You know that climactic scene in The Wizard of Oz, when Toto pulls back the curtain to reveal that the Wizard—subject of speculation, admiration, and intrigue—is just a man…and kind of a dorky, dull man, at that?

I couldn’t help but think of that scene—repeatedly—last night as I watched Karl Rove’s punditorial debut on the Fox News Channel. While there was a beamed-to-the-mothership aspect of inevitability to the FNC Superfriend’s solidifying of his status with the network (as Gawker wryly put it, “what an exciting and unexpected move”), it was also disconcerting, this on-air revelation of The Man Behind the Curtain. While we’d seen Rove before, of course, on the Sunday show circuit and elsewhere, it was always as Rove-the-Strategist, Rove-the-Spinner. Last night, he was still those things…but he was also just Rove-the-Guy.

And Machiavelli is pretty dull. “Boring, of course,” scoffed Wonkette’s Ken Layne of Rove’s FNC showing. “Nothing to see here except forehead,” wrote Bob Cesca, live-blogging the Super Tuesday returns on the Huffington Post, of the copiously-craniumed strategist.

Megan Garber is an assistant editor at the Nieman Journalism Lab at Harvard University. She was formerly a CJR staff writer.