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Tuesday, December 7, 2021

How conservative comic Greg Gutfeld overtook Stephen Colbert in ratings to become the most popular late-night TV host

In August 2021, Fox News’s “Gutfeld!”, a late-night comedy-talk show hosted by right-wing pundit Greg Gutfeld, surpassed “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” in overall ratings.

to wonder?

We were not.

As media and comedy scholars, we are tracking the recent rise of right-wing comedy, which has flourished due to changes in the economics and political ideologies of the media industry.

Gutfeld’s success may have come as a shock as it shatters long-held assumptions about what comedy is, who can make it, and who will enjoy it. These biases obscure an important truth: Right-wing comedy has become a viable commercial strategy and an important element of conservative politics.

Yes, “Gutfeld!” Fox News, a cable channel known for its partisan, right-wing political outlook and news commentary. But it also has all the hallmarks of late-night comedy. The opening monologues are filled with Jay Leno-like punchlines that elicit laughs from studio audiences, and interviews with conservative politicians, pundits, and other comedians are often accompanied by one-liners focused on “mastering the veneer.”

‘Gutfeld!’ on September 17, 2021 episode opening monologue

Then, of course, there are the silly “Saturday Night Live” sketches. A recent episode broke from a panel discussion on cancel culture to imagine what the politically correct James Bond would look like. In the pre-recorded bit, a brutally costumed actor chases a thief and draws a banana at him instead of a gun. Then “Bond” goes to a bar to order a latte – a soy latte – instead of a martini. you get the idea.

Regardless of whether or not this comedy is to your liking, it’s working for Gutfeld and his audience.

hiding in plain sight

Despite its increasing prominence, right-wing comedy remains largely invisible in both mainstream and scholarly discussion of the media and humor. In part, this is because social media algorithms do not send jokes to users challenging their political sensibilities or offending them.

There are also intellectual tendencies that make it possible for Greg Gutfeld to spend two decades sparring on the Colberts of the world. Humor theorists deride, or at least distinguish, right-wing humor from what they consider to be more authentic, eclectic humor.

Philosopher Umberto Eco, for example, devalues ​​the joke that fails to criticize power structures only in the state of “carnival”.

Others make similar arguments, saying that “true” liberal comedy is more likely to “punch up”, while dismissing conservative comedy as mere jokes that affirm unjust systems of power.

This attempt to use ideology to categorize comedy could lead audiences, political analysts, and even comedians to degrade or outright dismiss right-wing humor.

But even if conservative comedy doesn’t fit the tastes of liberals, it is still comedy. And it is fast becoming a feature of right-wing politics. Even “Daily Show” host Trevor Noah noted how former President Donald Trump’s performances at rallies mirrored the stand-up comedian’s performance.

Some studies go on to identify innate, psychological differences that explain why liberals are more likely to laugh while conservatives are more upset. This research, often inspired by the success of eclectic satirists such as Colbert, Jon Stewart and Samantha Bee, certainly looks interesting at the relationship between politics, psychology, and a sense of humour. They undoubtedly please the arrogance of the liberal reader.

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However, they do not agree with the way Trump changed the country’s politics and culture.

The political comedy of the early 2000s, with its relatively large tent media companies and pre-Barack Obama politics, tended to poke primarily at the political direction of the segment of the largest audience interested in satire at the time. “The Colbert Report” and “The Daily Show” were hugely successful during the years of President George W. Bush and inspired countless imitators, crowding the media market for boisterous laughter.

However, the perceived political bias of comedy at the time was driven by specific economic conditions, which have now changed radically.

Since then, audience fragmentation, along with the proliferation of podcasts and social media platforms, has made it possible for right-wing comedians like YouTuber Steven Crowder to rise to prominence beyond traditional cable television. And it forces networks like Fox News to take comedy more seriously.

On one level, Gutfeld succeeds today because he has no competition with fellow conservatives in the late-night television comedy space. On the other hand, he thrives because the current media industry moment is not designed for a large tent of all audiences, but for audiences who share specific demographic, psychological, and political traits.

In this environment, comedy’s bias to the right was probably inevitable.

Conservative comedian Steven Crowder runs a popular YouTube channel with over 5 million subscribers.
Gage Skidmore / Flickr, CC BY-SA

What’s in the definition?

If you find comedians like Gutfeld unfounded or, at best, offensive, you might ask whether they should be given the respect of comedians.

Failing to do so, we argue, obscures the ways in which the right-wing political world uses comedy as a recruitment tool and unifying force. Republican politics has long been built on an uneasy fusion that aims to bind liberal and conservative values ​​together despite their apparent contrasts. The cunningness of Trumpism has only increased this ideological tension.

Right-wing comedy, we argue, serves to bridge such philosophical divides, or at least paper over.

In addition to the success of his show, Gutfeld remains at the center of a growing complex of comedians today, reflecting elements of a right-wing worldview, from liberal, liberal podcasts such as “The Joe Rogan Experience” to Christian satirical websites such as The Babylonian Be Too Proud. till. The boys’ founder and Gutfeld-protégée Gavin McInnes. While the creators of this content do not always agree on specific issues, they are happily united in their motivations for doing the work. They strategically cross-promote each other, while social media algorithms urge fans of a program to check out other flavors of right-wing comedy.

Gutfeld may be the biggest star, but a series of right-wing comedians are coming together in a constellation that allows young, right-wing-curious consumers to find a place in the universe of American conservative media and politics. The value, or danger, of right-wing comedy is a matter of political opinion.

However, its reality is no joke.

This article is republished from – The Conversation – Read the – original article.

World Nation News Deskhttps://www.worldnationnews.com
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