"Only in his wildest dreams could an actual suicide bomber hope to do as much damage to this country."
Glenn Beck is a political pundit slash 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. He aligned himself with the Tea Party political movement in its infancy and spends hundreds of hours over each year talking about current events.
His career began with The Glenn Beck Radio Program
, in 2000. He became nationally syndicated two years later, and continues the radio program. The success of the radio program encouraged him to move to television, creating The Glenn Beck Program
. He then Channel Hoppped
twice: first to Fox News Channel
in 2009, and then to The Blaze (a channel he creates and maintains) in 2011.
Not to be confused, if such a thing were even possible, with Beck
Books by Glenn Beck:
Tropes related to Glenn Beck's work include:
- Acceptable Targets: Liberals, Socialists, Communists, and Nazis. Which are all, for Beck, synonyms.
- 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.
- 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.
- Big Bad: That would be George Soros, from Glenn's point of view.
- Bow Ties Are Cool: Somewhat subverted. Glenn has been dressing in old-fashioned clothing fairly recently, including bow ties, but he openly admits none of it is fashionable.
- 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!"
- Also about Woodrow Wilson: "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
- Channel Hop:
- His television program began on CNN Headline News, but moved to the Fox News Channel in 2009.
- 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.
- Conspiracy Theorist: Subverted. 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 once explained it as: "Fascists" are Progressives of the Right, whereas "Socialists" are Progressives of the Left—and while they'll often fight each other, they're in truth Not So Different. Glenn doesn't like Progressivism.... This has gone so far that he likened the Norwegian Social Democratic Party's youth camps - in his take on the Utoya Massacre, perpetrated by a Right Wing Militia Fanatic - to the Hitler Youth.
- Crazy Survivalist: What Beck describes as his nightmare scenario for America.
- Crunchtastic: Pat loves creating these. Personal favorites seem to be "traveshamockery"note and "evnile."note
- 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.
- Hero-Worshipper: George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, MLK Jr, Ghandi, Thomas Jefferson, and Walt Disney.
- 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" T-Shirt...so that they will know...that I know...that they know.... Ya know?"
- Love It or Hate It: In 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."
- 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 major fan of Star Trek, Star Wars, and comic book films—often invoking them to color his points.
- 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?'"
- Beck was one of many non-Bronies who came out in staunch support of Grayson Bruce and the Brony community when the former was being bullied for his backpack.
- Pompous Political Pundit: One of the two main people imitated by the trope, the other being Rush Limbaugh.
- Putting on the Reich: The cover of his book Arguing with Idiots, fitting with the Soviet Russia theme of the book.
- Refuge in Audacity: More-On Trivia is all over this.
- 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. When the rule ended commission in the New Year of 2013-2014, Pat and Stu (who often found themselves slipping and violating—and thus lowing money) were VERY verbal in their relief.
- Often treated like Serious Business, as the guys would actually spend a significant amount of time discussing the rules and debating what exactly constitutes an infraction.
- 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, Pat, or Stu would use this to represent someone making a liberal trying to counter a statement Glenn 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 from Countdown 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 That:
- Pundits opposed to Glenn Beck like to insult him whenever they reference him.
- Glenn Beck likes to take their insults, and turn them right back around, with either Self-Deprecation or insulting them in return. Beck's book, 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.
- 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 (main character/host of The O'Reilly Factor) 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.