Jon Stewart apologists will crybaby over my analysis of these numbers because crybabying is what Stewart apologists do. But comparing FNC's "The Five" to Comedy Central's left-wing duo seems reasonable.
Like Stewart and Colbert, "The Five" delivers the stories of the day, many of them political, from a different angle, using humor and irreverence.
Furthermore, "The Five" broadcasts at 5pm ET, when most people aren't yet home from work. Stewart and Colbert broadcast at 11pm and 11:30pm ET, when most people are home but getting ready for bed.
There are differences. Greg Gutfeld is funny, Colbert is not. Dana Perino, Andrea Tantaros, Eric Bolling, Juan Williams, and Kimberly Guilfoyle are likable, reasonable, and intellectually honest -- Jon Stewart is not.
I don't know what to say about Bob Beckel. He seems jolly enough.
Plus, "The Five" doesn't disguise itself as something it is not. The panelists are open about their political views and not hiding behind some cowardly clown nose marked "satirist."
Anyway, on Thursday (the last ratings day available), "The Five" once again won the viewership battle with the two clowns we are assured are some kind of American phenoms. Gutfeld and company drew a total of 1.478 million viewers, while Stewart and Colbert drew 1.462 and 1.217 respectively.
Man, now that this is happening, I can't wait to see clips from "The Five" all over Politico and and other news outlets. After all, if Stewart and Colbert are American Treasures, these ratings can only mean that the folks on "The Five" are even BIGGER American Treasures, right?
Follow John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC