David Letterman, who has been quietly doing his second-place late night joker show over on CBS like forever, is all of a sudden beating the Tonight Show in the ratings. Calling Sarah Palin a slut really pays off!
It's only been a week since Conan took over Jay Leno's old gig, and he's already losing. Letterman was up 13% in the ratings this past week vs. the week before—and last night he passed the Tonight Show, which has been steadily losing viewer every night since Conan started:
The ratings gap between the hosts has been narrowing nearly ever night since O'Brien took control of the "Tonight" franchise. The last time "Late Show" topped Jay Leno's "Tonight" was eight months ago.
Jay Leno, who was determined to never be funnier than the average American idiot, beat Letterman consistently. Now that Leno's moving to 10 pm, it may be that Letterman's time to be king has finally arrived. Conan O'Brien will be fine. But for years, Letterman's been losing out to a guy who was clearly less funny and consciously dumber than he is.
Now, America's in a strange situation: two funny late night hosts at once. No cheating, middle Americans! Larry the Cable Guy specials won't be on Comedy Central every night, for you to run to! Now, Letterman's the old established guy and Conan's the young upstart. Leno will be on earlier, and he'll bring an audience with him. But the people who used to stay up late watching Jay will now watch Letterman, because he's familiar and not quite as weird as Harvard boy Conan.
Which is just a long way of saying that David Letterman's time is, indeed, here at last. Sarah Palin calling him "pathetic" because he called her "slutty" is just gravy. Because the Palins are exactly the type of people who are going to be watching Dave all the time.