Ever since the inauguration of Donald Trump, Jimmy Fallon and Stephen Colbert have been embroiled in a neck-and-neck ratings battle. While Fallon had been handily besting Colbert throughout 2016, Colbert’s willingness to roast the new administration, compared to Fallon’s kid-gloves approach to political topics in general, resulted in a significant bump for the former Comedy Central star. This past week, however, Fallon managed to edge out Colbert for the first time since Trump took office.
Last week, Fallon’s Tonight Show brought in 2.67 million average viewers for the week, while Colbert’s Late Show attracted 2.62 million. Don’t go thinking that Fallon’s luck is changing just yet, however; While Fallon did manage to barely eek out a win in the ratings, it’s mainly due to the fact that The Late Show aired repeats on Thursday and Friday on account of Colbert’s being in Russia to film for his show. Without the ratings for those two days, Colbert’s numbers slipped just below Fallon’s. That being said, the Late Show ratings for Monday — Wednesday were the lowest they’ve been since the week before Trump’s inauguration, so make of that what you will.
Colbert just returned from his Russian excursion, saying on Monday night’s broadcast that The Late Show will soon feature a week of episodes pertaining to his trip, which included an appearance on late night show Evening Urgant in which he (perhaps jokingly) announced he’s considering a presidential run in 2020.
Here’s Colbert’s Monday night monologue:
— The Late Show (@colbertlateshow) June 27, 2017