Fox News late-night host Greg Gutfeld has emerged as a comedy king in more ways than one.
Dressed as a despot in robe and crown, Mr. Gutfeld is the centerpiece of an ad to air during the Super Bowl on Sunday. The 15-second spot bills him as “Gutfeld, the new king of late night.”
The spot has received some serious analysis.
“The ad will be Fox News Channel’s only spot promoting one of its linear [traditional] TV shows during the game, which is airing on the Fox broadcast network. There will also be a 10-second ad during the Fox pregame show, as well as two ads touting the Fox Nation streaming service,” said The Hollywood Reporter — an industry source — in a report released Thursday.
“The broadcast networks that host the Super Bowl all run ‘house’ ads for their own brands (be it a show, a streaming service or movie), but usually only a few internal projects make the cut, given the high-profile nature of the event. Usually a company will prioritize what it is charging other marketers, in this case as much as $7 million for 30-second ad spots. Fox plays into that fact during the spot, which ends just after Gutfeld begins to speak and an off-camera voice says, ‘Sorry, these ads are pricey,’” the report noted.
“The choice to promote ‘Gutfeld!’ suggests that Fox sees the show as a priority at the corporate level, and one with potential crossover appeal to the non-Fox News viewers who may be watching the game,” The Hollywood Reporter said.
Meanwhile, Mr. Gutfeld also rules the ratings.
His signature program — “Gutfeld” — averaged 2.1 million viewers through 2022, according to Nielsen Media Research. The size of that viewing audience bests those of both NBC’s “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” and ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live” — and consistently trumps cable rivals such as Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show” and HBO’s “Last Week Tonight” and “Real Time With Bill Maher.”
Mr. Gutfeld enjoyed his largest audience on record — 2.5 million — in late October.
The press has noticed.
“Is the right winning the comedy wars?” Vox.com asked in a recent comprehensive analysis that deemed Mr. Gutfeld “affably acerbic” and a comic who has “ascended to his long-awaited destiny” through years of notable work before the camera.
“The biggest comedy show on late-night right now is not on ABC or NBC or CBS or Fox. It’s not on Comedy Central. It’s certainly not streaming. It’s on Fox News, and its name is ‘Gutfeld!’” the news organization said.
Mr. Gutfeld’s ratings triumphs are occurring amid rumors that CNN plans to produce a new late-night offering from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m.
“Brass at the famously progressive news network have reportedly floated names such as Bill Maher, Trevor Noah, Arsenio Hall and Jon Stewart as candidates to offer a nontraditional, late-night-esque take on the day’s news. Fox News has found success with ‘Gutfeld!,’ the late-night comedy show hosted by Greg Gutfeld,” reported the Daily Mail.
Mr. Gutfeld also co-hosts “The Five” — which has a typical audience of 3.3 million and is the highest-rated program in cable news, according to Nielsen.