I think Hitchens was a far more interesting figure than Peterson. Take away the late-2000s online atheist craze entirely, and Hitchens was still one of the most incisive polemicists of his generation. Remove Peterson from the controversies surrounding pronouns and campus deplatforming however, and all you're really left with is banal self-help advice and performative moralizing. I don't think they're really comparable beyond the fact that they both managed to cultivate an obnoxious fan base. In terms of their intellectual contributions, Peterson is the Žižek to Hitchens' Chomsky.Let me be clear, I doubt many people will care that much about Peterson 50 years from now. However, I do think his fans will be around for some time, just to a much smaller degree. Towards the end of his life, Christopher Hitchens gained a large influx of fans from YouTube compilations of him posted at the height of atheism's popularity. Hitchens' fanbase survived far past his death, they're still around here and there, but they've largely moved on. The similarities between the atheists of last decade and Peterson's are obvious, and I think the longevity will be the same. Peterson's relevance will really start to wane in 1-2 years, he'll still be remembered in 10, but in 50 years he'll be a mostly obscure historical figure. He'll mostly be remembered in Canada for his involvement in academic scandals, but in America he'll probably be thought of in a similar light to how we remember A Course in Miracles or pyramid power today.
Peterson may have tried to court media attention for years before he achieved international fame, but I don't think the level of fame he ended up achieving was something he could have anticipated. He certainly took advantage of it after it happened, but I doubt it's something he could have planned.Hellhound is right that Peterson was a flash in the pan, but that it happened unwittingly is false. He had been cultivating a media persona for decades and you can watch the old various attempts.