Greg Gutfeld, a longtime fixture on Fox News, is the latest entrant to the late-night comedy talk show race. And it should come as no surprise that when “Gutfeld!” premieres Monday at 11 p.m. ET, he’ll be seeking to appeal to an audience of conservatives who feel like “targets of ridicule” watching rivals like Jimmy Kimmel, Stephen Colbert and Jimmy Fallon.
“The other shows all do the same thing. You can pretty much can get what their point of view is on everything,” said Gutfeld, whose self-titled show debuts Monday at 11 p.m. ET. “I always get the feeling that their targets of ridicule are groups of people that kind of represent most of America. So it’s kinda like instead of Trump, it’s making fun of Trump voters, etc.”
In its premiere week, “Gutfeld!” will have guests like SiriusXM radio host Sonnie Johnson and author Walter Kirn, TheWrap has learned. Gutfeld, who will continue to serve as a panelist of Fox News’ afternoon show “The Five,” thinks alienated viewers will find “relief” in the show, which will mirror his previous weekly “Greg Gutfeld Show” with skits, funny segments and comedy. (It’s an approach he first developed on his first Fox News show, “Red Eye,” which aired at 3 a.m. ET for eight years before ending in 2015.)
“The other shows” weren’t just a common theme in Gutfeld’s chat with TheWrap, but have been a frequent reference point in the ad campaign ahead of Monday’s premiere.
When the show’s name and premiere date were announced last month, Gutfeld released a statement saying, “If you cannot tell the other late night shows apart, join the club. They’re as bland as string cheese and not nearly as appetizing. It’s the same jokes, the same assumptions, probably the same writers, all reading the same columns from the same hacks in the ‘New York Times.’ So we aren’t going to be like them.”
He and his team expanded on that idea last week when they placed a “Gutfeld!” billboard in the heart of Hollywood, right near L.A.’s El Capitan Theatre, where Kimmel shoots his late-night ABC program.
Still, Gutfeld insisted he’s not competing with the likes of Kimmel, Fallon and Colbert as much as he is with himself: “I’m competing against my past, like, I want to make it a better show and I want it to be — I want people to say that it’s really, really good. I want people to say that who you probably might not have thought they would say that.”
While Gutfeld has used his criticisms of other late-night shows and the media at large to shape and promote his show, don’t expect him to notice just yet whether you think the new program is “really, really good” or not: He told TheWrap he and his team won’t read anything written about “Gutfeld!” for the first three months while they settle into their new groove.
Still, he finds himself drawn to criticism of other media outlets. “I like to focus more on the way narratives are shaped,” he said. “I’m always curious how the media takes the story and creates it, as opposed to the political elements of it. Like, I’m not that much interested in the left versus right, but more like how a story is made. Is it true or is it not true?”