Media

5 Late-Night Hosts Who Are Thriving in the Age of Trump Where Jimmy Fallon Has Failed

Some comedians are better suited to the political moment than others.

Photo Credit: Screen capture via NBC.

In a New York Times feature this week, "Tonight Show" host Jimmy Fallon lamented his softball interview with Donald Trump during the 2016 elections and the hyper-polarized era his presidency has helped usher in.

“I haven’t talked about it at all," said the "Late Night" host, who was slammed for tussling the candidate's blonde mane. "[My critics have] a right to be mad."

Still, Fallon has no plans to change his comedic approach, even as his ratings continue to dip. "People that voted for Trump watch my show as well," he reasons.

Here are five late-night comedians who have thrived where the "Late Night" host has failed.

1. Stephen Colbert

The "Late Show" host's controversial "cockholster" joke about Trump's relationship with Putin made during his May 4 monologue appears to have had no effect on his ratings, even after a social media call to "Fire Colbert." In fact, the host is now within striking distance of Fallon's 3.18 million viewers this year. 

2. Jimmy Kimmel

While nearly a million viewers behind Colbert, Kimmel has emerged as arguably the most effective host when it comes to actually influencing policy. His personal plea on behalf of millions of Americans with pre-existing conditions has resonated on Capitol Hill, with senators like Bill Cassidy (R-LA) now overseeing the Obamacare replacement bill. Dubbed by Cassidy the "Jimmy Kimmel Test," children—like the host's newborn son—must get the care they need in that crucial first year, asserted the Louisiana Republican. Whether the rest of his party agrees remains to be seen.

3. Seth Meyers

According to the president, Meyers crossed the line back in 2011 during the White House Correspondents' Dinner. The notable roast provided a mere jumping-off point for Meyers' nightly "Closer Look" series, which recently skewered Trump's unhinged commencement speech at the Coast Guard Academy. 

4. James Corden

"It's that time, let's do what we all came here to do, let's talk about Donald Trump!" Corden began his show Friday. Though Colbert's "Late Show" is a tough act to follow, Corden made headlines for his monologue speculating about what might come after Trump. The "Late Late Show" host has been tapped to host the 2018 Grammys.

 

5. Trevor Noah

Noah's interviews with President Obama and former Blaze host Tomi Lahren (both December 2016) have been instrumental in catapulting his rise post-election. According to Comedy Central, during the past quarter, "The Daily Show" not only drew its largest viewership since Noah succeeded Jon Stewart, but it also overtook all other daily late-night shows to earn the title as the top-rated show among millennials, adults 18-24, in the category." 

Despite his nightly frustration with Trump, the U.S. president is Noah's dream guest

Alexandra Rosenmann is an AlterNet associate editor. Follow her @alexpreditor.

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