03/18/2010 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Brian Williams Increasingly Comfortable With His Funny Side

So last month, days before heading on an intense reporting trip to Afghanistan, Williams appeared on the NPR news quiz show "Wait, Wait . . . Don't Tell Me," cracking up the audience with a Bill Clinton impersonation. Host Peter Sagal dubbed him "the funniest man to jockey an anchor desk."

Williams' growing comfort with that title comes as he approaches his fifth anniversary as anchor of "NBC Nightly News," which has cemented its rank as the most-watched evening newscast during his tenure. More remarkably, at a time when ABC's "World News" and " CBS Evening News" have continued to shed viewers, "Nightly News" has gone the other direction: After two straight seasons of ratings gains, the newscast is up again this season, averaging 8.5 million viewers, a 3% boost over the same period last year.

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