Late Night Television’s Just Not Funny Anymore
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.)
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.
Vulture.com 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.