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EXCLUSIVE: Fox News’s Tyrus Explains the Success of ‘Gutfeld!’

'You have to know your stuff or you're just a big mouth or a walking talking point...'

Less than five months since Fox News elevated longtime personality Greg Gutfeld to a weekly late-night slot, his offbeat show Gutfeld! has overtaken the competition.

This week, the show’s ratings outpaced all rivals—including Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Kimmel and Jimmy Fallon—in both overall ratings and in the all-important 25 to 54 age demographic.

Like Gutfeld’s prime-time show, The Five, his late-night foray involves a round-table format that is driven by the unique personalities and chemistry of its regulars.

One of those is Tyrus Smash (real name George Murdoch), a 6-foot-7 professional wrestler who has played the part of Gutfeld’s right-hand foil since calling out the eponymous host in a 2015 tweet.

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Oftentimes unapologetically unfiltered, the 46-year-old proud husband and father has become a star in his own right—and occasionally the target of cancel-culture attacks by left-wing media.

According to his online bio, Murdoch—a Los Angeles native and former security guard for rapper Snoop Dogg—also has been featured on Fox shows including Outnumbered, Fox & Friends, The Five and The Daily Briefing.

Headline USA reached out to Murdoch via email seeking comment about the show’s recent success and the unique chemistry of its co-hosts, with National Review writer/satirist Kat Timpf also occupying one of the regular spots alongside a rotation of guest pundits.

Murdoch’s responses (via iPhone) have been slightly formatted for style and clarity.

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HUSA: To what do you attribute the show’s success?

Tyrus: The biggest reason for success is the complete difference in the team. We bring our own thoughts [and] jokes to the table, and no one is ever asked to say something or go with the “tribe” mentality.

I think that’s our greatest strength—nothing ever forced. I’m not a party-first guy; I’m a Republican, but I’m a free thinker. You can support ideas people from across the aisle.

 

HUSA: How do you all work to cultivate that chemistry?

Tyrus: Greg and I just kind of have the same wit—humor—but from completely different walks of life. Kat tends to be the glue that holds the team together. But there’s a respect there and a bring-it mentality.

Greg and I are movie critics and [cinema] junkies, and most of our off-set conversations are movie recommendations and debates. Very little—if any—political talks or debates by any of us. Very boring behind the scenes, I’m happy to say.

 

HUSA: What sort of research and prep-work do you do off camera to come up with ideas for the show?

Tyrus: Now, for me—football, wrestling, TV, movies, Fox News—it’s always film study. It all blends for me. You do the work. Be prepared and you can make it look easy because you do the work.

I’ve always been a smart-ass, and being quick-witted and improvisational is just a gift… But you have to know your stuff or you’re just a big mouth or a walking talking-point.

My thoughts—my jokes—come from me and no one else. I walk on my own path, and we support each other’s differences and opinions—and I’ve always been quick with a comeback because I listen! And think two steps ahead.

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