Stephen Colbert, left, and Jimmy Kimmel appear in the audience at the 69th Primetime Emmy Awards on Sunday, Sept. 17, 2017, at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. (Photo by Alex Berliner/Invision for the Television Academy/AP Images)

The Recycled Comedian

Right after the election, Samatha Bee had all the buzz. The media did all sorts of flattering profiles of her. She had great one-liners attacking Trump voters as savage racists. Leftwing bloggers posted listicles of their favorite lines from her monologues. Then she faded.

Colbert rose with Bee’s fade. Suddenly he was beating Fallon among “all adults,” which is a fancy way of saying purple haired retirees from the sixties watch Colbert and the people advertisers care about watch Fallon. But Colbert was on fire. His show, having floundered, suddenly caught the will of L’Resistance and he became the chief peddler of Resistance Fan Fiction.

But Jimmy Kimmel has caught on. First, he used his son’s heart situation to pound the GOP on Obamacare. Then he dragged a few corpses on stage to use against the GOP on gun control. Colbert had gone after just Trump, but Kimmel was willing to take on the right altogether. The media has had a mediagasm. Kimmel is hot now. Colbert is yesterday’s news. Bee went after Trump’s racist voters, Colbert went after Trump, but Kimmel is taking it to the right altogether. He’s the newest thing for the media.

Meanwhile, over there where no one is looking, Jimmy Fallon is beating them all pretty consistently with the audience that matters — the “demo,” which is the viewers from around 25 to 50 years old. Those are the people who want to tune out of politics and don’t think everything is political.

Fallon, contrary to what you might have heard, is actually pretty consistently the king of late night and has done so by not burning bridges with half his audience. Yes, it is true, Colbert may battle with Fallon regularly for total viewers, but advertisers only care about the demo. Fallon is making money for NBC. But he won’t treat half his potential audience like pond scum, so the media ignores him.

Oh look, I see a piece on Samatha Bee. We’re on a recycled comedian schedule based on the best joke about Trump.

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Erick Erickson

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