8 months ago
There are calls for Jimmy Fallon to become more political as The Tonight Show continues to trail behind Stephen Colbert’s Late Show in nightly ratings.
Citing an anonymous source, Page Six reported that Fallon is “feeling the pressure” as the Late Show won the February sweep period for the first time since 2010. The Daily Beast reported that Colbert’s average of 3.02 million viewers represent “a marked change” from last season, when The Tonight Show saw an average of 3.6 million viewers to Colbert’s 2.75 million.
“Stephen Colbert is now beating him in a big way and he has to change his format to keep up because he’s losing viewers,” the source told Page Six. “They had to figure out a way to get Trump [into his routine] because he’s too weak on Trump, and viewers are going elsewhere.
“[He’s been] uncomfortable talking about politics, and that’s not what the people want.”
The Daily Beast entertainment writer Matt Wilstein, though, argues The Tonight Show should make no such course correction.
“For Fallon to steer into a harsher critique of Trump at this point would seem disingenuous at best and opportunistic at worst. Viewers may be hungry for political outrage right now, but not when it feels forced,” Wilstein writes. “If viewers are given a choice between incisive political satire from Colbert and watching Fallon’s Trump try to drink water with a tiny doll hand, we already know which they’ll choose.”