How Fox News’ 3 A.M. Talker ‘Red Eye With Greg Gutfeld’ Beat Piers Morgan

How Fox News' 3 A.M. Talker 'Red Eye With Greg Gutfeld' Beat Piers Morgan

Gutfeld: “We are the most unlike any show around, and it's because we're unprofessional”

Buried in the depths of the early morning 3 a.m. hour lies a Fox News show that is consistently besting shows on competing networks in daytime and even primetime timeslots in the choice 25-54 demographic.

“Red Eye With Greg Gutfeld” finished September ranked 21 out of all cable news shows in the prime 25-54 demo — above CNN's flagship primetime show “Piers Morgan Live” and well above the channel's much-hyped Zucker-era offerings. It steadily beats plenty of MSNBC shows, too.

Meanwhile, since the show launched in February 2007, Gutfeld has become possibly the hardest-working man at Fox News, between “Red Eye,” “The Five” and occasionally segments on or substitute hosting gigs for “The O'Reilly Factor.”

Also read: Fox News’ Shepard Smith on New Role: ‘I'll Be the Quarterback’

TheWrap sat down with Gutfeld and his co-hosts Bill Schulz and Andy Levy just before a taping of an episode.

What's the secret of the show's success?
Gutfield: We are the most unlike any show around, and it's because we're unprofessional; we really didn't know what we were doing. And we're not boring. That show is never boring. You could hate it, you could be confused by it, but it's never boring.

Schulz: The other thing to remember is, it's a panel show. And what that is, it's essentially people sitting around a panel talking about the news of the day. Cable has not seen something like this.

Levy: When we first started it was like, “Oh, this is the conservative ‘Daily Show,'” which it never was and was never intended to be. We don't have writers. The three of us and our producers, we write the whole show, we do everything ourselves, and I think that comes across. Nothing feels fake or forced.

Also read: Fox News’ ‘The Five’ on Miley Cyrus: ‘That Was a Cheerleading Squad for Hookers’

After over 1,400 episodes and 80 months together, your chummy chemistry easily comes across on the show — as does the teasing. Rarely a show goes by where Gutfeld's height — or lack thereof — Levy's love of cats over people and Schulz's drug use and homelessness aren't mentioned…
Levy: We poke fun at ourselves and at each other, which is kind of a rare commodity. Piers Morgan is not gonna handle people joking about him very well, and he's certainly not going to poke fun at himself. But none of us have that sort of pomposity.

Gutfeld: The best thing that happens on “Red Eye” – and it happens rarely – is when there's a guest on who doesn't watch the show and tries to like criticize us as if we've never been criticized before. Like, “I'm coming on Fox and I'm gonna make fun of you.” Dude, you don't even know what we do to each other on this show, so shut up.

Levy: I think fans respond to that, they see that we're just sorta like – I hate to use the word – but we're just like normal people because that's sort of pompous itself.

Schulz: Especially when you say “like” normal people.

So, who is watching your show at 3 in the morning?
Schulz: My mom, every night.

OK, that's one.
Schulz: And my dad.

Two.
Gutfeld: And I'm watching your mom every night.

Levy: My friend Joey watches.

Gutfeld: People's parents watch, and then they get their kids hooked on it or vice-versa. I learned this when I did a book tour and it was so many “Red Eye” fans and there were families. That sounds like a totally made up thing – and “there were families” – but they are! They are! Sometimes it's grandparents. People who are up late at night. What we always get are breastfeeders. A lot of breastfeeders. Lot of women, too. Breastfeeders, elderly, students … maybe the only people you don't get are people that have to get up really early. Those people.

Levy: People with jobs.

(Interview continues after photo)

From left to right: your hosts Andy Levy, Greg Gutfeld and Bill Schulz

From left:  Levy, Gutfeld and Schulz

Also read: Fox News Shuffles Primetime Lineup: Megyn Kelly's Show Gets 9 p.m. Timeslot

The show premiered to little fanfare, after a haphazard process you, Greg, likened earlier to “putting together a sandwich when you're drunk late at night” and a scant week of rehearsal time.
Levy: They very smartly did what they call a “soft launch.”

Gutfeld: They didn't tell anyone! We still consider this whole 80 months a soft launch.

Levy: We're in beta. But if you look at the early shows, it's … it's not great.

Gutfeld: We're at least 20 percent better.

