You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Dunham’s ‘Christmas’ sleighs ratings

Comedy Central stuns with 6.6 million viewers

How did a Christmas special starring a little-known comedian and a bunch of cranky puppets manage to become the highest-rated telecast in Comedy Central’s history?

Nobody at the cabler saw it coming, but Sunday’s preem of “Jeff Dunham’s Very Special Christmas Special” racked up 6.6 million viewers in the 10 p.m. hour. That was enough to beat the cabler’s previous best of 6.2 million viewers harvested from a “South Park” seg in the show’s heyday in 1998.

The Dunham spesh beat by 3 million viewers the top-rated episode of “The Daily Show With Jon Stewart,” which drew 3.6 million viewers Oct. 29 when Barack Obama guested. “The Colbert Report” also hit its highest mark that night with 2.4 million viewers.

Sunday’s puppet spec drew 3.7 million viewers in the 18-49 demo and more than doubled the audience of its lead-in, a previous Dunham special, “Spark of Insanity.”

Dunham’s outing was strong enough to rank as basic cable’s top-rated entertainment program for the week in total viewers and key demos.

Comedy Central execs seemed to be scratching their heads about the turnout as much as everyone else. For once, execs weren’t spinning in saying that the perf exceeded all expectations.

“We were hoping for big numbers, but this is more than we imagined,” said a Comedy Central spokesman.

More TV

  • WWE to Celebrate 'Raw' Anniversary Amid

    WWE Set to Celebrate 'Raw' Anniversary Amid Speculation About the Company's Future

    How did a Christmas special starring a little-known comedian and a bunch of cranky puppets manage to become the highest-rated telecast in Comedy Central’s history? Nobody at the cabler saw it coming, but Sunday’s preem of “Jeff Dunham’s Very Special Christmas Special” racked up 6.6 million viewers in the 10 p.m. hour. That was enough […]

  • 'Peaky Blinders' Developing Kazuo Ishiguro’s ‘When

    'Peaky Blinders' Producer Options Kazuo Ishiguro’s ‘When We Were Orphans’

    How did a Christmas special starring a little-known comedian and a bunch of cranky puppets manage to become the highest-rated telecast in Comedy Central’s history? Nobody at the cabler saw it coming, but Sunday’s preem of “Jeff Dunham’s Very Special Christmas Special” racked up 6.6 million viewers in the 10 p.m. hour. That was enough […]

  • BBC Ups Stake in ‘The End

    BBC Ups Stake in 'The End of the F***ing World' Producer Clerkenwell (EXCLUSIVE)

    How did a Christmas special starring a little-known comedian and a bunch of cranky puppets manage to become the highest-rated telecast in Comedy Central’s history? Nobody at the cabler saw it coming, but Sunday’s preem of “Jeff Dunham’s Very Special Christmas Special” racked up 6.6 million viewers in the 10 p.m. hour. That was enough […]

  • Rule 'Britannia': HBO Among International Buyers

    Rule 'Britannia': HBO, Other International Buyers Snap Up New Sky Drama (EXCLUSIVE)

    How did a Christmas special starring a little-known comedian and a bunch of cranky puppets manage to become the highest-rated telecast in Comedy Central’s history? Nobody at the cabler saw it coming, but Sunday’s preem of “Jeff Dunham’s Very Special Christmas Special” racked up 6.6 million viewers in the 10 p.m. hour. That was enough […]

  • Peter Jackson Making Documentary on World

    Peter Jackson Making Documentary on World War I

    How did a Christmas special starring a little-known comedian and a bunch of cranky puppets manage to become the highest-rated telecast in Comedy Central’s history? Nobody at the cabler saw it coming, but Sunday’s preem of “Jeff Dunham’s Very Special Christmas Special” racked up 6.6 million viewers in the 10 p.m. hour. That was enough […]

  • This Is Us cast SAG Awards

    Sterling K. Brown, 'This Is Us' Cast Talk Time's Up at SAG Awards

    How did a Christmas special starring a little-known comedian and a bunch of cranky puppets manage to become the highest-rated telecast in Comedy Central’s history? Nobody at the cabler saw it coming, but Sunday’s preem of “Jeff Dunham’s Very Special Christmas Special” racked up 6.6 million viewers in the 10 p.m. hour. That was enough […]

  • Frances McDormand SAG Awards

    SAG Awards: Actors Fall Hard for 'Three Billboards' but the Oscar Race Is Far From Over

    How did a Christmas special starring a little-known comedian and a bunch of cranky puppets manage to become the highest-rated telecast in Comedy Central’s history? Nobody at the cabler saw it coming, but Sunday’s preem of “Jeff Dunham’s Very Special Christmas Special” racked up 6.6 million viewers in the 10 p.m. hour. That was enough […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content