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Radio: Glenn Beck

"Only in his wildest dreams could an actual suicide bomber hope to do as much damage to this country."

Glenn Beck is a highly polarizing political pundit and popular radio and former TV talk-show host. His status as a political talking head has made him a strong magnet to controversy, but his ardent right-libertarian viewpoints set some people's teeth on edge. Probably best known for flowcharts, mobilizing the "9/12" sub-movement within the Tea Party, crying for his country on-air almost regularly (not really Once per Episode, but often enough for his detractors) and his over-the-top antics. Throughout the Internet, there are heated discussions about whether or not he's misleading people for his own ends, Only in It for the Money, completely sincere, certifiably insane, only using the crazy antics as a tool to spread his message, a thorough researcher who wants to know the truth, or the Only Sane Man. Or some combination thereof.

He used to have a show on CNN before moving to Fox News Channel in 2009, where he rose to fame. He aligned himself with the Tea Party political movement in its infancy and spent hundreds of hours over the course of two years talking about current events. In 2011 and despite sky-high ratings, Beck left Fox in a move that had many questioning the friendly farewell from both parties. He has since started his own subscription-based pay cable network, delivering the same performance as on Fox in a much greater quantity and shows no signs of slowing down.

Author of political novel The Overton Window and dystopia novel Agenda 21.

Not to be confused, if such a thing were even possible, with BECK.

Tropes related to Glenn Beck include:

