Watch out, Larry King and Anderson Cooper -- the anti-celebrities are at the gates. Heck, inside the gates.
Should Anderson Cooper and Larry King be worried? Seems their news-celebrity status hasn't been quite enough lately to keep the prime-time stars at the top of the news ratings pile in Nielsen's sought-after 25-to-54 viewer demographic.
As of last week, that title belongs to the crew at "Red Eye w/ Greg Gutfeld," Fox News' late-night news-comedy mash-up (midnight on the West Coast, 3 a.m. where it's snowing, prime time if you have it on your DVR) that's been amusing insomniacs, including some high-ranking Ministry bureaucrats -- OK, one of us -- for the past three years.
Cooper has a spotlight, an impressive background, nearly superhuman powers in the face of human suffering and working knowledge of Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi, Kim Kardashian and the Situation. King can book just about any in-the-news celebrity on the block -- the likes of First Lady Michelle Obama, papa Joe Jackson, Simon Monjack and James Cameron to name a recent few.
Gutfeld, ombudsman Andy Levy and butt-of-most-jokes Bill Schulz have little cred when it comes to being sympathetic to human suffering. And the show's booking power isn't likely to lure the first lady any time soon. But a devoted Twitter following, a mixed bag of political views and the cleverly placed "legs chair" must be picking up the slack.
Of course, the show does have its share of star power: Actress Barrett Swatek. Comedian Jim Norton. Father Jonathan Morris. (Father Jonathan, incidentally, has little or no working knowledge of Snooki but can roll with a joke and a little robot abuse -- witness the video below -- like few other men of the cloth. And he knows whether God was rooting for the Saints. And has some breast-feeding advice.)
Um, yeah, so back to that Twitter following and stuff ...
Maybe the new news celebrities are the guys on TV who are also on your BlackBerry or your iPhone, or sometimes even on your laptop? Not that we'd ever sit in bed, watching late-night TV while checking out the show's Twitter chatter on our BlackBerry and our laptop. And we don't even have an iPhone, so that's, like, totally impossible.
Yeah. So. This is just getting all creepy and TMI now.
But if you like that kind of thing? This post isn't telling you anything you don't know already.
-- Christie D'Zurilla
Photos: Greg Gutfeld being Greg Gutfeld, the host of "Red Eye w/ Greg Gutfeld"; Larry King waving after giving a keynote address at Bradley University's midyear commencement in Peoria, Ill., on Dec. 19; and Anderson Cooper covering Hurricane Katrina in 2005, top. "Red Eye" ombudsman Andy Levy, master of the Halftime Report, left. Credits, clockwise from top: Fox News; Ron Johnson / Peoria Journal Star; CNN; Fox News.