I did stand-up for about two years. That means I got well acquainted with open mics. Open mics are what they sound like. They are shows where comedians practice material, often in front of other comedians. Most are too busy thinking about their own act to pay attention to others. If a joke got laughs, it usually meant it was good. More often than not, you’re telling your punchlines to a hushed silence.
This may sound painful, but it’s part of the gig. These comedians are learning. They aren’t making ridiculous claims like saying they’re the “king of late night.” That would be a stupid, arrogant thing for people who can’t get laughs to say. You’d have to be an absolute loser to claim fealty from late-night audiences only to get nothing from those audiences.
You know where I’m going with this. Let’s roll the clip of everyone’s least favorite late-night host.
king of late night crushing it again tonight pic.twitter.com/uSgkujTVRM— Andrew Lawrence (@ndrew_lawrence) September 19, 2023
I don’t blame you if you don’t want to watch the clip. That said, I’m not going to transcribe Gutfeld’s “jokes.” Take a stroll through your least favorite aunt or uncle’s Facebook account, and you’ll likely see the same things Gutfeld is spouting. It’s unoriginal, hack material. The punchlines are at best weak and at worst not punchlines.
Gutfeld is not alone in not being able to make a studio audience laugh. I could likely find a video of any current late-night host having the same issue. I won’t find any current host claiming they’re better than others. They know how hard the job is and treat it and their co-workers with respect and humility. Even James Corden gets treated well (but not Jay Leno). Gutfeld talks a lot of shit, so it’s only appropriate that we laugh at him when he eats it.