Greg Gutfeld, the host of Fox News’ 3 a.m. show “Red Eye w/ Greg Gutfeld,” recently answered some questions from The Daily Caller about how his show came to be, his good-natured guests, his new book and the “most offensive” thing he and his panel have ever discussed on air.
1.) How did you hatch the idea for “Red Eye” and how did you manage to get such an awesomely demented wormhole of a show on Fox News?
Well the thing is it kinda happened in a bar. A couple of friends of mine in media who worked at Fox had been reading my blogs and reading my stuff at the Huffington Post and I guess they had an idea for a show in the middle of the night. I don’t think they had the same thing I had in mind — that was probably more my fault than anyone else’s. One of the guys, Scott, met me in a bar in London and brought up the idea and I was drunk enough to say, “pick me, let me try it!” So they flew me over and the show just was really thrown together. I mean it really was just, “okay, let’s put on a show!” It happened so quickly that I don’t even think I had time to comprehend what was going on.
2.) Have you been surprised by the show’s success?
It’s like being in a cool band where you’re never going to be in the top 10, but the people who discover you really appreciate you. And our following is dedicated almost to the point of obsession and perhaps even dementia.
3.) What goes into the construction and production of an episode of “Red Eye”? Where do you come up with all those great dirty guest intros [which often feature double entendres and dirty puns]?
Generally what happens is we all sit around and do our scouring of the Internet looking for stories. I usually write my “Greg-a-logue” when I get in around 11:00 [a.m.] or sometimes around noon. The intros, I get a lot of help from the viewers who sometimes write all of them in one day — they send them into the Daily Gut. And then we pick the stories and we split them up between Andy [Levy], Bill [Schulz], and me. And then we spend the day editing and updating as the stories change. We try to get as much good tape as we can find. And magically there is a show by the time we’re about to film. We have never failed to have a show — which is always amazing to me.
4.) What time do y’all usually film?
About 8:30 [p.m.], usually.
5.) Red Eye goes about as far out as possible — jokes about sequential hermaphrodites and bestiality. Have you stumbled upon anything that is considered too taboo for the show?
I think the most offensive thing we have ever discussed was dating Gwyneth Paltrow. That to me is the thing that really sickens everybody, and when we bring that up we always get a lot of mail demanding that we never bring it up again.
6.) Well moving in that direction, what about Bill Schulz? How does he feel about you completely disparaging him each night?
He’s used to it because he worked for me at Stuff magazine — he’s known me for 10 years. And he is like my little tragic brother. I wouldn’t know what to do if he wasn’t around and when he is around, I must abuse him.
7.) And your other aide-de-camp, Andy Levy, where did you find him?
When I was blogging at the Huffington Post he was leaving comments and his comments were really clever, and I thought, “Well, maybe I’ll meet this guy” and I met him out at a bar in Hell’s Kitchen. Generally you kind of think these guys are going to be weirdos and I was surprised that he was only half a weirdo. He wasn’t a full weirdo.
8.) How do you find all those great random videos? Do you have a fleet of interns scanning the web?
No, we don’t have any interns. We do all our own stuff. One of our assistant producers is always looking for stuff. The key is those things are out there. You just need to find them first. We do a pretty good job of doing that.
Here’s the trick, and this is something that I learned at Stuff magazine: if you just pick four random words and you plug them into YouTube you will get whatever you want. So if you say, let’s say you type “fat guy tutu peanut-butter.” Put that into YouTube you are going to find a fat guy smeared with peanut butter wearing a tutu. You can try that with any four terms. You could say, “chimp, bicycle, whipped cream, cowboy hat.” Put that in YouTube and you will find a chimp wearing a cowboy hat on a bicycle squirting whipped cream all over — I don’t know — himself.
9.) Well I know what I’m doing later tonight, but moving along, here is a lame question, but I am curious. Who have been your favorite guests?
I hate answering that because I worry I am going to hurt the feelings of the people I don’t mention. But I mean obviously you know the ones because they are always on. I mean I’m always happy to see Jim Norton in the Green Room — he just has such a pleasant smile. He’s got the smile of somebody who just moved into your community who isn’t really allowed to leave his home. But I like Joe Derosa, Lauren Sivan is pretty awesome, Kimberly Guilfoyle, I love her … I like Tucker Carlson when he decides to do the show.
10.) You have had a number of serious guests on the show. For example, you had Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol on the other day. What is it like in the Green Room when you have someone like Ambassador John Bolton there with a comedian like Jim Norton?
That’s the best part. It’s like having a really cool cocktail party which reflects how people appreciate the show, where everybody and anybody is invited just so long as you are really nice. We don’t have jerks on the show. Everybody on the show is really nice — unless you don’t see them again. If somebody is mean to anybody we don’t have them back.
I also won’t have a person on again because they’d show up for “hair and make-up” with wet hair because they thought they were going to get their hair done and that would literally slow down the entire show. This is not a beauty parlor.
Check back tomorrow as Greg Gutfeld answers 10 more questions for TheDC about his new book The Bible of Unspeakable Truths, his high school buddy Barry Bonds, and his plans to build a gay bar next to the Ground Zero mosque.