Can Comedy Recover from Russia Conspiracy Hoax?

The press once dubbed Jon Stewart the Walter Cronkite of the Millennial generation.

Millions of “Daily Show” viewers got their news from Stewart, not the nightly news shows. Sure, Stewart mocked headlines and poked fun at absurd politicians. Still, audiences trusted Stewart to bring them the news that mattered. It may sound silly, but it’s true.

Jon Stewart wearing a suit and tie
The Daily Show host Jon Stewart kept viewers informed with his comedy, for better or worse.

Stewart retired from the late night circuit in 2015. Since then, late night TV has only gotten more political and, of course, more strident. And it’s clear many people still rely on the Colberts, Kimmels and Noahs to glean the latest news.

So for two years these assembled comics told us President Donald Trump colluded with the Russian government to steal the 2016 election from Hillary Clinton.

It’s hard to forget the most memorable bits, like Stephen Colbert calling the President a “c*** holster” for Russian leader Vladimir Putin.

This Monologue Goes Out To You, Mr. President

That’s only a fraction of the Trump-Russia gags. Night after night, show after show, the notion that the U.S. president colluded with a foreign government flavored the monologues.

They spoke of the connection as if it were certain, like the sky being blue.

Don’t forget how “Saturday Night Live” carried the Russia collusion torch, too. The show hired Robert De Niro, an avowed Trump hater, to play Robert Mueller investigating the president’s alleged Russian ties. The purpose was clear: the president was one report away from going to the hoosegow.

The women of “SNL” even sang “All I Want for Christmas Is Mueller” just a few weeks back.

And, as we all just learned, it wasn’t true. No Russia collusion. Period. Full stop.

Consider that as you watch this “comedy” sketch from James Corden.

Robert Mueller's Indictment Song

“The Late Late Show” host is begging for Mueller to indict the president here. Nothing could be more clear from this routine, even though it would severely damage the nation. An added bonus: Look at the reporters dancing in the aisles, marinating in their liberal bias.

Sometimes comedy gets it right by accident.

The list of comedy bits tied to the Russia collusion hoax is endless. Show after show, host after host. They pounced and seized, assuming the Mueller report would put the exclamation point on the entire affair.

The FBI Investigated Whether Trump Worked for Russia: A Closer Look

Comedians shared their own Russian conspiracies on Twitter, too.

Some, like far-left filmmaker Rob Reiner, just can’t let go.

Chelsea Handler described her sexual attraction for Mueller, although a subsequent tweet cast doubt on their love connection.

So what happens next? Would an apology suffice from Late Night Nation? How many apologies, exactly, for doubling down on the Russia collusion hoax?

How will Millennials, who savor every Colbert sick progressive burn, handle the new reality?

RELATED: Why Conan Avoids the Late Night Trump Bashing

It’s most likely Team Late Night will carry on as if little has changed. They’ll tell more Trump jokes, dancing around Mueller’s final report. They might even cling to the tiny shards of “hope” remaining in the report, like the part where it didn’t fully exonerate Trump for obstruction of justice (for a crime that never happened).

Let’s face it.Whatfinger News

Today’s hardcore late night fans want hosts to slash and burn Trump. It’s why they watch. Colbert and co. long ago chased away Red State viewers. That’s no longer their target audience.

Jimmy Kimmel literally said so a while back.

They’re gone, likely for good, but in our fractured media landscape they’re no longer necessary to remain a success.

“The Late Show,” the biggest comedy program in its niche, doesn’t attract what Johnny Carson drew during his “Tonight Show” run.

The times have changed. So has the media landscape, splintered into dozens of pieces.

That, ultimately, means both these shows and their audiences won’t apologize, or change. They’ll keep hammering the progressive position on any given topic.

The first “Late Show” episode following the Mueller report showed precisely that.

Colbert: All The Other Reasons Trump Is A Bad President

He didn’t miss a progressive beat.

Yet for independent minded viewers, folks who endure the hard-left yuks just to see movie stars on late night couches, they’ll take the hosts’ political rants with a grain of salt.

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