Every day, 1.2 million viewers are waking up with Fox News' Fox & Friends, an audience that towers over other cable-news morning shows. But the breezy style of the three coanchors — Steve Doocy, Gretchen Carlson and Brian Kilmeade — has also made the program fodder for the likes of Stephen Colbert, Jon Stewart and The Soup's Joel McHale. TV Guide Magazine talked to the trio to find out if they're in on the joke.
TV Guide Magazine: A lot of viewers are only familiar with you because of the gags on Comedy Central. How do you feel about having the perception of your show shaped by comedians?
Doocy: They are in the business of making stuff funny. They will find a sound bite and tailor it to their needs. But the other side of the coin is there are a lot of younger people who would never watch a news channel. They might see us on Comedy Central or The Soup, and say, "Hey, it's those guys. I'm going to watch them for a while because maybe they will say something funny." Ever since they've done more on us, our ratings have actually gone up. So, thank you.
Carlson: I take it as a total compliment. If we weren't something important — if we weren't No. 1 — they wouldn't be using our clips. To be honest, I never watch those shows. But if they're using [us], we must be doing something right.
TV Guide Magazine: What do you think, brown-haired guy who's not Steve Doocy?
Doocy: First of all, he's black-haired guy.
Carlson: And it's not a wig.
Doocy: No, I wouldn't say that. It's a hair system.
Kilmeade: I like what [the comedians] do. But what I've noticed over the past couple of years is they act like we never have any sense of humor, or that we're never being sarcastic to each other. Steve mocks me, I say something, and they will just take my reaction and go out of their way to take it out of context. I don't think they even come in and prepare anything — they just wait for us to do a show.
TV Guide Magazine: You don't report or read the news as much as talk about it. What's the appeal of that approach?
Carlson: Our viewers follow politics closely. People can get their news so easily on the Internet. They don't want it straight. They want to hear people discuss it.
Kilmeade: My view of the audience is, we're not above them, we're with them. We're talking to them, we're not reading to them. There is no arrogance. That's why people approach us so much. They feel like they can talk to us.
Doocy: There is a lot of really bad stuff going on in the world right now. People want the news, but at the same time, we try to present it in a user-friendly format and have a laugh along the way. When you just give them the straight medicine, it's bleak.