President Barack Obama’s appearance on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno Thursday night gave the show its highest ratings in four years. The episode drew an 11.2/26 HH rating/share (in the overnight metered markets), matching the number that Leno pulled in a January 2005 tribute episode following the death of Johnny Carson.
The highest rated episode of the series came on the night of the Seinfeld finale in May 1998 (a 12.4 HH rating). To put the number in perspective, it’s 187% above the show’s average this season of a 3.9 HH rating. The episode also lifted lead-out Late Night with Jimmy Fallon to its highest numbers in three weeks (a 3.9/13 HH rating/share in the overnights).