Kanye West showed up on the set of Jimmy Kimmel Live! last night to talk about his short-lived feud with the late night host, as well as to get out a proliferation of feelings. Apparently, people were interested in what the rapper had to say, because Kimmel crushed in the late night ratings on Wednesday, at least where the advertising demographic is concerned, bringing in a dominant 1.2 rating in the 18-49 demo.
THR first reported the news, noting that both Letterman and Leno didn’t come close to crushing in the demo on Wednesday night. In comparison, Leno averaged a .7 rating while Letterman averaged a .5 rating. The site also noted that these are the highest “early returns” for Kimmel since the late night host moved into the 11:35 timeslot. Still, Kimmel lost in total viewers to Leno, so it’s a little early to be declaring him as the late night king.
It’s likely that people tuned in last night to see how Kimmel and West would address the feud that occurred on Twitter just a few weeks ago, following a sketch Jimmy Kimmel Live! sometimes does featuring children dressing up as celebrities and reading speeches they have given. In West’s case, Kimmel was spoofing a radio interview the rapper had given with BBC Radio 1 in September. West has been known to fly off the handle when anyone addresses himself or his celebrity, and his angry, later deleted messages to Kimmel inspired a short feud.
Kimmel’s been the master of manipulating the press in the past, creating viral videos like the flaming twerk video that were later revealed to be staged. This led some people to theorize that his interactions with West were just a goofy way to get people invested in a Kanye West appearance on the show. However, as last night’s airing proved, the feud was not a marketing ploy. Additionally, West made sure to assert that he would never be party to shenanigans like marketing ploys. You can check out his lengthy statements concerning the feud, below.
Kimmel has seen ratings increases with some big celebrities in the past, most notably with last winter’s Matt Damon appearance, but the West ratings certainly prove Kimmel is able to repeat that sort of success. Hopefully, he’ll continue to do well as the late night realm changes and Jimmy Fallon moves into an earlier timeslot. Maybe next time, it won’t even take a feud to do it.
You can catch Jimmy Kimmel Live! weeknights at 11:35 p.m. ET on ABC.