Fans came from near and far Saturday afternoon to meet Fox News personality Greg Gutfeld and get a copy of his new book signed at Barnes & Noble in Lake Sumter Landing.
The 53-year-old host of “The Greg Gutfeld Show” and co-host of “The Five” spent time chatting with Villagers and others who came from as far away as Jacksonville and south of Tampa. The New York Times best-selling author said he decided to write the new book titled “The Gutfeld Monologues: Classic Rants From The Five” because his fans kept asking to read his monologues. He said he wanted to make it easy for them to “find these little nuggets of knowledge” about everything from politics to pop culture in his latest book.
Gutfeld co-hosts “The Five” with Juan Williams, Dana Perino and Jesse Walters. The show’s fifth co-host, Kimberly Guilfoyle, left the network last month and is joining her boyfriend, Donald Trump Jr., on the campaign trail for the 2018 midterm elections.
The popular show airs weekdays at 5 p.m. and covers the hottest topics of the day with different voices and viewpoints. In fact, it’s not uncommon for Gutfeld and company to challenge, debate or even debunk news stories and issues of the day.
That’s precisely what brought a crowd of several hundred to Barnes & Noble on Saturday afternoon. They expressed plenty of excitement about the opportunity to meet the commentator many labeled as their favorite among a star-studded Fox lineup.
“It was just amazing,” said a smiling Kristin Miller. “He is just so good with the crowd. He welcomes everybody.”
Miller, of the Village of Pinellas, said she’s a huge fan of both of Gutfeld’s television shows.
“He’s just a great personality,” she said. “I like the humor he puts in and he says little insightful things. I think it just pulls everybody together. He sends a great message and it’s just hysterical.”
Miller’s neighbor, Pat Anderson, said she appreciates Gutfeld’s sense of humor and labeled his book-signing event even more impressive than the last one she attended with Fox commentator Bret Baier in May.
“I’m overwhelmed,” she said, while looking at the crowd of several hundred people that wrapped through many different aisles in the store.
Sandy Grasso, of the Village of Sabal Chase, agreed, adding that she and her husband, Phil, arrived for the 2 p.m. event shortly before noon.
“There was already like 75 to 100 people in front of us,” she said. “It’s awesome.”
Lisa Mazarik and Paul Whalen made a day of the visit to The Villages after making the drive from Tampa. Mazarik said they watch both of Gutfeld’s shows on a regular basis. And she said Paul hit it off with Gutfeld the second they shook hands.
“Paul said, ‘I thought this was Brian Kilmeade,’ and Greg said he’d never heard that joke before,” she said with a laugh, referring to the “Fox & Friends” co-host who has visited The Villages several times over the past few years and once even received a personalized golf cart tour through the Lake Sumter Landing area.
“I’m sure he gets that all day long,” Whalen added with a chuckle.
Jim Hubbard, of the Village of El Santiago, said he came with his wife, Joanie, to deliver a special message to Gutfleld.
“I told him, ‘You’re much smarter than you put on,’” the 86-year-old Air Force veteran said. “And he kind of nodded yes.”
Saturday also proved to be special for Villager MaryAnn Power, as she purchased the last available copy of Gutfeld’s new book at Barnes & Noble before getting in line to have it signed.
“I bet the guy behind me isn’t happy I came today,” the Village of Pine Ridge resident said, while enjoying a laugh with her husband, Greg. “I’m holding onto it tight.”
For Gutfeld, the day proved to be very eventful. He headed to Kissimmee right after the book-signing here for a similar event. But he took the time to offer his thoughts on the community and the people who stood in line to meet him.
“I was absolutely blown away by the sheer size and energy of the crowd,” he said, while recalling a similar visit in 2014 to sign copies of “Not Cool: The Hipster Elite and Their War on You” a month after it was released. “The crowd just gets bigger and more fun.”
Gutfeld added that he’s thankful for the support Villages residents have shown him, the shows he appears on and the Fox Network.
“I consider them not just fans but part of the Fox family,” he said.
Gutfeld joined a long line of Fox News personalities who have visited or are planning to visit The Villages soon. “Fox & Friends” co-host Steve Doocy and his wife, Kathy, will be at Barnes & Noble on Oct. 5 at 6 p.m. to sign copies of their new book titled, “The Happy Cookbook: A Celebration of the Food That Makes America Smile.”
And the following day Fox News political commentator Tucker Carlson will be at Barnes & Noble at 2 p.m. to sign copies of his newest book titled “Ship of Fools: How a Selfish Ruling Class Is Bringing America to the Brink of Revolution.”
In May, Fox anchor Bret Baier, whose aunt, Kathy Scarito, lives in the Village of Sunset Pointe, drew an enthusiastic crowd when he signed copies of his latest work titled “Three Days in Moscow: Ronald Reagan and the Fall of the Soviet Empire.”
And while he’s not officially a Fox News personality, former White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer, who has appeared on the network multiple times over the past year, enjoyed a successful book-signing event at Barnes & Noble earlier this month, calling The Villages “a place that people want to be because there’s a lot going on – a lot of activity, a lot of engagement and a lot interest in what’s happening in the country.”