Saturday, December 11, 2010

‘Red Eye’ w/Greg Gutfeld Makes The News Funny

Airing at 3:00am Eastern- Monday thru Friday- on the Fox News Channel, ‘Red Eye’ with Greg Gutfeld takes the news/round table discussion format to new levels of funny. This isn’t fake news like ‘The Daily Show’; it’s the news with a comic, acerbic attitude and usually a conservative point of view.

Greg Gutfeld was once an editor of fitness and men’s magazines and a contributor to the Huffington Post. Now he hosts one Fox News Channel’s most popular and innovative programs, along with his “disgusting” sidekick Bill Schulz and ombudsman “TV’s” Andy Levy- A U.S. Army Veteran who served on the DMZ in Korea.

Each episode of ‘Red Eye’ opens with Greg saying something like “Welcome to Red Eye. It’s like Enter the Dragon. If by dragon you mean gerbil.” He then throws to Andy for the Pre-Game Report, where Levy teases the stories that will be covered on that night’s broadcast. Next Gutfeld introduces Bill, their “New York Times Correspondent” known as Pinch (a talking newspaper- voiced by Schulz), and then that evening's three guests -- very often Fox News personalities like John Gibson, Patti Ann Brown and Kimberly Guilfoyle -- or other popular personalities like Ann Coulter, S.E. Cupp and Mike Baker. Additionally, the audience can also expect to be entertained by one of the many talented comedians Red Eye often throws into the mix- like Ed Norton or Michelle Collins.

On ‘Red Eye’ even the guest introductions are racy and hilarious with such classics as, “I’m here with Fox News Channel anchor Patti Ann Browne. She’s so hot and bubbly, that Jacuzzis relax in her.” Or “I’m here with former CIA operative Mike Baker. If brains were a cheese log, I’d pick at his nuts.” And of course who could forget… “Rebecca Gomez Fox News business correspondent, if cuteness were karaoke I’d get drunk and then do her.”

The panel discusses many current news stories with a humorous and sarcastic slant, playing effectively off of one another and making news items ranging from the deadly serious to the ridiculously absurd hysterically funny.

The show makes great use of You Tube videos -- often featuring men dressed as animals, cute animals themselves and still more men in tight leotards doing aerobics.

One of the highlights of the program is the Gregalogue, Greg’s commentary on some story or issue in the news. His insightful, sardonic and fearless screeds are a fan favorite that used to end with his signature signoff, “And if you disagree with me, you’re worse than Hitler”, but nowadays tend to close with something like, “And if you disagree with me, you’re a racist, homophobic, something-phobe”. These commentaries can be read at Gutfeld’s blog: The Daily Gut.

At the midway point, Greg hands it over to Andy Levy for The Halftime Report, where Levy acts as the ombudsman and lets the panel know if they’ve “gotten anything wrong so far”- sometimes making legitimate corrections to factual mistakes, sometimes making fun of slips of the tongue. At this time, Andy also adds his two cents on some of the stories that have been covered in the front half of the program.

The back half of the show may consist of additional stories, viewers' recorded calls to Greg’s direct phone line, a segment where Greg's mother drops by via telephone to offer her opinions or a new segment known as “Stories We Sort of Liked But Not Enough to Include Earlier in the Show But Still Wanted to Talk About So Let's Really Quickly Do Them Now!”- Essentially a lightning round of quick comments on other stories.

To close the program, Greg once again throws it to Andy Levy for the The Post-Game Wrap Up, the segment where Andy gives the guests an opportunity to plug their books, CDs, DVDs or upcoming appearances.

Remarkably, this hybrid of news and comedy earns better ratings in the key demographics than MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” and CNN’s primetime line up, thanks in part to TiVo and DVR.

Red Eye has also propelled Greg Gutfeld into the position of commentator on other Fox News programs. He makes weekly appearances on ‘The O’Reilly Factor’ on Fridays and ‘Fox News Watch’ on Saturdays. He’s also been a frequent member of Sean Hannity’s “Great American Panel”.

My co-host Daria DiGiovanni and I have had the pleasure of interviewing Greg, Andy and Bill on my BlogTalkRadio program ‘Conservative Republican Forum’, where among other things, we've gotten some insights into not only into what it takes to produce ‘Red Eye’ but also into their political leanings.

We have also hosted several of their regular guests including: S.E. Cupp, Mike Baker and Michigan Congressman Thaddeus McCotter on CRF -- even snagging an interview with conservative author Michelle Malkin before she appeared on ‘Red Eye’.

I wouldn’t recommend that you get all your news from ‘Red Eye’. But if you have a sense of humor and want to supplement your daily dose of hard news and commentary with something innovative, clever and funny, I highly recommend watching (or maybe DVR-ing then watching) ‘Red Eye w/Greg Gutfeld’, Monday thru Friday at 3:00am ET.