Fox’s Jimmy Failla: ‘Comedy Is the Punk Rock of This Decade’

'Saturday Night' host weighs in on late-night TV, Howard Stern and Cancel Culture

Jimmy Failla falls asleep each night while watching “The Tonight Show” – with Johnny Carson, not Jimmy Fallon.

Failla, host of “FOX News Saturday Night” and the syndicated radio show “FOX Across America,” pines for a time when late-night TV made everyone laugh.

Left. Right. Center. Democrat. Republican.

It’s why his “Saturday Night” showcase eschews tribal politics. One example? A recent segment asked people which Republican candidate would throw a better keg party.

You won’t find that on Colbert, Kimmel or Meyers. That, Failla says, is the point.

“I grew up on late-night,” Failla tells Hollywood in Toto. “Comedy isn’t supposed to be a weapon deployed for political gain.”

Mel Brooks Hilarious Cary Grant Story | Carson Tonight Show

Yes, Failla’s political leanings aren’t a secret, but he’s willing to poke both sides of the aisle and, hopefully, crack wise with prominent liberals along the way.

“Comedy is a party … it’s not a political party. You gotta make sure everybody has access to your content,” he says, something his late-night peers actively avoid.

It’s hard to imagine conservatives laughing at Stephen Colbert’s hard-left “Late Show” monologue, he notes. “Even if you agree with it, it’s still pretty hard to laugh at,” he says with a chuckle. “It’s activism masquerading as comedy.”

The Vax-Scene - The Box Set

Failla may be the hardest-working comic around.

In addition to his hosting gigs, he just released a new FOX Nation comedy special, “Jimmy Failla: They’re Just Jokes” and penned a book blasting woke culture. “Cancel Culture Dictionary: An A to Z Guide to Winning the War on Fun” arrives at time when woke overreach appears to be waning.

“People have come to recognize that Cancel Culture is a tyranny of the minority,” he says. Until recently, “We  didn’t understand what it was or who was behind it.”

Failla’s “Dictionary” focuses on the average Joes and Janes who suffered cancellation.

“The truth is, it affects you and me more than anybody,” he says of Cancel Culture. “You don’t wanna inhabit a world where you tell a joke in a conversation and it’s utilized to destroy your career. The [book’s] timing is great. The people are on my side now.”

Failla began his professional life as a Big Apple cab driver, sneaking comedy sets in between shifts. Today, he realizes the outsized role humor plays in pop culture, and he’s happy to lean into it.

“Comedy is the punk rock of this decade in every sense of the word,” he says, something he hears from people on the streets of Manhattan.

“‘Thank you. This country needs to laugh right now .. you’re keeping the mood light,'” they tell him.

He credits comedy superstar Dave Chappelle for “saving” comedy during the woke ascendency. Chappelle’s 2021 Netflix special, “The Closer,” caused a commotion with jokes targeting the trans community.

Neither Netflix nor Chappelle buckled under the far-Left pressure, and comedy subsequently took off, Failla argues.

Failla’s comedy career began on the corner of 46th and Broadway. He handed out fliers for comedy clubs to earn stage time, a process captured in the HBO comedy series “Crashing.”

Crashing Episode 4: Crashing Into Comedy (HBO)


“I started handing out those tickets a little over 20 years ago. Now, I’m on the biggest billboard in Times Square … it blows my mind,” he says. “It sounds crazy, but I believed it was gonna happen. That’s how you keep yourself going. You need a reason to believe [when driving a cab in New York City].”

Now, it’s his mission to make sure success doesn’t go to his head – unlike a fellow New Yorker who dubbed himself the King of All Media.

Howard Stern.

“If you hate something long enough you become it. Howard’s whole career was mocking the elites … and rallying against this idea that we should be censoring ourselves,” he says of the SiriusXM superstar.

The modern Stern supports vaccine mandates, far-Left politicians and leaves the free speech fight to other comics.

“It’s a complete about-face to who he was … now, he’s the Prince Harry of All Media,” he says. “It’s a teachable moment … I’m mindful of how it affected him in the long run.”

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