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NY Post
New York Post
6 Jan 2024

NextImg:Watchdog finds 81% of all political late night show jokes in 2023 targeted conservatives

A new study from the Media Research Center found that 81% of all political jokes told on major late-night comedy shows in 2023 targeted conservatives. 

The media watchdog analyzed each of the 9,518 political jokes told between six major daily late-night shows from January 3 through December 22, 2023, and found that 7,729 of them took aim at “someone or something on the right side of the political spectrum.”

The shows analyzed were ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live!,” Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show,” NBC’s “Late Night with Seth Meyers,” NBC’s “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon”, CBS’s “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” and “The Late Late Show with James Corden” (until its cancelation in April).

MRC also put together a video of some of the “worst late-night moments of the year” to showcase several examples of late-night comedy’s bias against conservatives. 

Breaking down the data further, the watchdog found that some shows were more aggressive towards right-wing subjects than others. Kimmel’s show had the highest rate of anti-conservative jokes for a single show out of the six. 

A study found most late-night hosts target conservatives with their jokes. REUTERS

Of the 2,215 political jokes made on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!,” 1,960, or 88% were directed at conservatives. Of the political figures Kimmel roasted, 94 of them were on the right, and only 37 were on the left, with 11 aimed at non-partisan figures.

Kimmel roasted former President Trump 762 times and dinged President Biden 164 times while Vice President Kamala Harris was only made fun of once. He joked about the three eldest Trump children a combined 101 times compared to hitting Hunter Biden 9 times.

Second place for the overall rate of jokes hammering right-wingers belonged to Colbert’s show: 1,655 jokes out of the total 1,918 jokes blasted conservatives, which comes out to 86%. 

Jimmy Fallon arrives to his desk for a show. NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images

Only 219 jokes on Colbert were directed at the left and 18 at non-partisan figures. The Late Night show host made fun of both Trump (385) and former Rep. George Santos (262) more than twice as much as Biden (119), with Harris again only receiving one joke made at her expense.

Hunter was the target of the same number of jokes as Ivanka, two, while the Trump brothers combined for an additional 40 jokes.

Meyers’ NBC show was in third place with 84% of the political jokes being anti-conservative (2,050 out of 2,445 jokes). Only 355 of the show’s jokes targeted the left all year. And of the top 10 political people Meyers roasted this year, nine of them were conservative – including Trump, Rudy Giuliani, and Gov. Ron DeSantis, R-Fla., with Biden being the only leftist in that set.

Seth Meyers’ NBC show was in third place with 84% of the political jokes being anti-conservative. Getty Images

Next up in the ranking was “The Daily Show.” MRC found that of the 1,277 political jokes it told in 2023, 1,002 – or 78% – were anti-conservative. Less than a quarter of the jokes were anti-leftist, at 231. 

As for the variety of “Daily Show” guest hosts, MRC calculated the most anti-conservative was actor and liberal activist John Leguizamo. Leguizamo told 66 political jokes during his time hosting the show, with 65 of them slamming right-wing subjects.

Fallon’s NBC show came in at five on MRC’s list. The host told 1,416 political jokes, with 929 of them slamming conservatives (66%). Fallon had a more even split than his late-night colleagues when it came to mocking conservative figures.

James Corden’s show also targeted conservatives with its jokes.

The watchdog’s study stated, “Fallon poked fun at 196 unique targets, 103 of whom were on the right, 85 of whom were on the left, and 18 of whom were non-partisan.”

James Corden’s CBS show, which only lasted four months into the year, rounded out the list, with 134 political jokes out of 245 aimed at conservatives (54%). The study found that the “Late Late Show” was unique among the contenders “in that he told more jokes about Kamala Harris (2) than Mike Pence (1) and more jokes about Hunter Biden (1) than the Trump kids (0).”