It should come as no surprise that millenials would prefer to watch Comedy Central over Fox News. This continually preached message should motivate Fox to compete with this level of humor and popularity among Generation Y. Fox should try and start a satirical late night show in an attempt to gain a younger audience. Maybe try and find smart, funny people who possess qualities similar to Jon Stewart or Stephen Colbert.
Well, guess what? It turns out, Fox News is taking a step in the right direction. The O’Reilly Factor has added a new segment to their show called, “Watters’ World.” The five minute portion generally consists of a young man, Jesse Watters, interviewing people on the street about various political topics.
Now, I realize that as soon as Bill O’Reilly is mentioned, millenials tend to cringe. O’Reilly is indeed an opinionated fellow who is not afraid to speak his mind- even if he comes off as kind of an asshole sometimes. Trust me, I get it. However, it seems O’Reilly is beginning to understand how to target the younger generation in a more appropriate manner.
Jesse Watters is a young man who’s dweeby charm makes him funny. He may not be stand-up-comedy funny, but his nerdy, nice guy appeal could be compared to Michael Cera’s character as Paulie Bleeker in Juno. You know? The kind of twerpy guy who seems sweet and kind of awkward and that’s why we find them humorous. That’s Jesse Watters.
Watters is the perfect candidate for this type of on-the-street interviewing for a couple of reasons. First off, he’s approachable. Standing on the street with his big dopey smile and perfectly tucked in polo makes him seem amicable to the general public. Secondly, he asks questions in a non-threatening manner. His tone is innocent and curious. You can tell he genuinely just wants to know how people feel about certain topics.
It’s funny that O’Reilly decided to hire Watters because O’Reilly is really quite the opposite. Between his sour-puss face, condescending tone and interruptive interview style, the two really could not come off more opposite. However, that’s where Watters succeeds.
Each segment, after the video is played, the camera turns to Watters sitting with O’Reilly in his studio. The way Watters just sits there with a constant grin on his face chatting with this intimidating, kind of mean, old man is just charming. The kid has unintentional charisma. And the juxtaposition of the two personalities is genius. So no, Bill O’Reilly has not managed to charm people himself, but he’s hired someone who can.
Check it out for yourself. New episodes of The O’Reilly Factor air on Fox News, Monday through Friday 8:00pm eastern time, 5:00pm pacific time. Or go online to check out video clips of Watters’ World.