‘Greg Gutfeld Show’ Doesn’t Look Ready For Primetime

Greg Gutfeld Show Review Fox News
Courtesy of Fox News

Cable news provides ample comedic fodder for “The Daily Show,” and CNN has become increasingly intent on handing over sizable junks of its lineup to reality-oriented series. Comedy, however, has thus far been largely limited to the unintentional variety – at least, in the eight years since Fox News Channel took a flyer on “The 1/2 Hour News Hour,” a satirical program from “24” co-creator Joel Surnow. Undaunted, Fox has waded back in with “The Greg Gutfeld Show,” whose one-hour premiere seemed more determined to be odd and vaguely surreal than funny or satirical.

Known for his quick and acerbic wit on Fox series like “Red Eye” and “The Five,” Gutfeld represented a logical choice for Fox News CEO Roger Ailes to take another stab at trying something a bit different in primetime. After the opening monologue, however – delivered from behind a desk, without an audience – the principal concern was what the host could possibly do to wring an entire hour (OK, about 42 minutes sans commercials) out of such slim material. In this case, a half-hour really would have been a boon to all concerned.

In the first poor decision, the series turned other Fox talent into props (there’s a reason most news people aren’t actors), with Gutfeld crashing the secret “host lounge.” That was followed by an extended rumination about what truly qualifies as evil, with Gutfeld seeking to make the point that the left demonizes conservatives when the term ought to be limited to inarguable examples, like the terrorist group ISIS burning a woman who refused to be raped.

“Torching a girl is a true war on women, unless you see it as the next renewable fuel,” Gutfeld said, demonstrating the difficulty in seeking to wring humor — or even pithy wordplay — from the grimness of current events.

Yet that opening might have in hindsight been the hour’s most successful sequence, compared to taped and shtick-y bits that included receiving interview tips from Colin Quinn; Gutfeld blacking out during an interview with Tucker Carlson; Gutfeld interviewing himself; and a man-on-the-street segment where, for once, those interviewed actually came up with the right answers, much to the chagrin of the correspondent. (Somehow, those responses never turn up during Jesse Watters’ “The O’Reilly Factor” fillers.)

Gutfeld did have some fun joking about the unwieldy size of the growing Republican roster of presidential contenders, but by the time he added Seattle’s Space Needle to the list, it was pretty clear identifying the show’s merits amounted to finding another kind of needle in the proverbial haystack.

Part of the genius of Fox News is that its branding – presenting itself as a truth-telling antidote to the bias of the “mainstream media” – essentially inoculates it from criticism. Those who would diminish or second-guess the network, in the eyes of staunch supporters, must therefore be motivated by partisan bile.

Moreover, Gutfeld clearly preached to the conservative choir by putting the threat from climate change on a par with men’s sandals, debating an animated wall that served as his “liberal panel” and closing with a not-so-veiled shot at what constitutes “edgy” fare on Comedy Central.

As noted, all the news channels have sought to avoid some of the vagaries associated with news cycles – and reel in some younger viewers – by offering original series. It’s just that so far, the chuckles elsewhere have been limited to, say, the more bizarre moments conjured by CNN’s Don Lemon.

Gutfeld likely has a bright future at Fox, even if this hour (which, with apologies to Surnow’s earlier series, felt twice that long) goes the way of the dinosaur. At least in this vehicle, though, the “Red Eye” and “The Five” host just didn’t look ready for primetime.

 

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  1. Mister White says:

    Honestly the show is trash!!! there is nothing funny about the show, Greg’s style of humor is just not cutting it and his build up toward the punch line of funny is just too much and over bored. He’s loud and the show is just not that good……I don’t even care for him on the 5, sorry just being honest

  2. Sharalee Wilson says:

    I have had a hard time leaving a review for the Greg Gutfeld show. Comments are not only moderated. They are ignored. Please stop this show. It is such a disgrace to Fox which I consider my main and only correct source for honesty and lack of bias. By contrast the Greg Gutfeld show is loud, ridiculous and lacking of sensible humor. Sorry, Greg.

