Greg Gutfeld has grabbed national headlines in recent months for making a splash with his "Gutfeld!" TV show that launched six months ago. The Fox News political satire television show beat out late-night talk show institutions in the ratings.
However, another conservative comedian may have an even more significant impact — Steven Crowder.
There have been left-wing political satire television shows for decades, most notably "The Daily Show" when Jon Stewart took over hosting duties in 1999. The massive success of the liberal talk show spawned spinoffs on Comedy Central: "The Opposition with Jordan Klepper," "The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore," and "The Colbert Report," which became so popular that host Stephen Colbert was able to land the coveted gig of succeeding the legendary David Letterman on CBS. Colbert transformed the CBS iconic late-night talk show into a TV program obsessed with politics, especially anything related to Donald Trump.
During the Trump era, late-night TV shows "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" and "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon" also began doing nightly political commentary, despite being generally apolitical for years before. "Late Night with Seth Meyers" arrived to the late-night scene in 2014 and was immediately political because the host previously rose to fame by being one of the news-themed "Weekend Update" anchors on "Saturday Night Live."
Then there are the other political satire shows that all mostly share and promote the same left-wing dogmas: "Real Time with Bill Maher," John Oliver's "Last Week Tonight," and "Full Frontal with Samantha Bee."
In 2015, the left-leaning The Atlantic noticed the lack of right-wing satirical comedy and penned an article titled: "Why There's No Conservative Jon Stewart."
The marketplace of satirical political humor on television was practically an echo chamber of talk show hosts repeating Democratic talking points in a humorous way, especially Jimmy Kimmel who reportedly received guidance in 2017 from then-Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) on how to fight against the Republican effort to repeal and replace Obamacare.
It is possible that the abundance of liberal political satire shows has opened the door for conservative Greg Gutfeld to beat these programs in the ratings game because he offered a different perspective. According to the entertainment website The Wrap, "Gutfeld!" surpassed every other late-night show in August with a total average of 2.120 million viewers.
Since the ratings bonanza, Gutfeld was awarded praise from the media with headlines such as: "Greg Gutfeld Is King of Late Night as His Fox News Show Beats Colbert, Kimmel, Letterman," "How Conservative Comic Greg Gutfeld Overtook Stephen Colbert In Ratings," and "Is Fox News Channel's Greg Gutfeld The Next King Of Late Night TV?"
"Gutfeld!" received 434,000 in the key demo of 18- to 49-year-olds, which is arguably the most desirable demographic group to advertisers. However, there is another conservative satirical political commentator who has an even more impressive key demo audience – Steven Crowder.
According to YouTube data, the "Louder with Crowder" show averaged 1,398,575 in viewers aged 18-44 between September 2020 and August 2021. This metric doesn't include viewers aged 45-49, and doesn't include views on Crowder's home of BlazeTV, views on the video platform Rumble, Facebook, or various podcast platforms. With the additions of those platforms and adding the extra viewers in the older age bracket, "Louder with Crowder" would have significantly more views in the coveted key demo.
The viewership figures are even more impressive when you factor in that Crowder's YouTube channel has been suspended multiple times by the powerful video-sharing social media network owned by Google, which has prevented episodes of "Louder with Crowder" from being broadcast.
Then, left-leaning media corporations attempted to slyly encourage social media corporations to censor popular conservative personalities on YouTube that were outdrawing traditional media by claiming that they were "fueling far-right extremism" and sending people "down an alt-right rabbit hole."
Despite the attacks and the suspensions, the "Louder with Crowder" show still was able to achieve viewership totals that network shows would dream of accomplishing. Crowder created the vastly popular "Change My Mind" video series, one episode of which has more than 40 million views on YouTube. Crowder's channel has amassed more than 1.4 billion views on YouTube.
The Conversation hypothesized that the undeniable popularity that Crowder consistently enjoyed for years — despite not having the support of a mega-media conglomerate — gave credence that a conservative talk show that relied heavily on humor could have noteworthy success, and Fox News had to take notice.
Since then, further 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 conventional cable television. And it's forced networks like Fox News to take comedy seriously.
Based on the data, Crowder deserves to be in the conversation of the most popular talk show host.
This story has been updated.