Original document was submitted as an honors thesis requirement. Copyright is held by the author.

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Since the 2016 Presidential election, it has become increasingly difficult to turn on the television or log onto social media without being informed of everything happening at The White House. This includes late-night television. What once was meant for humorous jokes and celebrity interviews suitable for any pop culture follower has not gotten less funny, but nowadays, the jokes are not always jokes. Satirical news has been around for a long time with The Daily Show and The Colbert Report, but as of 2016, the line between fact and fiction cannot be as easily differentiated between as it used to. Now that late-night programs such as Jimmy Kimmel Live, The Late Show, Late Night and even Jimmy Fallon’s version of The Tonight Show have begun making political statements and producing politically motivated skits, my research is asking the question: How do people like this mix of business and pleasure, and what impact is this shift in content having on the shows’ ratings? Are people switching off their favorite late-night programs because where they once went for a break from reality became a reminder of it, instead?