  3. Laurie Diercks says:

    Greg, I used to love your TV program until you became anti-Trump. Tonight’s TV Fox program is a great example of your guest’s all being anti-Trump. “Kat” is particularly obnoxiously anti-Trump. National Review has lost significant readership, as it should due to its’ anti-conservative positions.
    I’m done with any Fox anti-Trump programs. So sorry that you’ve caved to the left.

  4. Bryan says:

    Greg isn’t funny the show is horrible
    I tried to find any humor here! None!
    Dump this. No talent wanna be

  5. Steve says:

    He is terrible. His non-witty remarks sarcastically review how uniformed he is. He should try stand-up instead of news but he would be even worse at that. When he comes on O’Reilly, I change the channel and he makes The Five unbearable. Please get rid of him…

  6. Leslie says:

    I do not watch your show. You do not know what the hell you talking about leave miss Hillary out of your mouth l

  7. He’s so bad…he’s got me watching others stations…and I’m a fox lover….but he is awful

  8. John Best says:

    I think the show is very witty and if you don’ like it, it’s likely due to your differing political point of view.

  9. Nothing wrong with naming terrorists or campus shooters . As long as you start the sentence with ‘ Cowardly Yellow beast Jon Doe killed so and so. These may discourage Jihadis and campus killers . Who wants to be known as a Cowardly Yellow beast .

  10. Carole P says:

    I love your new show . Fantastic, please keep your true personality …. You will go so far!!!!

  11. Warren says:

    If that is the best Fox News can do they better give up.

  12. Lotus says:

    He is plain stupid and tries to be funny.He lacks class and what does his show supposed to mean.Maybe most of us are not smart to understand his show.So beat it! STOP THE SHOW!!!

  13. Bill Nairn says:

    Gutfeld is not funny or even witty. I stopped watching The Five because he ruins a very good show. Please go to MSNBC where no one has to watch him.

    • B Money says:

      Greg is awesome, but too sophisticated for the average liberal! Don’t worry though, it’s just over your head if you don’t get it!

  14. Jane says:

    Why would ANYONE care about what this crooked-mouthed piece of angry garbage has to say. His ‘humour’ is for idiots who don’t even know what humour is

  15. Patricia Rae says:

    Terrible!

  16. Peter Blum says:

    Definitely not ready. I love Greg on The Five, but he cannot carry a one hour show. He needs a “sidekick” ala Ed McMahon to Johnny Carson. Cut it back to 30 minutes and/or get him a sidekick (even the Daly Show always has a sidekick. Otherwise this show will be gone soon.

  17. Robert Uhrey says:

    Gutfeld shud drop his new show. It’s not funny and his satirical attack on Trump is lacking. He fancies himself as knowing it all when he is nothing but a know it all. Stick with The Five where you don’t hog the mike.

  18. David Schoenrade says:

    I’ve lost all respect for Greg Gutfield.
    His show is just plain stupid and why fox would even put it on the air doesn’t speak to highly for them.
    Greg is trying to be Jon Stewart and failing miserably..
    The worst show i have ever watched..
    Fox should pay me for the time i’ve spent watching this garbage of a show..

  19. Mike LnL says:

    Love GG on Red Eye & The 5. His new show needs help! I will continue to give it a chance, but it lacks energy and the set/setting just looks plain wrong. Found myself wanting to change the channel which is something I don’t usually do when watching a show with GG. I was expecting a show that did something a little daring & different. And all I got was a rehashed version of Red Eye with less quality writing. Hope it improves because it won’t last if it stays with the current format/set.

  20. bob says:

    the funniest thing on this board, including the awkwardness of the gutfeld delivery on his ‘show’ is all the people who think the criticism is partisan. a bad attempt at entertainment crosses all lines. just like good ones do. left or right it ain’t funny or entertaining or enlightening. maybe because gutfeld himself is a stiff?

  21. Eric Blaine says:

    Love it! I howl as loud on the jokes on the Gutfeld Show as I do on Comedy Bang Bang! Love both shows. Wish they could guest each other, that would be hysterical.
    You leftist guys/gals can try to trash GG, but lots of luck on that. Too many people waiting to hear what he has to say because it is very funny and all very true. And as for using the FOX news staff as his “props”, I had NO IDEA they were all so dam funny themselves! This review is kind of….leftist biased? Oh, of course not.