What can't you joke about?
Gutfeld: We understand that where there is sacrifice and injury and death, you just shut up. A show is nowhere near as important as the suffering of a family … I always think about what happens if a victim of a crime turns on the TV while we're sitting there and we're cracking wise about the event. That just would make me sick.

Also read: Cable News Ratings for Third Quarter 2013: No Surprises

What does the media do that's most ripe for your mockage?
Gutfeld: I find it funny on Twitter watching people in the media tweet about a popular thing. Popular things don't need help. Anderson Cooper tweeted something about getting ready to watch “Breaking Bad” or something like that, and I think I tweeted “who cares?” Why don't you talk about something that could use some help? But that's a minor thing.

I guess it's the predictability, cheap-like mentality. I mean, if you want to look at a good media comparison I guess you could look at the recent talkathon with Ted Cruz and compare that to the woman in Texas — Wendy Davis. Both got equal amounts of time, but the tone was vastly different. If you said anything bad about Davis, who's fighting for women's rights, you're sexist. But Cruz is just some guy you can make fun of. I guess our issue with the media is we can pretty much predict what's gonna happen.

Levy: They're biased in a really boring way.

Gutfeld: I wish they were biased in a more interesting way, like [radio host] Alex Jones. That's a joke. His bias is insane.

How much longer do you expect this to go?
Gutfeld: We are a very successful bar band that everybody goes to see but is not a big name. We don't fill up stadiums, but we could probably do this forever because we've done it together forever. And everybody has fun and it's late at night, and everybody gets drunk.

Levy: About where the Bacon Brothers are.

  • Joe

    Love these guys! Been watching since the start!

  • kywildcat

    Move it to 12 am, and the ratings will double

    • timbo44

      I have requested repeatedly on Twitter that Greg have Gavin McIness on as a guest, and then also by satellite feed have his dad Jimmy Mcinnes and brother Miles. Just think it would be comical.
      Also don't like the new format by not having Andy doin’ the pre-game and 1/2 time reports, especially since Greg has to refer to him dying in a tragic accident each night. It's just gotten old. So has Greg's insistence on wishing Bill Schulz to die several times each night. It's old.
      I've also suggested they move it to 11:35 PM, he's take out uber-Liberal Letterman, non-funny Leno, and Conan with all his ticks.

  • EricThePipe

    My only complaint is the picture… Why would they have Greg be as tall as the others… He's SHORT, embrace it….

    • kindamara

      He's probably standing on his soap box.

      • drkennethnoisewater

        He's standing on Gunnar's house!

  • GiuseppeM

    The funniest show on TV

  • seafarr1

    SHUT UP

    • http://www.facebook.com/ken.warner.526 Ken Warner

      But I didn't say anything…

  • SupremeCommander

    Red Eye is the reason I got a DVR. When I'm home for lunch, I watch that morning's show. Andy's “apology” to Chris Brown a couple of years ago is one of THE funniest things I've ever heard! The dry sarcasm was masterful.

  • jpk112

    Great show, needs a better time slot.

    • MASSMURDERMEDIA

      the time slot is perfect… don't fix what ain't broke… remember leno in prime time?… me neither… because even if they remained late, say midnight est, fox news may have them tone some stuff down… not worth it…

      • jazzerie

        That is exactly the reason why I don't like the weekend show as well as the weeknight ones. It's too early in the day and they have to tone it down.
        I want them to go back to 5 weekday shows and not do the weekend one.

        • MASSMURDERMEDIA

          i miss the “late” andy levy and his pre-, halftime and postgame analysis…

  • LamontRaymond

    The fact that it's never nominated for an Emmy is both ridiculous and awesome. Wish they'd bring back Ab News.

    • jazzerie

      I miss the robots, too.

  • mailabull

    Love RedEye. A very smart, clever, edgy mix that is ingratiating and welcoming to its viewers, unlike the hostile,off putting Daily Show.

  • JohnS

    I wonder if the ratings take into account DVRs. I watch it daily, but almost always on DVR.

    • TonyWestover

      They do, and I've read somewhere that it's the most DVR'd show on television.

  • Ron Smith

    Red Eye is the best show on TV.

  • disqus_63RNHKBBjb

    My most favorite of Shows! Red Eye forever! but wait there is always the walking dead, just the same! lol

  • Jerry Morano

    I DVR ‘Red Eye and watch it every night at 7pm. I haven't missed a show in years…why? Because its clearly the best entertainment and most informative program on TV…plus it has the hottest and smartest female guests on the air…think…Remi Spencer, PAB, Kerrie Keagan, Jedidiah Billa, Harris Faulkner and the many other beautiful ‘leg chair’ panelists, coupled with Jim Norton, DeRosa, Sherrod Small, McGannis, SF Terry Shaffert, the fabulous Mike Baker (my wifes’ favorite CIA guy) red Eye President John Bolton and the incredible trio of Greg, Andy and Bill plus great cat videos and you understand why its got the most loyal and GROWING fan base around!

