"The Kelly File" premiered in prime time on October 7, 2013 after Kelly returned from maternity leave. The show was an instant hit, and would often top "The O'Reilly Factor" as Fox's top-rated show in the coming years.
The show was quick to draw controversy. In December 2013, Kelly came under fire for comments responding to a Slate commentary. "For all you kids watching at home, Santa just is white, but this person is just arguing that maybe we should also have a black Santa," she said. "But Santa is what he is, and just so you know, we're just debating this because someone wrote about it."
She also asserted Jesus was white in the segment.
Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert, Rachel Maddow and others lined up to satirize her comments. Two days later Kelly said on air her comments were meant to be tongue-in-cheek and that the debate over Jesus's ethnicity was "far from settled."