Greg Gutfeld fills the comedy vacuum

Greg Gutfeld has gained smashing ratings for his late-night comedy/commentary show on Fox News. The popularity of an avowedly pro-Trump, anti-woke host triggers this article in the Washington Post.

The Post’s report, by Manuel Roig-Franzia, recognizes the threat Gutfeld poses to the left. Roig-Franzia writes:

In a matter of months Gutfeld’s new program has made him significantly more influential [than Sean Hannity and Tucker Carlson] — well-positioned to aid the right-wing in amplifying its agenda going into the midterms and the next presidential election. His fidgety, high-energy combination of comic jabs, spliced with just enough analysis to be taken seriously by the faithful, makes him a uniquely potent foe for the left.

But it’s not Gutfeld’s pointed comedy alone that threatens the left. It’s also the perception that the left has, in an important sense, turned against comedy.

Celebrated comedians complain that wokeism is inconsistent with their comedy. For example, Jerry Seinfeld says he can’t perform stand-up comedy on college campuses these days because “they’re so PC.” Jon Stewart has also fallen afoul of the woke. And Bill Maher has become politically incorrect.

I think Roig-Franzia understands the problem, though he stops short of stating it in quite these terms. He quotes the authors of a book called “That’s Not Funny: How the Right-Wing Makes Comedy Work for Them.” One of the authors, an associate professor at Colorado State University, says he hopes the book will be a “warning” that conservative comedians are already a force in building a broader and younger coalition of true believers and converts, and that liberals ignore them at their peril.

Roig-Franzia adds:

For years media observers have wondered when — or if — there might be a conservative version of Jon Stewart, who hosted the smash-hit “The Daily Show” on Comedy Central, a satirical news program that tended to skewer the right-wing.

For now, at least, they have a one-word answer: Gutfeld!

Perhaps media observers should begin wondering if there can be a liberal version of Greg Gutfeld. I don’t think there can be, given the dictates of wokeism. And given those dictates, it’s fair to wonder how funny a liberal version of Jon Stewart could be.

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