Late night comedian hosts receive an onslaught of criticism in today’s media landscape. People - mainly those in the conservative media - just love to hate on late night comedians, calling them “liberally slanted”, biased, and “pushing the Hollywood liberal agenda.”
As an avid late night viewer, I will tell you upfront that my views on comedians will be slanted: I personally love watching comedians like Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Fallon, Jimmy Kimmel, Trevor Noah, my British homeboy John Oliver and more because despite the fact that they’re all on different networks with different companies and have different views on issues facing society, they all have one goal in common: to make us laugh.
That’s it, that’s all it boils down to. While sure they all go viral with their ruthless takedowns of the President and have their ridiculous antics for their season finales, they do all of this to make us laugh! That is what is at the core of every late night talk show that’s on TV right now.
So then, if that is what late night shows are all about, then why do we keep on seeing some of the hosts getting into feuds with political pundits on cable network shows (*Cough* Looking at you Mr. Hannity! *Cough*)?
Simple: Because all of the Sean Hannity’s and Rachel Maddows of the TV world forget that late night talk shows are aiming to hit at a specific target audience that they themselves are not hitting: the prized 18-49 demographic. Additionally, political pundits seem to think as if late night talk shows are actual news shows, when in fact they’re anything but. (If you need any proof of this, just hop on over to The Daily Show’s Instagram bio.) And before you bother to @ me saying things like “Oh but all the hosts report on the news or something, don’t they?”, yes I realize they do this, but they then immediately follow through with their commentary and jokes on the matters at hand.
The difference between political pundits and late night talk show hosts is that the hosts openly express their bias’ to their audience in a charismatic manner. This disarms the negative tone and mood of the news they comment on and makes the audience trust in what they’re saying in their commentary. Through this disarmament, some hosts may seem as if they have an agenda, but as I’ve said, all they want to do is to make their audience laugh and have them keep tuning in every night. It is through the monologues, segments, interviews, you name it, that the hosts present their views, which is perfectly acceptable.
All humans have a bias, that’s what makes us human. In my view, late night comedians are allowed to express their views because they back up their views by sharing their real world experiences, citing facts from well known sources and research, and by using media to prove and discredit the hypocrisies and realities of society.
Late night comedian hosts are truly the saviors of this crazy news-filled era that we live in. The hosts are just trying to make fun of the world we live in. And come on, in a world where there’s just so much unfortunate news happening everyday, don’t we all deserve to laugh even in the darkest of times?