None of this is particularly edgy. Gutfeld’s ostensibly made his show about pushing boundaries, but has nothing to say that isn’t a warmed-over version of talking points that Fox viewers have been subjected to for months. The only difference is that Gutfeld delivers them in something vaguely reminiscent of a joke format. It doesn’t help—even John Oliver’s driest explanations of tort reform or whatever get more laughs than whatever it is Gutfeld’s doing. The smatterings of laughter that greet Gutfeld’s “jokes” will be familiar to anyone who has attended a level-one improv showcase—painful pity laughs.
A segment about Major League Baseball moving the All-Star Game from Atlanta to Denver in response to Georgia’s restrictive new voting laws was especially cringeworthy. “What were they smoking? Well it is Colorado, so probably weed. But you must be high to think this was a solution,” Gutfeld said. Get it? Using the galaxy-brain logic you see in Ben Shapiro videos about owning the libs, Gutfeld also explained that it was racist to move the game because Atlanta has more Black people. “To help Black people, MLB moved the game to Denver, which is whiter than the slopes of Aspen.” Got ’em! How will they ever come back from that?
The question of why conservatives are so unfunny remains something of a mystery. The biggest problem here is that Gutfeld is decidedly not funny and seems to be driving the show. It feels a bit like when late-night hosts had to do it all during the writer’s strike in 2007. The show is currently only hiring freelancers—either a sign that writers aren’t interested or a sign of lack of faith from Fox—and it’s clear that the comedy community is not sending its best. Gutfeld! is burdened by a desperation to prove not just that conservatives can be funny but that Greg Gutfeld is funny, TOO. It conclusively proves that both aren’t.
It has, however, been something of a success, bringing in 1.7 million viewers. This probably feels more like a curse than a blessing, even to Greg Gutfeld. If Fox can’t cancel this show, he may be forced to do the same dumb, unfunny jokes forever.