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

  • 'Queer Eye,' 'Jersey Shore' Creators Reveal

    'Queer Eye,' 'Jersey Shore' Creators Reveal How Unscripted Franchises Were Revived

    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 […]

  • Forest Whitaker at the Photocall For

    Forest Whitaker to Star in Epix Drama Series 'Godfather of Harlem'

    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 […]

  • Gavel Court Placeholder

    Sharp Entertainment Sets $226,000 Settlement With New York State Over Overtime Pay

    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 […]

  • George RR Martin

    George R.R. Martin Says 'Winds of Winter' Will Not Be Released in 2018

    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 […]

  • Nkechi Carroll WBTV

    Nkechi Carroll Inks Overall Deal at Warner Bros. TV

    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 […]

  • THE HANDMAID'S TALE -- "Unwomen" --

    'The Handmaid's Tale' Boss and Star Alexis Bledel Talk Emily's Past and Post-Gilead Life

    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 […]

  • 'Walking Dead' Star Lauren Cohan on

    'Walking Dead' Star Lauren Cohan on Season 9: 'I'm Going Back'

    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