Fox News’ The Five Premieres With Talk Of Media Matters, Sarah Palin, And Bob Beckel’s Love Life

Bob Beckel may be right about Glenn Beck’s audience “fleeing” his Fox News replacement, but it certainly won’t be because of boredom. The new show, The Five, which will be airing in Beck’s place for the rest of the summer, premiered today with an energetic talk about most of your usual Fox News subjects like Sarah Palin’s presidential chances, Congress’ waste, and the debt ceiling. There was, however, way more jokes about hookers than we expected.

While the show began a bit awkwardly with a wide shot of the titular five smiling at the camera as if they were welcoming us to the world’s most uncomfortable family dinner, the rest was a pretty entertaining time. Most of the fun of the show was thanks to Beckel who continuously shouted out and received insults as if he were said family’s crazy uncle (since this is a Fox News opinion show, “crazy uncle” can be read as “lone liberal”). The four-against-one set up of the panel may have become a repetitive dressing down, but Beckel was boisterous enough for three hosts. Whether he was making trenchant arguments (pointing out that Eric Bolling was jumping through hoops to connect a George W. Bush-signed bill back to President Obama) or just saying ridiculous things (describing an energy efficient lightbulb as looking like his friend’s hookah), he was a whole lot of fun to watch and inspired some of the best moments in his co-hosts as they tried to get him to shut up already with jokes at his expense (many of which about hookers or ex-wives).

The whole panel though seemed well-cast with everyone’s roles clearly delineated. Bolling was the seeming leader, introducing the show and the last segment, Dana Perino was there to keep things on task, Greg Gutfeld is the comedian (everyone introduced a segment and his introduction was basically just a daytime “Gregalogue”), and Andrea Tantaros is the firebrand. It will be intriguing to see how the show changes as slightly different line ups will appear on different days.

Interestingly, while Gutfeld and Beckel garnered the most laughs during the hour, Tantaros had the two biggest. First when she interrupted Gutfeld mocking Rep. Boehner’s skin tan with a reminder that he’s on Fox News where bronzer is “a staple,” and later, during a segment attacking Media Matters’ tax exempt status, when she earnestly claimed to feel they were beneath discussing on TV. Um, Andrea, have you watched your channel recently? I don’t think anyone is having that problem.

Fox News jokes aside, the network seems to have a fun show on its hands. I’m not sure if it was in any way substantive but, in the genre of television shows where a bunch of people bring up news stories and then yell at each other, it was certainly fun.

Watch a clip of the Media Matters segment from Fox News below:

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