without Greg Gutfeld
gt slade

I am an inveterate “Red Eye” viewer, first-time reviewer, who discovered it after Harris Faulkner plugged at her newscast’s conclusion. I kept watching after that, and have never missed an installment, barring unavoidable occurrences.

Greg Gutfeld was the host, mostly. When he was off for various reasons, someone filled in, unlike those late-night shows where the host fears someone will substitute, get higher ratings, and the producers will replace him. Even when off, Greg made the show unique in ways I am now appreciating.

In 2007, someone at Fox News Channel decided to give Gutfeld a show, although he was a writer [Pork Scratchings in the UK] and editor, not a performer or commentator. Greg’s regulars were also writers, so it wasn’t as if he was flanked by skilled showmen. In fairness, “Red Eye” aired in the middle of the night, when the competition was infomercials. [Currently 3:00 AM Eastern, midnight Pacific.]

When I became a fan, Bill Schulz was a regular panelist, TV’s Andy Levy their ombudsman. Andy had been on the panel before they exiled him to a different studio. He returned as a regular panelist after Bill’s departure, when the ombudsman position was discontinued.

Greg and Andy

Schulz left last year, under mysterious circumstances. Joanne Nosuchinsky became a regular a few months later. JoNo is a former Miss New York and trained thespian, so also not an experienced commentator, at first, unless you count those tough pageant interrogations.

Guests are not the standard late-night fixtures. Big names were not rushing to appear on Fox News when “Red Eye” began, even in the middle of the night. Instead, they got FNC commentators, along with comedians, musicians, writers, and various misfits who interested Greg. It worked. How many interviews can you take with Ryan Gosling hawking his latest movie or talking about his hot girlfriend? At most, comedians plugged upcoming gigs, writers their latest work, with most guests promoting nothing but themselves. I suspect they discovered it was a fun, somewhat odd, experience, which gave serious persons a chance to show their less serious side. Many “Red Eye” frequent guests became FNC regulars.

I could go on, often do, but viewing videos on the Interweb would be more rewarding than reading about them. When asked to describe “Red Eye” in 2008, Greg called it “a serious political talk show that covers the most pressing topics of the day, and sodomy.” At the end of the day, that says it all.

Sonnie and Greg

Best thing about “Red Eye” is that they don’t keep doing the same stuff in perpetuity. [Think: Top Ten List.] Eventually, recurring bits disappear, replaced by new ones. I loved when Greg responded to viewer mail, but they don’t do that anymore, probably after he ran out of insults. For a long time after the segment ended, they would solicit e-mails, along with pet videos. “Red Eye” has lots of pet videos, mostly featuring cats. They also have a president, John Bolton.

A couple of weeks ago, Greg announced he was stepping down as host.
[Sorry, did I bury the lead?] It was not surprising, since he has been doing more than double duty with “Red Eye” and “The Five,” while appearing on, and sometimes hosting, “The Factor.” Fox are developing a weekend show for Gutfeld, to replace “Huckabee,” whose host is considering a presidential run, at a significant salary decrease. [I don’t know that for certain, but it is possible.]

What I have learned is that “Red Eye” is not the same without Greg Gutfeld. The substitute hosts are familiar, but something is missing. I guess that is the behind-the-scenes influence of the former host. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still entertaining, just lacking direction. A new host should set things right, if it’s the right person. Top contenders are TV’s Andy Levy, the lovely Joanne, Tom Shillue, Sherrod Small, Jo Ling Kent, Sonnie Johnson, Piers Morgan and, of course, Gunnar, Greg’s stunted half-brother. There may be others in the running [see Rag at bottom ]. Surprising they didn’t have a new host lined up, as if they were an executive branch without a Plan B for when one of their scams is tossed out.

Just watched an episode I recorded from 2013, a year, with Greg hosting. It was great. Hopefully, a new host can restore “Red Eye” to that level again. Looking forward to that move and to Greg’s new show.


  23 March 2015
©2015 gt slade

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