    • Smokey Behr

      Say it right: It's The Notorious P. A. B… Jedediah Bila and Remi Spencer are my 2 favorite “Leg Chair” occupants, and what other show would have Oderus Urungus from GWAR on as a guest? (multiple times, in fact)

      • Steve Bshaw

        Totally concur. Although the daughter of Andrew Loyd Webber, whose first name eludes me at the moment, use to liven up the leg chair a bit as well. But alas, she has gone the conservative route in her hemline choices, so I must pine for Jedidiah's weekly visit.

        • Jimmie

          Her name is Imogen Lloyd Webber. Personally I miss SE Cup. But she's on CNN now.

          • Steve Bshaw

            Yeah, what the hell is up with that? If we are going to send CNN a token conservative, there are more drab looking ones that we can use to trade.

          • jazzerie

            I miss S.E. Cupp a lot. She has such a quick wit and brilliant mind.

        • Mr_Milmont

          The sassy, sexy, sarcastic Lauren Sivan never disappointments, though her appearances are rare now that she's defected to the left coast.

      • Sonny D.

        You can not forget Lori Rothman !

  • anthonybgonzalez

    still having problems looking to the left of the screen……

  • Donn N.

    Greg says they're successful because they're unprofessional. If that's the case, Piers Morgan's ratings should be through the roof.

    • J.w. Appling

      yea but they are funny Morgans just a joke.

  • Colin P. Müller

    I caught the very first episode by accident after i woke up in the middle of the night after a long night of drinking. I've been a fan ever since.

    • irishamrep

      ha ha haaaa

  • LizzyNYC

    I used to love RedEye but only watch it sporadically now. For some reason they choose the worst comedians on the planet as guests and then have them return over and over, sometimes a few times a week. It really drags the show down. Every now and then the guest panel will all be intelligent people and when that happens it's the best show on TV.

  • Chip N.

    Red Eye rules. They don't take themselves too serious but take the issues very serious in a light-hearted way. The opening introductions are always the best. I miss Andy's 1/2 time report BUT like him on the panel better. The women are genuinely intelligent and funny — that's refreshing too.
    I was wondering too if they can account for all the DVR'd ratings. They may blow-out a few more Prime Time shows (MSNBC's Chrs Hayes, Rachel Maddow?), I've watched since its inception and turning into one of these guys who doesn't like ANY change but get used to it once I stop pouting.
    Go Greg and all.

    • jazzerie

      I liked the halftime report and his final onbudsman section. Didn't like it so much when they went down to just end of show– too long between the original conversation and the critique.
      Wasn't sure if I'd like him as a regular panelist, but I'm really enjoying him in that role. Best role for him yet!

  • http://www.facebook.com/ken.warner.526 Ken Warner

    I have been watching Red Eye since 2009, and truthfully, it is the ONLY reason I still pay for a cable subscription. It keeps me informed on major events while also being highly entertaining. Any other shows I watch can also be found on Netflix, so the fact that I'm willing to shell out a full subscription just for this show should tell you how good it is.

  • Bijou

    A blessing for insomniacs like me.

  • Clarence Worley

    Very entertaining television.

    Just one little bit of criticism. MORE LAUREN SIVAN!

    • Jeffrey

      TESTIFY!

    • Jim Wolfson

      And less of that stick figure Ann Coulter; at least move her off the end leg stool and put pants on her – she always looks deathly ill. She seems proud of her anorexia.

  • Fran Lones Blackney

    We watch The Five then Red Eye every evening thanks to our DVR. 2 hours of Gutfeld. True nirvana. He is the funniest and most profound pundits on TV. I want a book of his monologues since I'm always quoting them.

    • jazzerie

      Great idea– a book of his monologues! It would be another best-seller.

  • Jeff Becker

    Move it up to a decent time slot. At least 12 am! It's such a great show and I miss it 1/2 the time falling asleep. Sometimes I will be laying exhausted from the day and burst out laughing, waking 1/2 the house at 3 am! Funny stuff!

