One of President Trump’s campaign promises was putting Americans back to work — and he’s certainly done his part for the writing staffs of late night comedy shows.
Indeed, during the course of Trump’s first 100 days in office, 1,060 jokes were made at his expense on late night programs, a new George Mason University study found.
The report, released Thursday by the school’s Center for Media and Public Affairs, examined 2,094 political jokes from the opening monologues of “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert,” “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon,” “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” and “The Daily Show With Trevor Noah,” finding that more than half of those zingers were lobbed at the leader of the free world.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, Colbert, who recently sparked a controversy after making a lewd joke about Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin, took aim at the president most often, making 337 jokes. Noah was hot on his tail with 315; Fallon totaled 231; and Kimmel made a paltry (by comparison) 177.
The most telling statistic from the analysis? Trump was the butt of more jokes in his first 100 days in office than the previous three presidents endured in the first full year of their administrations. Barack Obama, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton were the targets of 936, 546 and 440 jokes, respectively. At this rate, Trump will also easily surpass the number of jokes made about Clinton in 1998 (1,717), at the height of the Monica Lewinsky scandal. Combined, jokes about Trump, his family members and members of his administration totaled 1,530 during the first 100 days.
The turbulent Trump presidency has arguably been a boon for the comedy industry, including Alec Baldwin’s and Melissa McCarthy’s appearances on “Saturday Night Live” and “The President Show” launching on Comedy Central.
In the first 100 days, some of the comics joked about being worn down by the new administration.
“We’re just 10 days in, and it feels like it’s total chaos at the White House,” Colbert ribbed in January. “This is supposed to be the honeymoon. How could Trump blow the honeymoon? He’s had three of them!”
Months after Jimmy Fallon was mocked for a particularly friendly interview with then-candidate Trump, he went all in to re-create a memorable White House press conference. Fallon mocked the president’s penchant for labeling coverage of him “fake news” before taking a sip of water with a very tiny prop hand. Kimmel, who made the fewest Trump-related jokes, made them count, mocking the president’s unique fixation: “He’s focused on the size of his crowds, the size of his ratings, the size of his hands, the size of, well, everything.”
Noah, meanwhile, had a creative barb for Trump, skewering his family ties and his diet at once.
Reflecting at the 100-day mark, Noah said Trump likely no longer had “that new president smell. If I had to guess, I would say he now smells like nepotism and steak sauce.”
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