August 16, 2022

A CHOICE, NOT AN ECHO: Greg Gutfeld and Stephen Colbert Late-Night Battle Reaches Its Apex.

Gutfeld described his competitors thusly when commenting on the launch of his new show in March 2021: “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.”

The just-canceled Full Frontal with Samantha Bee, which aired on TBS, took that late-night mandate to the extreme, stating outright that its purpose was to “educate” and “empower” viewers with its liberal activism.

Bee’s most famous line from the show, “Ivanka Trump is a feckless c**t,” didn’t come off as empowering, so she was forced to apologize for it. But she still made time to set aside many a segment to lecture on the importance of a “woman’s right to choose.” After the Supreme Court declined to end Texas’ law empowering citizens to sue those who provided abortions, she said, “This was just the latest partisan abuse of the court’s shadow docket.”

Gutfeld’s show sounds quite different. Everything is over the top and absurd. He has no loyalty or special affinity for anyone; everyone is subject to being mocked and satirized. This is especially so because, as a libertarian, he doesn’t fit comfortably into either major political party. And his libertarianism allows him to look at the world with plenty of cynicism.

In response to the news last week of the cancellation of Bee’s show, he said: “As you know, TBS canceled the late-night show Full Frontal with Samantha Bee. Actually, I’ll bet Kat’s salary you didn’t know. But if you saw it, you’d wonder: if that’s Samantha Bee, I’d hate to see Samantha C, D, or F.”

He continued: “Its ratings were pretty bad but slightly higher than my colonoscopy and that’s only because I do my own. Oh, it’s easy. All you need is a flashlight, a rib spreader, and the flexibility of Gabby Douglas.”

In a world where the every other late-night talk show is, as Stephen Miller likes to say, “group therapy for liberals,” it helps to offer a product that actually satirizes everyone.

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