The Daily Show is Picking Up YouTube, TikTok Subs at a Rapid Pace

Traditional TV ratings aren’t the only place where The Daily Show is seeing a Jon Stewart bump.

This past weekend Comedy Central’s flagship series passed the 11 million subscriber mark on YouTube, making it the third most subscribed late-night talk show on the platform. (The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon leads the pack with 31.5M subscribers, while Jimmy Kimmel Live! boasts 19.3M.)

Relatively speaking, the show is doing even better on TikTok, where it’s the second most subscribed show, with 7 million subscribers. (Again Fallon leads, with 19.9 million.) 

Numbers like these have taken on far greater meaning in recent years as linear TV viewers migrate online.

In Stewart’s case, his Daily Show clips on YouTube are often viewed at higher numbers than when the show is cablecast on Comedy Central. 

By way of example, Stewart’s episode last Monday March 11th drew 2 million total viewers to Comedy Central, per Nielsen live-plus-three data. Meanwhile, that same episode’s 15 minute opening segment has been viewed 6 million times on YouTube. 

Combined, that’s 8 million viewers — and that’s not counting viewer numbers on other platforms, including TikTok, Twitter and Paramount+.

To anyone arguing that interest in last night TV is waning, 8 million is around the same number of viewers who tuned into Johnny Carson’s Tonight Show on an average night in the early ‘90s.

Jon Stewart himself made a similar point a few weeks back in a jovial off-air exchange with an audience member who informed him matter-of-factly that “TV is dying,” and that young people watch clips from shows on TikTok.

“Right,” responded Stewart. “But you do understand that that’s still TV… you’re just watching it [via] a different delivery service. It’s like heroin is heroin whether you snort it or shoot it — it’s still an opiate for the masses.”

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