- The Washington Times - Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Late-night comics have poked fun at Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump nearly three times as often as they target Democrat Hillary Clinton, a new study has found.

The Center for Media and Public Affairs at George Mason University said Tuesday that Mr. Trump was the target of 308 jokes on late-night shows in September and October, while Mrs. Clinton was the subject of 107 jokes.

“Donald Trump is a gift that keeps on giving to TV comedians,” said CMPA Director and GMU Communication Professor Robert Lichter. “They may not vote for him, but they’ll be sorry to see him go.”

Mr. Trump also is far and away the top target of jokes among his GOP rivals for the nomination. Comedians told a total of 282 jokes about all the other Republican candidates combined, with former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush coming in second to Mr. Trump with 76 jokes.

CMPA’s study covered opening monologues on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert,” “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon,” “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” and “The Daily Show with Trevor Noah.” Mr. Fallon told the most jokes about candidates, with 264.

Only 9 percent of all jokes about candidates concerned their policies or proposals. By contrast, 71 percent concerned personal traits, such as their personality or appearance.

Some of the jokes:

• “The two GOP front-runners are Ben Carson, who doesn’t believe in evolution, and Donald Trump, who kind of proves his point.” – Mr. Kimmel.

• “Trump has trouble with evangelical Christians. People who read the Bible just don’t want to follow someone who looks that much like a golden calf.” – Mr. Colbert.

• “It’s important for candidates to set themselves apart with one-of-a-kind items like Hillary Clinton’s ‘Chillary’ drink koozie. It’s her favorite way to keep a beverage cold unless polling indicates a more popular cooling method.” – Mr. Colbert.

Former Democratic candidate Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island came in as the sixth-most-popular target of jokes, even though he dropped out of the race on Oct. 23. Top-flight Republican candidates Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas and Marco Rubio of Florida didn’t even crack the top 10 in the number of jokes told about them.

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