  • Adorkable: Admit it.
  • The Alcoholic: Beck has been entirely honest that he is a recovered alcoholic and has been teetotal since 1994.
  • Actually Pretty Funny: Anytime he's been parodied, be it on South Park or The Daily Show, he's been the first to admit that it was funny.
    Stu: I've always said The Simpsons was a show that could make fun of my best friend and I'd still find it funny. Now I can say that's true.
  • Advertising Campaigns: His long-time endorsement of Goldline sparked some controversy when people accused him of only plugging the company to increase the value of his own gold investments.
  • Arc Words: White House czars.
    • Muslim Brotherhood
  • And That's Terrible: During a segment on how many car violations Pat has gotten and the concern that he may lose his license, amid all the joking Glenn takes a moment to go deadpan and acknowledge how terrible Pat's one seatbelt violation was.
  • Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!: Glenn has acknowledged that he has ADD, one reason why he has difficulty reading emails and sitting still on the set. He often calls the random side-notes that he adds in his books "ADD Moments."
  • Bat Deduction: Some of his board sequences.
  • Big Bad: That would be George Soros, from Glenn's point of view.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: The common perception among other conservative pundits. Glenn's use of animals and food to illustrate his argument points, over-the-top silliness on set, and emotional presentation make him stick out as either entertainingly absurd or downright crazy.
  • Butt Monkey: Everyone loves to point to Jeffy Fisher, one of the main voices, as the world's worst possible human being. Jeffy himself revels in this role, and frequently joins in the Jeffy hate.
  • Catch Phrase: The three values: "Question with boldness, hold to the truth, and speak without fear," that appear in the opening of every episode, all of which were said by the Founding Fathers at one point or another during the The American Revolution.
    • "Now I'm not a [expert in subject], but I am a thinker." Usually said in Sarcasm Mode when he's pointing out flaws in an argument he thinks are obvious.
    • "It's enough to make blood SHOOT out of my eyes!" in response to an aggravating trend or situation.
    • "Hello, you sick, twisted freaks." His usual radio sign-on.
    • "Hello, America." His usual Fox News sign-on.
      • "From New York, goodnight, America." His usual TV sign-off.
    • "Woodrow Wilson... I hate that guy!"
      • Alternatively: "One evil SOB."
    • "Awwwww yeeeeeeeeeeah..."
    • "It's not a matter of right and left, it's a matter of right and wrong."
    • "Does the truth even matter anymore?"
    • "We've been screwed for far too long by the progressives in both parties."
    • "What you are about to hear is the fusion of entertainment and enlightenment."note 
  • Cerebus Syndrome: There are people who think that Glenn used to be funny, but has gotten less so overtime.
    • Glenn himself agrees.
  • Conspiracy Theorist: Frequently. The blackboard is often employed for illustration, and he has said that nobody should take his word alone as all the proof they need, encouraging his viewers to look what he says up and determine for themselves whether or not it was true.
  • Commie Nazis: He often lumps them together in a number of ways. Whether or not they should be lumped together in these ways is another matter.
  • Crazy Survivalist: What Beck describes as his nightmare scenario for America.
  • Crocodile Tears: A common accusation about his frequent crying.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Being a political commentator, it's no surprise he would sarcastic at times.
  • Demoted to Extra: Originally, the three voices one would hear on the radio show were Glenn, his friend Stu Burguire, and Stu's childhood friend and show producer Dan Andross. However, after Glenn hired regular substitute Pat Grey onto the program, they decided the four-man setup was a bit cluttered, and Dan stepped down from his prominent role to go into writing for Glenn.
    • Sarah, long-time phone screener, got moved up to production and a semi-prominent Role on the 4th hour show with Pat and Stu when Pat was hired. However, since the move to Texas, she opted to remain in New York, and now works on production from New York, and is now rarely heard from.
  • Dirty Communists: It's safe to say he doesn't like Communism and he isn't afraid to remind you of that all the time.
  • Dumbass DJ: Was one back in his alcoholic days. He'll even admit as much.
  • Eagleland: He praises Flavor 1, but his Hatedom sees him and his audience as an example of Flavor 2.
  • Five-Man Band:
  • Godwin's Law: Called on him all the time.
  • Hero-Worshipper: George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, MLK, Ghandi, Thomas Jefferson, and Walt Disney.
  • Hitler Ate Sugar: Often accused of making this argument, especially after one monologue where he condemned social justice, social welfare, and social just-about-anything.
  • Insane Troll Logic: Will often pull this to poke fun at his "Conspiracy Theorist" image.
    • Perhaps his most famous example: At one point, in response to a story about bees buzzing around the doorway of the Obama White House...Beck and company spun this into a long-time Running Gag about how "The Bees...Know...."
    "How does this happen...? Oh, I don't know...but The Bees Know. I don't exactly know what they know. I clearly know that they know something that I don't know—and until I know what The Bees Know, I will continue to wear my "The Bees Know" that they will know...that I know...that they know.... Ya know?"
  • Know-Nothing Know-It-All: Accused of this pretty much constantly. Jokes about it frequently on his show himself.
  • Large Ham
  • Love It or Hate It: invokedIn one of the episode's openings:
    Love him or hate him, you can't miss him!
  • Manly Tears: Occurs pretty often, especially when he's particularly anxious about the state of the country or when mentioning his past problems with his children and family. He Lampshades this:
    "I cry more in one hour than a 9-month-old does in a day."
    • Inelegant Blubbering: His hatedom tend to view his crying jags in this light, as opposed to the above.
  • No Indoor Voice: Pat Gray when he gets worked up or when he's singing.
