Speed Reads

Late Night Antics

Study: Trump is the butt of twice the late-night jokes of other recent presidents

President Trump has been the subject of about twice the number of late-night jokes at this point in his presidency than his three immediate predecessors, a study published by George Mason University on Thursday reveals. The study counted jokes from shows hosted by Stephen Colbert, Trevor Noah, Jimmy Kimmel, and Jimmy Fallon.

Presidents Obama, Bush, and Clinton were the butt of 936, 546, and 440 late-night jokes in the first 100 days of their presidencies, respectively. That's an average of 641 jokes. In the same time period, Trump was the subject of a whopping 1,060 quips, nearly double the average. Trump is collecting late-night zings at such record speed that he is on pace to be the subject of more jokes this year than President Clinton was in 1998, the year of the Monica Lewinsky scandal.

Of course, these numbers may speak to late night's increasing irreverence as much as they reveal a dynamic specific to our current president. We'll have to see what happens with the next president to know for certain how much of the joke increase is uniquely about Trump and, as he infamously put it, his ability to generate the best ratings since "the World Trade Center came down."