At 10:11 am E.T. this morning, I volunteered to write a blog about Gutfeld!, Fox New’s latest attempt at forcing an unsuspecting audience to stare deep into the inky abyss of host Greg Gutfeld’s glassy eyes and smirking maw. Well, it’s now 11:05 AM, and I’ve been staring at my blank computer screen for nearly an hour, trying desperately to conjure the adequate words necessary to prepare you, dear reader, for what you’re about to watch. Honestly, I don’t even know if there are adequate words with which you could responsibly gird your precious loins ahead of the utter vacuous horror that is “GG’s” (his preferred abbreviation) opening monologue from last night’s premiere episode.
I guess if you like long uncomfortable silences punctuated by disparate, unenthusiastic chuckles and polite applause, this is the show for you. Just…ugh, just take a look:
How far did you get before you started wondering if this is all a massive prank? A minute? Two? Did you get to the part where GG (again, his term, not mine!) says cancel culture is like “putting a Joker mask on reality”? Did you immediately start laughing before you realized that line isn’t supposed to be a joke?
Let’s start with Greg Gutfeld himself. He’s exactly the sort of generic big-toe-looking white guy who’d get cast in a late ’90s disaster flick for a role as a late-night host on TV in the background of a scene, where he could make jokes about a giant asteroid hitting Nebraska, or aliens pureeing the British royal family, while the actual stars of the movie talk about something else. For better or worse (it’s worse) he has that sort of vulpine smarminess that’s come to define the generic “talk show personality” cliché. Revolting personal politics and absolutely excruciating joke-writing aside, it’s easy to see why the network thought giving him a chance to preen and pontificate every night might make sense. Unfortunately for him, it doesn’t really seem like the network thought about giving him much else, like, say, “capable comedy writers,” or “a sense of purpose in life.”
And it’s only gonna get worse.
“The most interesting people aren’t on television — outside of Fox, of course,” Gutfeld told Deadline this week. “They show up on these podcasts where they’re allowed to speak freely, and I think that is kind of the direction we might be going in, in terms of guests,” he continued, offering racism enthusiast Dave Rubin as a ballpark example. Super!
Ultimately, I’m not quite sure who this show is for: it’s hard to imagine Fox’s core demographic of retired middle managers staying up to 11 p.m. for a cocaine-paced attempt at edgy commentary. And I dare you to find me a single Gutfeldian under 30 whose brain fluid hasn’t been siphoned out and replaced with mashed potatoes. If anything, this show seems calibrated solely to appeal to idiots online who can’t help but accept the challenge to stare directly into the darkness that is Gutfeld!, only to see if they’re strong enough to come out the other end intact — and then complain to all their friends about how horrible the whole thing was.
You know. Idiots like me.