Stephen Colbert’s debut last night was seen by a whopping 6.6 million viewers, which is basically more than Community and Parks and Rec combined at the end of their runs. It’s a huge number, although it’s off the 11 million that Fallon debuted with (Fallon, however, had the benefit of a Winter Olympics lead-in).
Fallon, however, is not throwing in the towel, nor should he, as the numbers will even out in the coming weeks and months as viewers pick and choose their late-night hosts. Nielsen viewers is only one half of the battle, though. The other is YouTube, where Fallon has been regularly trouncing the competition for a couple of years now. Colbert will make an effort to compete, but I’m not sure that Colbert has the viral firepower to compete with lip syncing, celebrity games, and Justin Timberlake and the “History of Rap.”
Then again, this is the sixth installment of the rap supercut, and you have to wonder how much longer Fallon/Timberlake can trot it out before its run its course, if it hasn’t already.
Timberlake dominated the Tonight Show last night — maybe they’ll fare better with lessons in mixology. Here’s Timberlake teaching Fallon how to make a tequila cocktail. Fallon looks like he could use a cocktail. You see that look on his face? That’s the exhausted face of a man who has a baby at home.