Late Night Television’s Just Not Funny Anymore

By Rachel Alexander Published on November 7, 2017

Stephen Colbert loves women. He wants them to be in charge, as he explained that to Glamour in a cutesy article just before he started as the host of The Late Show two years ago. And he proved it too! He started the show with a writing staff of 17 men. And 2 women.

Okay. Maybe he’s not such a feminist after all. Yet he loves to attack President Trump for being sexist.

By the way, all 19 writers were white. So maybe he’s not such a believer in racial equality either. Yet he loves to attack Trump for being a racist.

Used to be Funny

Late night comedy shows used to be funny. Now they aren’t. Watching one now is like watching Rachel Maddow — when you’re expecting to see Johnny Carson or Jay Leno. If you want to watch a left-wing political show, you’d watch her show.

Colbert took over The Late Show hosted by David Letterman from 1993 until 2015. Letterman mostly kept a balance between political jokes aimed at the right and the left. Much of the show wasn’t political at all. CBS gave Colbert nearly full control over the show. He’s used that control to launch incessant, savage attacks on the president.

For example, he claimed that Trump “didn’t meet a single storm victim, see an inch of rain or get near a flooded street” while surveying Hurricane Harvey damage. Americans watched footage on TV of Trump meeting with victims in shelters and elsewhere.

A few months earlier, he’d made a crude sexual joke about Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin, too indecent to reprint here. He later made a Nazi salute when comparing the loyalty of former Trump advisor Steve Bannon to the president.

What About the Others?

After Trump took office, Jimmy Kimmel increased his attacks on Trump and other Republicans. “Everything Donald Trump is doing and undoing is bad, bad, bad, bad, and it seems so obvious, and it’s happening anyway.”

One night he went on a rant against opponents of Obamacare. He suggested they’d have kept his son from getting health coverage for his urgent heart operation. In other words: The Republicans would let my son die.

A day after the Las Vegas massacre, he exploded in a rant on his show promoting gun control. He called for gun confiscation and made a vulgar comment about the NRA that is too crude to reprint here. He said Republicans “should be praying for God to forgive them for letting the gun lobby run this country, because it’s so crazy.”

Kimmel doesn’t care that he’s losing Republican viewers. Three years ago equal numbers of Democrats and Republicans liked his show. Now Republican viewers are down about 30 percent. He told CBS last month, “if they’re so turned off by my opinion on health care and gun violence then I don’t know, I probably wouldn’t want to have a conversation with them anyway.” He won’t say “good riddance” to them, he said, but he will say “riddance.”

Jimmy Fallon, who replaced Jay Leno on The Tonight Show, has kept that show a little classier — but he’s no happier with Trump than his peers. When asked by NBC’s Sunday Today why he features less Trump bashing than the other two late night shows, he responded, “It’s just not what I do, I think it would be weird for me to start doing it now. … A lot of [his] stuff is hard to make a joke about. It’s just too serious.” (Note: We send our condolences to Fallon and his family after the unexpected passing Saturday of his mother Gloria. We pray them God’s comfort and peace.)

Downright Rude

These new late night comedians aren’t funny in the way their great predecessors were funny. You have to agree with their strongly leftist politics to laugh at their anti-conservative jokes. asked Kimmel if the days of apolitical late night comedians are over. He responded, “Maybe we’ll never go back. Maybe the days of fun are over.” He’s admitting that he and his peers have taken the comedy out of late night comedy.

One final thing. Even Republicans might find them a lot funnier if they actually practiced what they preached. You can still laugh when an honest critic attacks you. But a man who preaches feminism and racial equality and hires 17 men and just 2 women to write for him, and they’re all white? Give me a break.

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  • John A.

    Thank you for calling these guys out. Liberals (or Progressives or whatever they call themselves today) are hateful, violent and intolerant. They are EVERYTHING they accuse their political enemies of being. And what makes them even more dangerous is that they just aren’t very intelligent. They refuse to own their policy failures, or even to be honest about them.

  • Paul

    Never understood the appeal of late night, I bored of the lame jokes back in the Carson days.

  • Howard Rosenbaum

    Seems like the more ” progressives” progress in their promotion of the liberal agenda, the more apparent is their pain. That pain which proceeds from the angst of unresolved conflict. That conflict is not even the direct result of their partisan politics which promotes no viable alternative to their perceived problem. The “Trump problem” as they see it. Yeah, this is much more than just politics. It’s a heart condition, exasperated by these unseen patrons of devision & delusion. Thats not to say that all these guys “have demons”. Yet, it seems to be no surprise that there are some among this bunch who have been “had” by them …

  • Nailed it! As usual, Rachel! As usual! Good job!

  • Craig Roberts

    “But a man who preaches feminism and racial equality and hires 17 men and just 2 women to write for him, and they’re all white? Give me a break.”

    So I suppose if he practiced what he preaches and hired a bunch of women and minorities that would make his knee-jerk liberalism ok with you? It might make his jokes funnier if he hires different writers, but it wouldn’t make his sappy pandering to politics any more palatable.

    If you’re going to shout “hypocrisy!” you should think of a better argument. All your doing is giving ammo to leftists next time they start demanding gender and ethnic quotas.

    You need a “break” so you can realize the implications of your accusations. You’re arguing that quotas for “equality” are a GOOD thing and that we should decry the same so-called “injustice” that the feminists and race-baiters are trying so hard to push.

  • A. Castellitto

    Kill your TV…..just another swamp thing

  • Ken Abbott

    Simple–they stopped trying to entertain broadly and became virtue signalers. They got it into their heads that they had secured a place on broadcast television so that they could hector and criticize those with whom they and their co-ideologues disagree. They’ve made practically all of life political, so that everything becomes a political subject.

    It is still quite possible to be a funny apolitical comedian. Admittedly the “safe” subject material seems to shrink all the time as the terminally humor-challenged among us find more and more things that offend them.

  • azsxdcf1

    Drain the swamp and turn off late night TV… but once a week you can watch Huckabee… he is as goofy as Leno ever was, but honest and without prejudice
    in his presentations.

  • ginalex

    I totally agree with you that late night TV is just not funny anymore and way too political, but you criticizing Colbert for his writing staff is just as bad as what you are accusing him of. If you can prove to me that the writer applicants for Colbert were 50% women and as diverse as the UN, and he still only hired white guys, then you can rant that he’s a sexist and racist. However, I completely agree that late night TV has become an extension of MSNBC’s nightly lineup. Between Colbert, Oliver, Bee, Kimmel, Noah and Meyers, that is one big huge steady left wing echo chamber. I am not a republican, yet I can’t stand it. I want non-partisan comedy on late night. That’s why I usually only watch Corden and Fallon. They take shots at the POTUS, but you can’t expect late night to be completely free of political humor.

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