  • Mr_Milmont

    Becoming more of a continuous panel yack-fest than what it was in its original incarnation. Yes, silly animal videos remain, but rare is the Greg-a-log or robot dialogs, Pinch is banished and yoga news is a thing of the past. Half time report became post-game wrap-up for a short time, and now seems defunct. Oh well, I guess the show has evolved to give the guests maximum face time. At least the Leg Chair lives-on, though I prefer it on the right side. A 2009 appearance by Patti Ann Brown (PAB) in a blue dress with a scandalously plunging neckline remains the high water mark of the show!

    • Steve Bshaw

      Missed that episode, but my vote is still for Jedidiah Bila, although as of late her hemlines have come down a bit. We must do something about that.

      • Jim Wolfson

        Jedidiah used to be hotter, before she “realized” she was hot and started all the stupid mugging for the camera. Still a doll, but starting to get a wee bit obnoxious about it.

        • Steve Bshaw

          You are right about that. Her website even looks like she is advertising for modeling gigs rather than that of a political commentator. But, sigh, as you say, she is still a doll.

    • TonyWestover

      The “Greg-a-logue” is now done during The Five, and the Pinch bit got old — plus they weren't even talking to Pinch to comment on the stories anymore. I do miss the Half-time report and the flow just seems constant now without it. I think they were experimenting during the summer, basically to see if people prefer Andy ombudsing or on the panel.

      • Steve

        You actually watch the show so now I will be Mr. Manly and defend you. See, people, this person actually watches the shows and has a right to comment.

    • TonyWestover

      And the best moment ever doesn't even involve a sexy lady guest, quite the opposite. Oderus Urungus joking about the Golden Girls having a stroke was the best moment ever — it was a riot and the panel couldn't stop laughing even through the entire commercial break!

    • jazzerie

      I had forgotten the Greg-a-log. I think they stopped that when The Five got going, because it was usually the same monologue on each show, and a more serious one than formerly. I didn't like the repeat of it, and I guess a lot of others didn't, too. But the ones he first did on Red Eye were SO funny!

      • Steve

        Yeah, it sucks Fox made him minimize it for their property. Dumb ass Fox. Red Eye was the way to go.

  • clark

    It's all about Lori Rothman, and the other beautiful ladies.

    • TonyWestover

      Yeah, when she's not drunk :-P

      • crosshr

        lol !

    • Sonny D.

      When Lori is on I'm only semi conscious from not enough blood getting to my brain.

  • Frank LuckyThirteen

    I love this fucking guy.

  • bob

    Best thing on tv I NEVER miss it. They are all incredibly intelligent and snarky. Plus they always have a (usually FOX News) hot chick on the panel dressed like she's out on the town. Seriously great tv.

    • Steve Bshaw

      Well said Bob. I do so love the leg chair and its occupier. I like the women who sit on the far end from Gufield as well.

      • crosshr

        you beat me to the lovely legs bro. They are ” it “and I love these crazy three and their guests .

  • twobits2

    I'm an early to bed gal, but watch every Saturday night.

  • Harold Johanson

    I DVR Red Eye every night! Just got back from a two week fishing trip, and caught up in three days.

  • TonyWestover

    Red Eye is the only nightly show where I pretty much never miss an episode. Always at the top of my DVR priority, always first watched. And there's nothing like it, oddly enough because it's a panel show and there are dozens of them.

  • crosshr

    Red Eye bar None. My most fav. gang on the air wave. These three bring it night after night, and after the millionth run, they are still excitingly fantabulous.

  • applelady

    I am an old lady i love the show been watching a long time love the guys and all the men who are guest .

  • Truth Gun

    DVR baby!

    • tillthen

      Thanks to my DVR, I never miss a show. Glad to see Joanne join the party.

  • Stuart W

    Red Eye great T.V. but let's face-it; Lawrence Welk re-runs beats Ponce Piers in that
    time-slot. Ah-wunnerful, Ah-wunnerful

    • renamoretti1

      Something I keep wondering is why people at CNN thought Piers Morgan was a good host for anything and why they keep him on the air even though he chases what's left of CNN's audience away.

      Remember when CNN was great? I do. Makes me feel as old as Ted Turner! ;)

      Seriously, Rupert Murdoch should get a lot of credit for letting a show like Red Eye happen and develop on his network. No other news channel owner would have dared, even at 3 A.M.

  • timbo44

    And another thing. Can't locate any where on the web a replay of the show from a few years back of Shannon Bream's only appearance. Seems to have been scrubbed as I keep seeing the message, “That show hasn't been uploaded yet, please check back later”. Wonder what exactly went on during that episode?