  • Odd Friendship: Beck and... Canadian singer Michael Bublé? He hit it off with Jay Leno when he was a guest on his show and he seems to be on speaking terms with Whoopi Goldberg, though his last encounter with her was a few years ago. It's been reported that he once had a long conversation with George Clooney and they got along great. He's also pals with Penn Jillette.
  • One of Us: Glenn is a fan of Star Wars and will often compare the people he's talking about to characters from the movies. He also has co-host Pat do a (rather good) Yoda impression regularly.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: Steve "Stu" Burguire. Glenn was incredibly drunk when he first learned Steve's name, and misheard it as Stu. Steve put up with the name at first, knowing that Glenn was probably his best ticket to radio success that he had. Glenn did not learn Steve's real name until they had already been nationally syndicated for a couple of years. At this point, he just goes by it, as everyone, including childhood friend Dan Andross and his wife call him Stu.
  • Patriotic Fervor: Huge staple and recurring theme in his show, often quoting essays and letters of the Founding Fathers and recommending books about American history. There was a period where he had special episodes every Friday, called "Founders' Fridays" dedicated to one of America's founders or heroes.
  • Pet the Dog: When he showed the opening soundbites of Cenk Uygur in regards to the latter leaving MSNBC, Beck's sidekicks Pat and Stu laughed mockingly at one of Cenk's slip-ups. Beck's response was essentially "I faced similar issues as him, but with different results". The two guys shut up rather quickly.
    • He has also come out in opposition to the SOPA and PIPA bills.
    • Beck is in favor of legalizing same-sex marriage, saying "I believe that Thomas Jefferson said: 'If it neither breaks my leg nor picks my pocket, what difference is it to me?'"
  • Poe's Law: Suffice to say, there's some debate about whether Beck is genuine or whether he's basically The Colbert Report without the winking emoticon.
  • Pompous Political Pundit: One of the two main people imitated by the trope, the other being Rush Limbaugh.
  • Punny Name: More-On Trivia
  • Putting on the Reich: The cover of his book Arguing with Idiots, fitting with the Soviet Russia theme of the book.
  • The Scottish Trope: Refers to Barack Obama as "That Guy" on his radio show. This rule was put in place to discourage talking about Obama any more than necessary, as he was eating up the vast majority of their air time. Anytime someone breaks the rule, either by saying his name or playing a clip without prior consent from the entire cast, they have to put $20 into a jar.
    • Serious Business: The guys will actually spend a significant amount of time discussing the rules and debating what exactly constitutes an infraction.
    • The trope is abandoned as of 2014—much to Pat and Stu's delight. In the New Year's Eve 2013 broadcast, in fact, Those Two Guys basically spent the better part of a segment unloading about their abject frustration over the year-long ban...and how relieved they were that tomorrow, it would all be over.
  • Self-Deprecation: Does this a lot.
    • He constantly makes jokes about his weight or his hyperactive tendencies. With any poke at his chubbiness by hate mail he gets, Glenn usually responds, "Well, that's one thing I agree with." He tends to portray himself as a Big Eater on the sofa, eating ice cream in his book advertisements.
    • During an interview with Canadian singer Michael Bublé, Glenn jokingly quipped that he'll bring out the blackboard and connect him to communism when he will least expect it.
    • The back covers of his two hardback books, An Inconvenient Book and Arguing with Idiots, are full of quotes about him from notable figures and publications. All of them are negative. In the middle of the quotes there are pictures of Beck shrugging and with tears in his eyes, respectively.
  • Simpleton Voice: Often Glenn Beck or sidekick Steve "Stu" Burguiere would use this to represent someone making a liberal trying to counter a statement he made. It sounds vaguely of Marvin the Martian.
  • Sitcom Arch-Nemesis: Alex Jones thinks Glenn is jealous of him for all of the heat he gets while, ironically, Glenn asserts that Alex Jones is a crazy conspiracy theorist.
  • Straw Dystopia: Describes one in Agenda 21.
  • The Rival: Of sorts with Keith Olbermann. Olbermann talks about Beck like he's a psychotic menace to society. Beck talks about Olbermann like he's a pompous windbag high on his own ego.
  • Take a Third Option: Glenn didn't like the difficulties of delivering the information he wanted to deliver on both CNN and Fox. His solution was to create his own network on the internet.
  • Take That: Dealt out by mainstream critics and dealt back by Glenn simultaneously. Arguing with Idiots has a jab at someone Glenn doesn't like on almost every single page!
  • Temporary Substitute: When Glenn was on leave when he was on Fox, Judge Andrew Napolitano filled in for him.
    • When Glenn started doing talk radio but before he went national he was a semi-regular fill-in host for Rush Limbaugh.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Serious business....
  • Those Two Guys: Pat Gray and Stu Burguiere, Beck's radio co-hosts. They typically chime in during the less dramatic commentaries and run the show when Glenn is busy.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Even though they respect one another and have toured together a number of times, he and Bill O'Reilly make a lot of jokes at each others' expense. Their debates against one another, while very intense and serious, usually involve the both of them unleashing the Deadpan Snark at some point.
  • World War III: This is how he thinks it's going to play out. Long story short, China allies with the Muslims and takes over America while Russia and the Muslims battle it out for Europe. Also, Those Wacky Nazis are involved because why not.
  • You Have Failed Me: Used to really like Sen. Marco Rubio, pointing to him as a golden example of "one of the good guys". And then Rubio got involved in an immigration bill...and Beck treated it like a total Face-Heel Turn.
  • Your Head Asplode: He used to warn people to wrap their heads in duct tape because the next story would cause their heads to explode.

Atomic TalesRadioTony Blackburn

alternative title(s): Glenn Beck
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