but if you ever saw his smack down of Tucker Carlson and Paul Begala of Crossfire fame-


    Tucker Carlson- “I do think you’re more fun on your show.”

    Jon Stewart – “You’re as big a dick on your show as you are on any show”

    wow- (and he wasn’t being funny)-

    but it was pretty damn funny (for the viewers)

  17. bergsten says:

    If you are so inclined, you can learn a whole lot about comic timing by watching Stewart.

  18. bergsten says:

    He’s also very fast on his feet. Kimmel may be faster, but not by much.

  19. NoKidding says:

    Stewart has staying power.

    I think his apprentice Colbert has jumped the shark.

  20. JerseyCynic says:

    I’m pretty sure Obama and Stewart are new bff’s

    Jon Stewart WAS the only many I ever truly loved (besides my hubby) up until his rally to calm the masses down.

    I will continue watching him because he delivers “it” better than anyone else.

    I’m not at all happy with his (their) new agenda.

    a spot on comment from the above article about stewart:

    “…… in “The Origins of Totalitarianism,” Hannah Arendt wrote something to the effect that one of the symptoms of a democratic society’s transformation into a totalitarian one is when people settle for mockery and laughter (of and at their political leaders) as a preferred alternative to outrage and anger. Stewart is one of a cadre of circus entertainers employed by the corporate syndicate. Bread and circuses for the masses, laugh, laugh, laugh, chortle, chortle, chortle. Is everybody having a good time? It’s tragic.”

    HEY!! easy on Fallon — he’s PERFECT for late night. I have a huge soft spot for low key type comedians

  21. jwagner says:

    I watch Stewart for the political commentary. He’s smarter and better informed than the talking heads on the cable news networks, and is often willing to call BS when it’s warranted. A perfect example is when he had Betsy “Death Panel: McCaughey on. He had a command of the issues and was willing to confront her – unlike any of the cable news hosts that I had seen interview her.
    Jim W.

  22. Jojo says:

    Also, I think these might be TV ratings only.

    If you include people watching Stewart and Colbert via the Comedy Central website (which is where I watch them occasionally), their numbers are probably significantly higher, especially in the very desirable under 40 age group.

  23. VennData says:

    I defy any GOP genuflector to support tax cuts for the rich after watching an episode of this…

  24. Tarkus says:

    Jojo Says:
    November 5th, 2010 at 5:13 pm

    Also, I think these might be TV ratings only.

    If you include people watching Stewart and Colbert via the Comedy Central website (which is where I watch them occasionally), their numbers are probably significantly higher, especially in the very desirable under 40 age group.

    That is an excellent point which the TV-centric missed. I watch the stuff I want to when something catches my attention, and skip over other parts.

    Stewart is good at calling BS, but then there is so much of it spouted by D.C. that it makes it pretty easy for him.
    The “official” media hate him because he points out their failings and biases.

  25. mitchn says:

    These numbers just go to show you how fragmented mass culture (and the body politic?) are becoming. With 1.4 million viewers out of 300 million Americans, Stewart is being watched by a whopping .0004 percent of the population. Johnny Carson is laughing in his grave.

    Face it, in a world where everyone — and I mean everyone — is accorded fifteen minutes of fame, we’re all doomed to be ignored, overlooked, and quickly forgotten. Even the great Ritholtz.

  26. lalaland says:

    Never mind all the blogged embeds here, on TPM or The Dish or whatever… Definitely the king of embeds

  27. Expat says:

    I watch only Johnny Carson reruns on Youtube. He is funnier than Leno. He is not creepy like Letterman. And he is bizarrely as topical as Stewart.

    Since time is an illusion, I can happily live my life in the 1970′s and 1980′s, safe in my cocoon. No Tea Baggers, no George Bush, no Obama, no 9/11, and no Reality TV.

  28. jad714 says:

    We all know this is because Conan is out. Watch TBS be the first most-watched late night channel that isn’t a major network.

  29. Hal says:

    JerseyCynic: “a spot on comment from the above article about stewart:”

    ‘Fraid not. The problem is, it makes the usually mistake about Jon Stewart’s targets.

    Stewart is a satirist. But he’s not a political satirist.

    Stewart’s main target — usually his only one — is the press. That frequently involves a lot of reference to political events, yes, but that’s only a secondary effect of how much airtime the press gives to those same events.

    So unless you’re willing to say the press are worthy of “outrage and anger” because they have decisive power within our system… then Arendt’s insight doesn’t apply.

    It’s OK, most journalists don’t get this, either. That’s mostly because they think they’re such upstanding folks no one would ever think of lampooning them. So they frequently characterize Stewart as a political satirist. It’s why both Carlson and Bergala were so befuddled during the CNN appearance Stewart made.

    But, hoo boy, that is so wrong-headed.