Tucker Carlson thinks he’s figured out how and why Greg Gutfeld is doing so well in late night ratings against Stephen Colbert and other hosts: Gutfeld’s not scared to tell a joke.
“If you were to offer up a program that was actually funny and not terrified, you could probably beat the existing offerings in late night comedy,” the Fox News host joked on Gutfeld’s eponymous show, “Gutfeld!,” Thursday. “There’s that hole there, it’s something that you should think about.”
Gutfeld’s show in August overtook the stalwarts of late-night network television — “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert,” “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” and “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” — in average viewers, with 2.19 million, the first time a late-night cable show bested the networks across an entire month.
“Gutfeld!” most recently launched a Super Bowl ad campaign crowning him the “new king of late night.”
“I’m kind of worried that once they figure [that] out, I’m out of it. I’m out of a job,” Gutfeld responded. “I like the fact that they haven’t done that yet. The only funny person, only funny thing other than us, is Don Lemon. Like, he’s truly, truly the funniest person on television.”
Lemon coanchors “CNN This Morning” and is currently in hot water for ageist remarks made against Nikki Haley.
“You’re beating them because you’re better,” Carlson insisted. “OK, you’re, you’re inherently funny. You have native humor that’s better than theirs. But you also, just like, aren’t terrified.”
“It’s not a complicated formula,” Carlson continued. “Like, if you’re Stephen Colbert — who is talented, I’ve always thought he was talented — and then you become like a shill for Pfizer, because you’re so afraid of getting yelled at by your wife or whatever is going on in his personal life.”
“And then you lose!” Carlson continued. “Doesn’t it occur to you, ‘I’m humiliating myself’? I’m being beaten by Greg Gutfeld!”
Gutfield asked Carlson if he thinks the situation reflects “something larger going on.”
Carlson responded that he sees a “spirit of fear that’s descended on the country.”
“The levels of paranoia, looking over your shoulder, checking yourself before you speak,” he said. “I mean, they’ve all risen. It’s no longer a free country on the most basic level. In other words, people don’t feel free. And that’s really what matters, so there’s that. And anyone who’s willing to say what he really thinks and observe reality as he sees it and not filter it through some sort of internal propaganda machine, that person has to make a conscious effort not to be afraid.”
“You push down those feelings of fear and conquer them and then you win,” Carlson continued. “I guess that’s kind of what shocked me, is why aren’t more people doing that? Is that fear so overwhelming that they’re willing to destroy their careers? You find yourself, like, making a joke or defending Joe Biden, you’re just sucking up to power. Don’t you hate yourself?”
Watch the full “Gutfeld!” interview in the video above.