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April 24, 2023

Tucker Carlson's last guest on his FOX News show was the Delco pizza delivery driver who tripped fleeing suspect

The network parted ways with the conservative host on Monday, ending his 14-year run with the network

Conservative political commentator Tucker Carlson will not be back at FOX News on Monday night, despite telling his viewers he would be when he signed off from what proved to be the final broadcast of "Tucker Carlson Tonight" on Friday.

FOX News announced Monday it has agreed to part ways with Carlson, 53, whose successful evening show has been a mainstay on the network since 2016 and influential in shaping the opinions of the American right.

The final guest on "Tucker Carlson Tonight" will go down as Tyler Morrell, the Cocco's Pizza delivery driver who went viral last week after video showed him tripping a suspected car thief who was fleeing from police in Delaware County. Morrell was dropping off a pie at a home in Aston when a high-speed chase culminated on the street outside the property. The stolen car had crashed into a utility pole.

Morrell, pizza in hand, stuck out his foot to clip the feet of the suspect, who crashed into the lawn and was arrested. The shocking sequence was caught on the home owner's Ring doorbell camera.

Carlson invited Morrell onto Friday's show to talk about his daring feat over a few Cocco's slices. Based on the interaction and Carlson's sign-off, the host apparently had no idea he was on his way out at Fox News.

"These (pizza) warmers are just, like, one of the great wonders of science," Carlson said about the insulated bags Morrell used to to keep the pizzas warm.

Morrell showed Carlson the bruise he sustained to his leg from tripping the suspect, and Carlson shared that he used to deliver pizzas and calzones. It was a light-hearted closing segment for a Friday night.

FOX News did not elaborate on what went into the decision to part ways with Carlson, who also had not addressed his departure from the network as of late Monday afternoon. Carlson joined FOX in 2009 after stints on CNN, PBS, MSNBC and other media outlets.

The shakeup at that network happened the same day that CNN announced it had let go of longtime host Don Lemon, who said he was "stunned" by the network's decision.

Last week, FOX News reached a $787.5 million settlement in the defamation lawsuit filed by Dominion Voting Systems, which had sued the network for false claims hosts, like Carlson, had made about election fraud in the 2020 presidential election.

Internal FOX News communications released during the course of the lawsuit revealed Carlson had vented about the network's management and coverage of the 2020 presidential election, after Joe Biden was declared the winner.

"Those f*****s are destroying our credibility," Carlson said about the news network's management in one email, the Washington Post reported. In another email, he called FOX's management, "a combination of incompetent liberals and top leadership with too much pride to back down ..."

In recent years, as Carlson's power grew in Republican politics, "Tucker Carlson Tonight" drove ratings often by inviting controversy. Last year, experts on extremism criticized Carlson for using rhetoric that shared similarities with the white supremacist "great replacement theory," which was referenced in the manifesto of the man who killed 10 people at a supermarket in a mostly Black neighborhood of Buffalo.

Carlson most recently drew rebuke for attempting to downplay the severity of the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection, releasing surveillance video he had obtained from Republican House Speaker Kevin McCarthy that he believed supported his position. Among other conspiracies, Carlson had pushed the idea that government agents were planted at the Capitol to incite violence. Retired U.S. Marine Ray Epps, who participated in the riot, demanded last month that Carlson and FOX News issue a retraction of allegations that he was part of such a plot.

Epps' attorney told the Washington Post on Monday that Carlson's exit will not end his client's efforts to press the network to clear Epps' name.

“FOX’s decision may shield them from responsibility for Carlson’s future lies, but FOX remains liable for Carlson’s past lies," the attorney said.