It still isn’t Donald Trump and Fox News Channel numbers but the departure of Jon Stewart on August 6 is now the most-watched and highest-rated show in the series’ 19-year history. With the Live + 3 results in, the Comedy Central show had 5.1 million viewers and 2.6 million among adults 18-49. That’s a 48% and 44% rise respectively from the Live + Same Day numbers the special star-studded one-hour Daily Show drew.
Previously Stewart’s finale, which followed the blockbuster GOP debate on FNC the same night, was the second-most-watched in Live + SD with 3.5 million total viewers. The top Daily Show ever had been the 3.6 million who watched on October 28, 2008 when then soon-to-be elected Presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama came on. The previous Live + 3 highs were the audience of 3.8 million and 2.1 million in the key 18-49 demo on October 18, 2012. The guest that night was also Barack Obama, but this time he was the incumbent President running for re-election. Having visited The Daily Show seven times, Obama had one last sit down with his sometimes confidante Stewart on July 21 That show snagged 1.514 million viewers.
Obama’s 2008 Daily Show visit scored the show its most watched Live + 7 airing with 4.3 million viewers. With Stewart’s exit already surpassing that in Live + 3, you wouldn’t lose any money betting on a new Live + 7 record coming in the next few weeks.
The Daily Show is back on September 28 with Trevor Noah in the anchor’s chair.