The Fox News phenomenon should have been a wake-up call for any television director.
The formula could not be simpler.
- Creates programming that counteracts the overwhelming mainstream narrative
- Perform well
- Count the money
So the same should apply with late night television. All Comedy Showcase, by “The Tonight Show“To”Desus & Mero, “Leads reliably to the left. In most cases, it’s democratic talking points with occasional punchlines.
Why not try a right-wing alternative? Michael Loftus once suggested this only, but the cold reaction his pitch got everything explained. Wise businessmen would rather have all that money piled high on the table than give half the country a vote.
Enter Fox News and, again, along with weird provocateur Greg Gutfeld.
The right rear outlet has “Gutfeld!” Dismissed earlier this year. The news-driven comedy show offers exactly what is missing on late night television, but without A-list stars and broadcast level cash:
Jokes aimed at progressively.
A few weeks ago “Gutfeld!” has risen to the top of the rating pile. The moment came after President Joe Biden’s Afghanistan debacle, suggesting that the public would rather hear people snack on it than Play defense for the indefensible.
In addition, a new rating report shows the “Gutfeld!” Effect may last longer.
So much for the Colbert-is-in-repeats memo … https://t.co/iVBIjnB9v1
– Joe Concha (@JoeConchaTV) September 14, 2021
The news marks the fourth in a row “Gutfeld!” exceeded his late-night colleagues.
Is it the Fox News effect again and again?
It is worth noting that Fox News these days is not entirely alone in the conservative-backed news game. Newer channels like Real America’s Voice (note: this reporter is a contributor) and Newsmax offer similar names to the latest headlines.
FAST FACT: “Full Frontal with Samantha Bee,” well rosiest, most partisan late evening offer, came in at a far 12th place in the late-night rating wars, according to TVNewser. Even worse? The show airs once a week, giving the writer more time to write killer punch lines.
But still no big, or even small platform is trying anything in the “good field!” Mold. The latest version of a right-wing alternative comes out every week Them Adam Yenser bed “The Canceled News.” The Late Night Style Show, available on YouTube, offers a traditional monologue that does not leave Democratic goals out of the equation.
No virtuous signaling, just big smiles.
Will the audience eventually get tired of “Gutfeld!” and restored Colbert to his late-night throne?
Maybe. Here’s what’s clear, though.
Consumers finally have a late night alternative, a program that is ready to call on politicians on both sides of the aisle. And since Netflix, Hulu, ABC and the rest have no interest in telling jokes that could hurt Democrats, there’s a good chance “Gutfeld!” remains on top for a while.