'RedEye': Dana Perino replaces fellow 'Five'-r Greg Gutfeld -- for one night

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Dana-Perino-RedEye-Greg-Gutfeld.jpgOnce upon a time, Dana Perino was the White House Press Secretary for President George W. Bush. Then, after Bush left office, like many former presidential staffers before and since, Perino transitioned to doing political commentary, landing on Fox News Channel.

One day she got a call to join a summer replacement show called "The Five," to air at 5 p.m. ET every weekday. At its two-year anniversary, the roundtable show is top-rated in its time slot and, in numbers released on Monday, July 15, out-rated its lead-in and everything after it on FNC until "The O'Reilly Factor" at 8 p.m. ET.

One of Perino's fellow panelists is former magazine editor and HuffPo blogger, and current author, Greg Gutfeld, who doubles as the host of FNC's freewheeling latenight pop-culture/comedy/politics roundtable "RedEye W/Greg Gutfeld."

After getting used to Gutfeld on "The Five," Perino agreed to go on "RedEye." But in a January appearance, Perino proceeded to -- after commenting on chilled toilet paper, animal videos, saggy pants and gladiator boots -- have a laughing fit, egged on by Gutfeld sidekick Bill Schulz, that evolved into tears and laments about how she used to "have a real job."

And here it is (hits its peak around the 12:58 mark):


Undaunted, Perino has now agreed to be guest-host for an episode, taping this evening in New York and set to air at 3 a.m. ET (midnight PT). Here's Gutfeld making the announcement yesterday on "The Five" (joined by Perino, Eric Bolling, Bob Beckel and Andrea Tantaros):


Jasper-Perino.jpgBefore taping the show that could possibly prevent her from being taken seriously ever again -- combined with her continuous Tweeting of photos of her Vizsla, Jasper, about whom she could not quite sing a song on-air -- Perino took a few minutes to answer some email questions ...

Zap2it: You have gone from skepticism about Gutfeld to guesting on RedEye and now guest-hosting. How have you allowed yourself to be drawn into his web?

Dana Perino: This is what happens when you meet the brother you never wanted. Greg is the friend who your parents warned you about "If Greg jumped off a bridge, would you follow him?" The answer is...yes, I would. And I would laugh myself silly all the way down.

Zap2it: Did you get any veto power over tonight's guests or topics?

Dana Perino: It's not a coup -- I'm just filling in for one night. The "RedEye" team is the smartest group in town. They know how to put together a great show. I'll just follow their lead.

Zap2it: Do you fear having another case of the giggles, but this time in the host seat?

Dana Perino: Actually, yes. My breakdown on "RedEye" last January is still one of the funniest moments in my life. I loved how Bill Schulz caught onto what was happening right away, and I ended up going from laughing to actually crying. My favorite part is when he asks, "What would former President Bush think of you right now?," and I said, "I pray he isn't watching." Pure gold.

Zap2it: What is your method of preparation for the gig?

Dana Perino: if you've ever seen "RedEye," you know that weeks of preparation go into the production of a single segment. It's like "60 Minutes" in that regard.

Greg-Gutfeld-Jasper.jpgThe most important thing for me to bring to the show is some energy -- if the show was taped at 8:30 a.m., no problem. I'm a morning person (that drives Greg nuts, by the way). I love "RedEye" -- there's nothing else like it on cable news.

Zap2it: Will Jasper be there? If not, why not?

Dana Perino: I have a feeling Jasper will at least get a mention!

Zap2it: How do you think wrangling the "RedEye" guests will compare with managing the White House Press Corps?

Dana Perino: I've got this.  Ha! Actually, it may be more difficult.  I'll just stand on the table and yell.

Zap2it: Do you think that "RedEye" contributes to the public discourse? If not, why not?

Dana Perino: I think it shows smart people having good conversation and some laughs -- very representative of most of America!

Zap2it: How do you plan to follow up this latest career move?

Dana Perino: I'm moving into Greg's office tomorrow.

Zap2it: What are you wearing?

Dana Perino: Now you're asking the toughest question. I don't know!

Photo/Video credit: Fox News Channel; @DanaPerino