Why No Late-Night Talk Show on Fox?
Stephen Colbert. James Corden. Jimmy Kimmel, Jimmy Fallon, Seth Meyers. Trevor Noah. All hosts of popular late night talk shows, fur of which sparkle on major networks. What do they have in common? Live audiences. Famously respected guests. Progressive politics. And, oh, yes, they’re funny.
What’s missing from the lineup? Fox, the only major network, a talk show. Why, when the opportunity to parry the thrust of progressive late night and highjack a chunk of viewers, is Fox MIA. An answer, in two words:
Conservatives–especially those inextricably wedged inside the Trumpist cohort of of drooling dullards –are largely devoid of wit. And I’m betting that Fox honchos won’t find the job description “Standup Comic” listed on Indeed.com. Could they possibly scrape up any candidates themselves? Lemme see:
How about right-wing comic Dennis Miller. I think not. After his hire as a regular on Monday Night Football long ago, Miller’s pretentious, overbearing playbook of artificial acid comedy repelled so many viewers the network, as I recall, sacked him after a rookie season rife with fumbles and incompletions.
What about P.J. O’Rourke? Sorry, former dittoheads, he exited the planet months ago. Besides, as he demonstrated on his infrequent appearances of PBS radio’s Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me, he was exposed as a humorist who wasn’t very humorous. Why was he invited back as a panelist? My guess is that public radio–in a vain stab evenhandedness –could only dredge up one conservative who identified himself as a pretty funny guy. I seem to recall how often –when he flexed his scrawny wit in an feeble try at punching out a quip–a soundless, glacial pall shrouded over the studio audience –a snowdrift of embarrassment.
Any other late night show candidates for Fox? Sorry, I for one can’t think of a one.
What’s more, even Fox could rustle up a host (one who would surely be monumentally adequate at best), they’d find themselves in a desperate pickle, hopelessly wanting for guests. A sad Fox fix. While all of the current talk shows can draw from a wide and deep reservoir of talented, quick-witted guests celebrated in the arts, entertainment, journalism, etc., any Fox late night show could only ladle from a a shallow, stagnant pool the approximate dimensions of a pneumatic backyard kiddie pool.
Bottom line: Any threat of Fox ever launching a competitive conservative-based late-night comedy talk show is, well, a joke.
In fact, the only recent joke i can I can conjure rising out of recent MAGA rhetoric is the appeal of January 6 flagpole-wielding insurrectionist ex-cop Thomas Webster, who, after a jury found him guilty on five counts, tried to peddle to the judge the farfetched argument that the flagpole cannot be classified as a legitimate; hence three counts should be counted out. All this in the face of Jan. 6 footage showing Webster transmuting his flagpole into a lethal weapon
Ir was after reading about Webster’s baseless plea that I set afloat the daydream of being the judge rendering the appeal decision. I even wrote a script for it. To wit:
“Borrowing from a tired adbiz trope, I ran your plea up the flagpole to see if anyone would salute , and my decision –with respect to shortening the number of counts in your particular sentencing– is this:
Epilogue: After allowing the draft of this blog to marinate overnight, I appended onto my daydream a slightly arch denouement . It involved a clip of my adjudication showing up on the Tucker Carlson show. I then imagined the witless pundit casting a punitive glower at the footage, then sputtering, “That’s not funny”.
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