Anybody expecting to be blown away by Greg Gutfeld’s new show on the Fox News Channel last night was probably disappointed. Liberals who were hoping the show would suck beyond the worst of whatever else is on television were probably also disappointed as well.
The good news for conservatives is, the show is likely going to get better. And when that happens, the left will start their teeth gnashing and Greg will have several staff members at Media Matters watching each week to report on whatever outrage Greg will cause.
It was the first show and as such, there were weak moments along with the strong moments. Gutfeld is a certainly talented enough person that he’ll learn what works and what doesn’t.
One thing that would be an immediate improvement would be doing the show in front of a live audience. Gutfeld is at his best when he has people around him who can react to what he says, whether they’re laughing or groaning. His ability to react quickly to their reactions is one of his personal strengths. There seemed to be times last night where Gutfeld was close to looking around to see if somebody was going to say something.
As I watched, I made note of what I thought worked and what didn’t.
I laughed at every growing list of GOP candidates, which include the Seattle Space Needle at one point.
The “woman on the street” bit with Joanne Nosuchinsky was great. Turning the thing on its head, Joanne asked obscure questions about women (in the context of putting a woman on the $20 bill) to which the people knew the answers. It was clearly scripted that way so the bit really relied on Nosuchinsky to make it work and she did.
Greg’s back and forth with the show ombudsman, Kat Timpf worked really well. Kat has a background in stand-up comedy so she was able to get into a good back and forth with Greg where their comments, while focused on the topics, seemed off the cuff.
The conversation with Colin Quinn. It had a kind of Seinfeld ‘Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee’ feel to it and it worked well.
I didn’t get the numbers thing that Greg did. As I watched, I kept thinking, “What’s the point?” It really fell flat.
The “interview” with Tucker Carlson about his not really sequel to his really good book morphed into an interview with Navy SEAL Robert O’Neill that actually was pretty good and would have stood better on its own than as part of some gimmick where Greg pretended to be bored talking to Carlson.
The interview he did with himself just came off as weird. It wasn’t funny at all.
Length? I have to wonder if this show would be better served as something only 30 minutes long. Granted, there seemed to be a number of commercial breaks but it still seemed like it would work better with less time. Still, the show is only on once a week so it may not matter.
It’s early. Those who are all concerned about it should go watch early episodes of Red Eye and see that it took some time for that show to find its footing. Unlike the Fox network, which has a habit of ceremoniously yanking shows before they’re given a chance to succeed, Roger Ailes is not going to do that with Gutfeld. He will be given ample time to iron out wrinkles.
Fans of Red Eye and The Five should be patient. It will take a bit of time but Gutfeld will figure it out and make the show work.