Note: I'm looking for fact-based answers based on sources, not opinions here.

In the recent Stephen Colbert YouTube clip Prominent Republicans Speak Up About Vaccines As Delta Infections Soar the talk-show host, comedian and political commentator says the following about the spread of the delta variant of SARS‑CoV‑2 in the US:

The rising cases are being fueled by vaccine hesitancy, which itself is being fueled by a dangerous pathogen scientists are calling the Republican Party.

I don't watch or own a television but I check out several late night talk show and comedy show clips on YouTube and the ones Google's AI finds for me are uniformly strongly anti-Trump and generally anti-Republican Party of late.

I'm curious if late-night network television in the US is at least mostly if not uniformly strongly anti-Trump and generally anti-Republican Party these days, or if it's just selection bias from google.

So I'd like to ask the following:

Question: Are late-night network talk show hosts and comedy shows mostly if not uniformly strongly anti-Trump and generally anti-Republican Party these days?

Please cite sources rather than relate personal experience or opinions in your answer. This is a billion dollar industry and subject to government regulations, so I'm certain there will be substantial scrutiny and analysis that can be cited.

Incomplete list of late night talk shows and comedy programs on US network broadcast and cable channels from Wikipedia's List of late-night American network TV programs; Current. My subjective impression is that nearly all of these are disproportionately critical of Trump and the Republican Party these days, which is motivating me to ask for a fact-based answer.

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    Does the number of shows matter or their cumulative audience? I'm pretty sure Fox has some shows too... Hannity, Tucker Carlson etc. edition.cnn.com/2021/05/06/media/… Sep 6, 2021 at 0:56
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    Because e.g. one can more easily find out that Hannity and Limbaugh had the top-2 radio talks shows (cf. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Sean_Hannity_Show). If you're saying that humor is not the factor here, then why late night TV? Maybe the Republicans are all/mostly asleep by then... Sep 6, 2021 at 1:33
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    @Fizz Late night shows distinguish themselves by having a combination of standup and guests, broadcast in the (late) evening. The Fox shows you're describing are more like Rachel Maddow's show and the morning shows. Those shows are not aimed primarily at entertaining, the late night shows are.
    – JJJ
    Sep 6, 2021 at 2:18
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    @EkadhSingh-ReinstateMonica that seems an arbitrary, contrived and in-genuine reason to vote to block other users from posting answers, considering there are two good ones already which demonstrate full understanding of the term. "Talk show" and "host" are common English words. We will all understand a talk show host to be the host of a talk show. Clearly it's being understood by others, as it should since it's a common, everyday word. Sep 6, 2021 at 15:15
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    @EkadhSingh-ReinstateMonica the question is demonstrably clear Sep 6, 2021 at 19:21

2 Answers 2


Yes, there are many left-leaning late night shows in the US. Nevertheless, there's one popular right-leaning late night show: Gutfeld! According to Bloomberg, on the show's move to a late night slot:

The Rupert Murdoch-controlled network is moving its in-house political satirist, Greg Gutfeld, over to an 11 p.m. weeknights slot where he can go joke-to-joke with other late-night hosts, including ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel, CBS’s Stephen Colbert and NBC’s Jimmy Fallon, who start about a half-hour later.

Fox executives are hoping he can do for late-night TV what the channel did in news: create a conservative alternative to the other middle-of-the-road or liberal-leaning networks. It’s certainly worked for Fox News, which has been the most-viewed cable news channel for 19 years running. Gutfeld, in an interview, said he sees the same scenario playing out.

According to Wikipedia, it's one of the most popular by number of viewers:

In August 2021, Gutfeld! overtook The Late Show with Stephen Colbert in the nightly ratings, becoming the highest-rated late-night talk show in the United States. It averaged 2.12 million nightly viewers, more than The Late Show, The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, and Jimmy Kimmel Live!.

While I haven't studied it extensively, it reminds me of a similar question about TV channels in the US: Why is Fox News the most viewed news channel in the US?. As Brythan wrote in an answer to that question:

Because there is only one Fox News and there are multiple competitors. Overall, CNN and MSNBC together are watched more than Fox (source). But they split the liberal viewership. So if they get 34% and 21% of overall viewership and Fox gets 45%, Fox is the most watched single network even as it is a minority of the overall market.

I think the parallel holds quite well. Gutfeld! is a show on Fox, while the shows you mention are on left or center wing TV channels. Fox isn't the only right wing channel in the US, but I'm not aware of popular comedy shows on those other channels.

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    I think it should be noted that left leaning shows still attack the left when they see the need.
    – Joe W
    Sep 6, 2021 at 0:44
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    @JoeW that's not really relevant to the way I read the question. I think it asks about right wing oriented late night comedy. The same might be said about right leaning shows going after right wing personalities. To be honest, I only knew about this show because it was mentioned on Maher's show. ;)
    – JJJ
    Sep 6, 2021 at 0:55
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    The way I see it is that they are not anti trump/republican party but more targeting ideas themselves though those ideas tend to be on the right wing side.
    – Joe W
    Sep 6, 2021 at 1:46
  • @JoeW you can look at the world from different positions to get a different perspective. Not sure how to explain it in a comment but the closest English term seems to be perspective taking. As an example, a Chinese comedian will have different material when compared to American humor. The same holds if you compare comedy today with comedy two centuries ago. To a lesser extent, I think people in the same country can perceive the world differently as divided by political leaning. In turn, that changes what jokes they like.
    – JJJ
    Sep 6, 2021 at 1:56
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    @Fizz There's a standard joke writing technique that most late night comedy shows use. From the few minutes I've seen, I think Gutfeld uses it too, but it's not perfected. One reason may be that we're not the intended audience; we don't recognize all the talking points which their viewers do. Another reason is that he might be overeager to link political talking points, making it too blunt for our taste. It's like Hannity, but Gutfeld is trying to make jokes (and it resonates with enough viewers).
    – JJJ
    Sep 6, 2021 at 17:07

You are seeing a small section of what is happening.




On of your examples Real Time with Bill Maher is known for attacking pretty much everyone and does not pull punches with anyone.


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