  22. Connie Cahoon says:

    Gutfeld is a talented, intelligent person. Unfortunately, his show’s idiocy and quirky weirdness make him look foolish. I’m embarrassed for him.

  23. bob says:

    this vile show is just mean spirited elitism and reflects the fox news and republican talking points endlessly. trying to inject humor into vitriol does not work. greg comes of as a smart-ass. not smart. it is obvious he is trying to deliver someone else’s copy and not doing a vert good job.

  24. Dee Lewis says:

    I love Greg (I even went to one of his book signings), but his show needs help! I do not like the liberal wall – stupid, and i really do not like the blond w/glasses who gives him feedback – she is not Andy. Also Joann was good on Red Eye – this show – not so much. But, i will hang in there knowing that Greg is so smart and funny he will figure it out and make it MUCH better!

  25. alvin 1 says:

    The Greg Gutfield Show is great. On this latest Sun. show you had a guest on your show that goes by the name “Sunny”. All she wanted to do is Solilique the words “White Privilage”. What I’ve listening to is a female version of Al Sharpton. I equate the term “White Privilage” as “reverse Affirmative Action”.She has got to be replaced.

  26. It seems very Red Eye like. I wish they would give him good writing, I feel like he can give a daily show feel with his wit and humor. I love his books though, if you haven’t read them, I would encourage you to pick one up, especially The Joy of Hate.

  27. Bob B says:

    I watched for 5 minutes this show and it STINKS.
    Fox please don’t let your high ratings destroy you. It’s bad enough your almost 40% commercials and now you want to put another crap show on like this.
    Greg isn’t really ready to have a show of his own.

  28. Greg used to stand out from the pack at Fox for his amusing and abrasive commentary. Now though, he is melding into the foreground.

  29. Tony Rohl says:

    Greg’s first show was a disaster, but he’s recovered since and has a very funny show.

  30. Jeffro says:

    You think Fox News has been inoculated from criticism? What planet are you from? Fox is regularly and viciously derided–mostly by people who claim that they never watch it. I’m for the most part a supporter of the network. But I have never suggested, or heard anyone else suggest, that all criticism is “motivated by partisan bile.” But you’re right that the program needs a good punching up to be worth an hour of my time. And the “liberal panel” is stupid and unentertaining.

  31. Leslie says:

    I LOVE Gutfeld’s humor–it’s smart, original, sarcastic, and quirky. I LOVE his rants on The Five!! I often jokingly refer to a Gut Fan Club on twitter during The Five, and I get support! I was hoping Greg wouldn’t just move Red Eye to his new show. Unfortunately, that is what it feels like. I really thought he would be Comedy Central-type schtick on FNC. I think he needs an audience to play off and–MOST IMPORTANTLY–he needs REAL guests and not the usual FNC peeps. Greg is funny AND smart, so capitalize on the smart; get him topical and current guests, and let him do his thing!

  32. twilla says:

    I love Greg. He is smart & funny. But his new show was so dumb — and so was the 2nd & 3rd. Why do the Red Eye thing? Why have these talentless guests? What is the point of Joanne N? She is very attractive, but quite stupid“`is that the point? Some of the guests are tired Red Eye guests. The liberal wall is awful. This show will not last.

  33. jackdeth72 says:

    Geeeeeee…. Give it some time.

    I’m sure Variety said the same of ‘Red Eye’ when first starting out. Only to have its viewers numbers at 3am est consistently crush combined CNN’s and MSNBC’s numbers in later years.

  34. Brian says:

    Red Eye started similarly.

    • Mike Conlon says:

      Brian,

      Exactly. Greg dominated some prime time non Fox shows with a 3AM show that yoiu mention, Red Eye. As you note, this one is similar. While not a carbon copy, it does have specific elements of Red Eye, and the same feel. The only question is: Will the Red Eye format and host be successful at 10AM, as it was at 3AM. I think it will, but its not at all clear I hope so!

