John Stewart's Daily Show gives a musical send off to outgoing Hannity & Colmes host, Alan Colmes
When Alan Colmes announced in late November that he would be vacating his position as the liberal counterweight to conservative rabble-rouser Sean Hannity on FNC's Hanntiy & Colmes, many in the industry correctly speculated that Hannity would not get a permanent liberal co-host.
Because despite their long partnership - and Hannity's affection for Colmes (“I’m very sincere when I say I’m going to miss him,” says Hannity) - it was Hannity who arguably came to define the tone of the show.
Jon Stewart addressed Colmes’ departure on The Daily Show Thursday night (video below), recruiting washed-up 80s pop duo Darryl Hall and John Oates to offer a farewell ditty to the departing Colmes set to the tune of “She’s gone.” The lyrics included this verse: “Alan please don’t go. You’re the only non-douche bag on that show!”
Said Hannity: “I was actually thinking of Jon [Stewart] as a co-host but I needed someone who could be smart and funny without 50 writers and two has-been rockers who are badly in need of Botox.”
But seriously, Hannity promises “a lot of surprises” for his retooled, Colmes-less program. Set to premiere Jan. 12, the show, simply titled Hannity, will be newsier but will continue to offer viewers a big, loud debate on the issues of the day.
“It’s going to be a program that is really really on the cutting edge of news, information, some of which I would argue that you can’t get elsewhere,” he says.
There will also be new elements, including an iteration of the Hate Hannity Hotline from his radio program, and faces we haven’t yet seen on Fox News Channel, he says.
The show will feature a rotating panel – called the Great American Panel – made up of a liberal, a conservative and an X Factor, i.e. someone from left field. Hannity declined to offer names of X Factor candidates, though liberal panelists Al Sharpton, Bob Beckel and Kirsten Powers aren’t going anywhere.
“The real goal is to get all different voices on the program,” says Hannity. “I have never ever shied away from putting on voices that I disagree with. It’s become a signature of who I am both on radio and TV.”
Colmes will make his last appearance as co-host on Jan. 9. He will remain at Fox News, where he’ll develop a weekend program. He’ll also continue to host his syndicated radio show.