TV Talk Show Fans: Their Media and Political Habits

Ted MarzilliCEO YouGov Direct
March 11, 2016, 2:32 AM GMT+0

Jimmy Kimmel fans are more likely to be reading Guns & Ammo than fans of other talk show hosts. Conan O’Brien fans would run a red light if nobody was around. Jimmy Fallon fans prefer to buy CD’s and vinyl instead of downloading. You’ll find Trevor Noah fans listening to Miley Cyrus, while most late night talk show hosts attract devotees of Queen.

Consumer perception research firm YouGov’s new Profiles service drew data examining the habits and preferences of each major TV talk show host’s fans. Profiles collects and connects data on demographics, attitudes and opinions, brand usage and perception, media consumption, lifestyle, and social media and digital engagement. The results shows that while the late night talk show hosts’ fans have a few things in common, the quirks and tastes of each of their audiences are quite different – from each other and the average American 18 years and older.

Politics: Their fans lean distinctly left. 63% of Trevor Noah’s fans affiliate themselves with the Democratic party, followed by a 55% tie between John Oliver and Stephen Colbert. Conan O’Brien has the least Democratic-leaning fan base (39%) as well as the most fans that identify themselves as Independent (36%). The national TV talker with the most right-leaning fans is Jimmy Kimmel at 22%, about the same as the national average.

Talk Show Hosts Are Their Favorite Celebrities: John Oliver fans name Stephen Colbert, Jon Stewart, and Bill Maher as their favorite celebrities. For Jimmy Fallon fans, it’s Jimmy Kimmel, Seth Meyers, Ellen Degeneres and Conan O’Brien. Jimmy Kimmel fans are the biggest outliers: two of their favorite celebrities are Jackie Chan and Kathy Griffin.

Music: Queen and other classic rockers dominate across most of their fans, but Trevor Noah’s fans are much more eclectic (Miley Cyrus, Missy Elliott, Barbara Streisand, and Beck) and John Oliver’s turn toward alternative rock mode (Modest Mouse, Death Cab For Cutie, MGMT, and Eurythmics).

Magazines: Again, Noah and Oliver are the outliers. While Entertainment Weekly, Time and Rolling Stone are the preferred magazines of most talk show host fans, Oliver’s leans toward Out, Wired, and Harvard Business Review, while Noah’s prefer The New Yorker, Mother Jones, and Consumer Reports.

Profiles uses a subset of more than 180,000 of the most active YouGov's panelists. The data is updated continuously and weighted appropriately to represent a nationally representative sample.

Find out more about Profiles.