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Jon Stewart Couldn’t Beat ‘Gutfeld!’ (or Fox News)

'Daily Show' star's balleyhooed return no match for right-leaning alternatives

Jon Stewart is back. Greg Gutfeld never left.

Stewart’s hyped return to Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show” riled up liberals and boosted the show’s ratings by a sizable margin. The comeback came with a downside for progressives.

A show that came of age in Stewart’s absence beat him to the ratings punch. And it wasn’t close.

It’s a dirty little secret that few people watch “The Daily Show” in the post-Stewart era. And when Comedy Central invited a plethora of liberal comics to replace departing host Trevor Noah none reversed that trend.

Jon Stewart Tackles The Biden-Trump Rematch That Nobody Wants | The Daily Show

That’s why Comedy Central was eager to get back into The Jon Stewart Business, even though the 61-year-old comic will only man the faux anchor desk once a week.

Still, the early results proved promising.

Stewart’s first show back as (part-time) host of Comedy Central’s late night flagship drew 930,000 viewers Monday — the most for a Daily Show installment in almost six years (since March 28, 2018, midway through Trevor Noah’s time as host).

And then there’s “Gutfeld!”

Fox News’ late-night alternative routinely beat CBS’s “The Late Show” in the ratings wars. Last year, “Gutfeld!” shifted from 11 pm to 10 pm, and the show still draws a sizable crowd.

How big?

Stewart’s return was no match for another episode of “Gutfeld!” according to Nielsen numbers. Gutfeld’s comic roundtable drew 2.2 million viewers, more than double what Stewart generated.

“Gutfeld!” also lured more viewers in the 25-54 demo, albeit by a slimmer margin – 328K versus 320K.

Gutfeld: These two words should scare us

“Gutfeld!” does have an advantage by airing one hour earlier, presumably targeting viewers who haven’t gone to bed yet. Yet Fox News’ 11 pm showcase, Trace Gallagher’s “Fox News @ Night,” also trounced Stewart’s return. The nightly hard news show generated 1.3 million viewers.

Team Gutfeld’s OTHER Advantage Over Jon Stewart

Stewart and his late-night peers all veer to the hard Left. They praise Democrats, shove negative news about progressives under the TV rug and target Republicans relentlessly.

That’s why Stewart’s jokes targeting President Biden proved newsworthy. Stephen Colbert of “The Late Show” fame is still serving as the president’s PR division.

Right-leaning audiences are hungry for jokes that align with their values. Or, at the very least, aren’t as predictably one-sided as what Colbert and co. deliver.


    1. Your descriptions of Jon Stewart are patently absurd and totally false. The guy is 90% to the left and you begrudge him as “far right” for the leftover 10%.

      1. In examining his legislative history I do not think he is a progressive. He is definitely a Democrat through and through, however. The extreme leftism that we’ve see these last few years are a result of his handlers, I think, as I really do not see how he is actually in charge of much of any decision-making.

  1. It’s strange that conservative entertainment seems to be doing well, but that doesn’t translate to politics and the Hollywood elite that are still infested with democrats.

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