  • costume

    I love the show although I find Andy to be a difficult part of the mix when he joins them at the table. His humor just doesn't work there. I also think the worst thing they could do is move it to prime time or traditional late night. it's perfect where it is. Plus it's awesome to see them beating other shows with much better timeslots.

  • CaryWeiner

    Im making my own living just by working online part..Basically just copy pasting..Look here ! ℬ­ℴ­w­6­.­c­o­m

  • joan

    Gutfeld is the funniest, the quickest, the most intuitive guy on TV. I'm 69 yrs old and I watch him every night. Hope he goes on forever !.

  • ScottyG

    I really miss the “brought to you by” segment that used to precede the now extinct “half time report” could still do a RedEye is brought to you by thing in it's stead.

    • renamoretti1

      They must have listened to you. It's back!!

      • ScottyG

        Yep! And more good news? The raving liberal lunatic Bill Schultz is GONE. I got tired of his screaming & twisted liberal logic.

        Greg said is was because he “moved on” but somehow I think he got canned.

        • renamoretti1

          I doubt he got canned (or at least not by Greg). The “screaming and twisted liberal logic” was part of the act that is the show, like the numerous references by Greg to Obama being “Kenyan-born” and “woman-hating”.

          Bill off the show did remark how he was a lot less “liberal” than his character on the show.

          My guess is that they had a private falling out either personal or business-related, possibly creative differences as the show has changed a lot recently (I personally feel they should bring back the Ombudsman segment, maybe with Tom Shallue).

  • ravenofno

    I DVR them for my wife and I to watch on the Weekend. They go GREAT with alcoholic beverages.

  • renamoretti1

    Great to see a story on one of the biggest success stories in TV News in years.

    Too bad you as usual used the ageist and irrelevant demo numbers to illustrate (and then didn't even give the actual numbers).

  • Marie

    I say that we boycott Greg's new book for screwing Bill over. Red Eye is not fun anymore, it makes me bitter.

  • damion

    Bring bill back

  • damion

    Better bring bill back or im gonna be sick

  • mickrussom

    This show used to rule. They need to go back 2-3 years.

  • sophmorr

    i wondered what this show was when it first came on and i admit i didn't get it. they couldn't figure themselves out either. but they grew and i became hooked and haven't missed an episode since thanks to my dvr. an insomniac's best friend. it's really magical when all the guests click and the show just flows. greg obviously has his favorite of the night seated right next to him. i kind of miss bill and i'm sorry he's gone. i like andy on the panel full time because he has a lot to contribute. i think they are trying to regroup and find their footing with their newest full timer joanne nosuchinsky, a natural comedienne, if i can us that term. she seems to have excellent potential which i guess is the reason she's there.

  • David Avender

    ANYONE who is truly a fan of RED EYE must now admit the “crimson” has turned to a deep and disreputable sable. If those on the panel won't admit to their black-eyes, those of us who are genuine fans of RED EYE must. In spite of the recent addition to the court of Ms. Joanne Nosuchinsky – - and a truly fine addition she would be to any court comprised solely of men – - I feel it necessary as a long time viewer to say: I knew Bill Schulz, Bill Schulz was a friend of mine, and, Joanne, be grateful to the good Lord above .. . .
    Without Bill, RED EYE has simply lost its heart. This, I hear more often than any other complaint. Who will so joyfully endure the minatorial knocks from Greg and Andy? Who will risk both respiration and reputation to interview the New York theatre crowd? Who else but Bill can spit upon himself with such élan and alacrity? Any fix, short of dragging the wild man back to the set in chains, will be considered unacceptable as long as Bill is denied his rightful place of honour upon the RED EYE set. He will forever be a constituent part of the program for he was a founding member of RED EYE. Just as Roman Emperor Tiberius failed to transfer to him the love and honour the world had shown his predecessor, Emperor Augustus Caesar; or the same adoration Sammy Hagar had hoped would come his way after David Lee Roth left Van Halen, whomsoever is added to the RED EYE cast in the future will simply be considered Bill's much inferior replacement.

    • tillthen

      Joanne is funny, witty and nice to look at. Bill was tiresome, and offered little to the show.

  • nikomo2

    LIKE A BAR BAND THAT HITS A RIFT WHICH ELEVATES EVERYONE IN ATTENDANCE,YOU HAVE TO BE THERE TO EXPERIENCE. THE SWEET SPOT/ZONE.