  35. First week was kind of weak, but I have seen steady improvement since. And, unlike most people here who commented, I actually watched.

  36. Beth says:

    Worst show I’ve ever seen. Guy is a total douche. Not even remotely funny.

  37. Jennifer says:

    I was mistaken
    I “liked ” him on other shows – maybe he needed them –
    What a waste watching him

  38. Jennifer says:

    Like him- show is absolutely awful

  39. Ken Klug says:

    This idiot just doesn’t get it!! Conservatist are the joke!! Conservatist make the joke!! Conservatist being conservatist are so entertaining, ie ” I am not a witch!” remark as an example. This Gutfeld guy should just show the re-runs of the Daily Show for great humor.

  40. John Chamberlin says:

    Gutfeld proves you can be a nothing, think you are something and continue to slither around a television station. Gutfeld IS the island of misfit toys.

  41. A Hermit says:

    All I know about Gutfield is that he mocked Canadian soldiers who were fighting and dying for him in Afghanistan:

    http://thetyee.ca/Blogs/TheHook/Federal-Politics/2009/03/23/FoxSorry/

    The man’s a despicable little idiot.

  42. Bullies aren’t funny. Gutfeld is a bully. Show is doomed.

  43. ken humphrey md says:

    better format but guests are so boring…….need feisty guests like Degan……….please help me, people, why are these programs having these awful skits like with the 6 million dollar man……Jimmy Fallon’s skits are so silly as well..i am a baby boomer, what age group are these immature skits directed to?……I want to see good interviews not really stupid skits, however, someone must enjoy them…….please give me feedback…..thanks……….

  44. chris y says:

    so weak!! Take this clown off the air!! Not funny….. Fox just wasting more money on bad news!

  45. ken humphrey md says:

    KAREN, you are 100% correct………so incredibly boring!!!!!!!!………but, stay on % and return to Ref d Eye as Shillue is an awful choice………..

  46. EXTREMELY BORING. Far-fetched. love him on THE FIVE–stay there.

  47. ken humphrey md says:

    DAVE, that is not saying much as his 1st show was beyond pathetic………….

  48. Dave says:

    Greg’s second show was even better than the first. Well done!

    • asdff says:

      His first show was awful. The second one is significantly better, but still weak. He’s following a formula, but it isn’t Jon Stewart of Jaime Oliver.

      He’s trying to reinvent Red Eye without Andy or Bill. Losing Bill was a major blow to Red Eye, and now that we’re seeing each got their separate ways it seems like all three needed one another. Bill’s liberal zaniness, Andy’s pedantic deadpan libertarianism, and Greg’s grumpy conservatism all work in a way together that they just don’t do apart. Even on the Five Greg has cohosts to play off.

      Red Eye at its best was smart, silly, sexy, and stupid, often all at once. Its biggest asset was that the hosts had nothing to lose. It’s biggest weakness came from its success, once the hosts realized that they really do have something to lose.

      So far, Greg’s show is too conventional to be a good comedy, and too weird to be a good news program. He’s trying for the uncanny valley in between but so far just isn’t doing it.

  49. TimeWillTell says:

    I found Gutfeld’s first show to be surreal, but entertaining (and inventive). Did all his inventions work? No, but kudos for putting it out there, Greg.

    Yes, he could use a studio audience. I didn’t like the liberal panel initially but we just watched his second show and it’s not such a bad shtick.

    I think The Greg Gutfeld Show debut was 1,000 times better than Hannity’s debut after he dumped Colmes. THAT was a train wreck — but he learned from his mistakes and now has a polished, popular show (which we don’t watch because we don’t really like Sean that much). Still, his debut was awful, now it’s better. That in mind, I wouldn’t write off Gutfeld’s show just yet. Keep watching — it will get better.

    As for Brian Lowry/Vanity Fair writing a less that favorable review — shocker.

  50. ken humphrey md says:

    I agree with Chet, needs to be on much earlier………needing an audience may give it more pizzaz…….however, it does seem doomed as psmarc said………just lacks energy……..does anyone think the talking to a wall is funny?,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,.

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