I started watching Greg Gutfeld back in 2010 when he had his 3 am comedy Red Eye on Fox News. With his small ensemble of regulars and a bunch of Fox News and right-wing and libertarian guests the show was an incredibly refreshing change from the lefty late night hosts that had already become too unbearable to listen to.
It was obviously a show that was produced on a shoestring budget and existed without any of the heavyweight advantages that the networks can provide to an entertainment show. We weren’t going to see any movie stars or top echelon politicians on this show. Instead you had a folded newspaper with paper eyes taped on used as a ventriloquist dummy while one of the cast represented the views of the New York Times in a silly voice. Or there would be a video of robots in their parents’ basement, reciting the talking points of George Soros’ Media Matters in a cadence that sounded like HAL in 2001: A Space Odyssey.
This was not a show that could compete with The Tonight Show or even Conan O’Brien. I even remember a clip of David Letterman making fun of Greg’s name and calling him a nobody. But it was often very funny. Gutfeld was a social liberal by all appearances. I’d say he was a libertarian. But he wasn’t attacking the Right. After a few years when the show ran out of steam and several of the regulars left so did I. But my impression was that Gutfeld was not against us and was doing the best he could to speak to more than the left side of America. And for that I give him credit.
In the last few years Gutfeld has been ubiquitous on Fox News. He’s a regular on their talk show “The Five.” And he now has his own late night comedy show that is much better supported by the network than Red Eye was. And after viewing a few episodes I see that Gutfeld knows where his audience is. I don’t doubt he’s still the same guy but he’s towing the line and giving Donald Trump his due. And that’s good. Gutfeld is far enough to the right of the rest of Hollywood and the Media to be considered one of us. I wouldn’t want him deciding policy but I’m more than happy to see him telling jokes on a late night show. After all Johnny Carson was probably a liberal. But he tried to be an equal opportunity mocker of the left and the right. I can live with that.
Now that Gutfeld is making real headway I hope Fox News supports him and provides whatever leverage they can to get him good guests. Who knows maybe one day he can have Donald Trump on the show. That show I’d watch.
So good luck to Greg. He’s the only one of those comics worth spit. Hopefully he can showcase a lot of the little comics on our side. That would be a worthwhile endeavor. Build our own platforms.