Media ignore late night's upstart ratings killer "Gutfeld!"

By summer's end, Fox's conservative comedic take on the headlines had lapped the competition, but reporters covering the late-night beat routinely avoid host Greg Gutfeld's quips and clips. 

Published: November 26, 2021 6:15pm

Updated: November 26, 2021 10:40pm

Fox News' "Gutfeld!" crashed the liberal late-night landscape in April, offering a conservative take on the latest headlines.

By summer's end, host Greg Gutfeld had lapped the competition, including reigning champion, "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert."

That message hasn't reached reporters who cover the late-night landscape, apparently. They routinely avoid Gutfeld's quips and clips during their regular late-night TV roundups.

The media rarely, if ever, treated gags on "The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson" as worthy of coverage. Carson's monologues, which tweaked both sides of the aisle sans malice, weren't deemed newsworthy. 

Now, outlets ranging from entertainment news sites like Variety and The Hollywood Reporter to hard news agencies like Reuters and the Associated Press regularly report on the latest late-night musings. 

To wit, the New York Times: Stephen Colbert Riffs on Biden's Order to Release Oil Reserves.

Punch "Jimmy Kimmel" into Google News' search engine, and you'll find stories from HuffPo, The Daily Beast,, The Daily Mail and Yahoo — all dated within the past 48 hours.

A September AP report covered how multiple late night comics geared their yuks to promote Climate Change Awareness.

Given that widespread coverage, one might expect that the same reporters would be sharing elements of Gutfeld's upstart showcase. Except that rarely happens. A rep at Fox News confirmed as much.

What's more obvious, though, is how media reporters leave "Gutfeld!" out of their ongoing late-night TV roundups. The New York Times, The Guardian and The Week share comprehensive news wrap-ups each week reflecting the best barbs from Colbert, Kimmel and company.

A Nov. 23 report from The Week highlighted jokes told by Colbert, Jimmy Fallon of "The Tonight Show," Seth Meyers of NBC's "Late Night with Seth Meyers" and Kimmel's ABC showcase, "Jimmy Kimmel Live."

No mention of "Gutfeld!"

The Guardian dedicates a web page to late night TV roundup reportage. The November edition features Colbert, Meyers, HBO's John Oliver, Kimmel and Trevor Noah, Jon Stewart's successor as host of "The Daily Show."

No Gutfeld.

The New York Times' aggressive late night TV coverage similarly crops "Gutfeld!" out of the picture.

The show's absence doesn't square with its substantial share of the late night ratings pie.

The most recent November ratings figures, shared by Fox News, showed "Gutfeld!" averaging 2,110,000 viewers for the week, including 445,000 in the 25-54 age category coveted by advertisers. Both mark the show's biggest numbers since its spring launch.

That's good enough to trump Fallon's "The Tonight Show" and Kimmel's ABC broadcast as well as every program on both CNN and MSNBC.

For late night context, from Nov. 15-21 Meyers' show drew just 837,000 viewers. Other late-night entries, including "Full Frontal with Samantha Bee" and "The Daily Show with Trevor Noah," attracted 528,000 and 357,500, respectively, according to figures.

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