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Radio / Glenn Beck

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

Glenn Lee Beck (born February 10, 1964) is a political pundit/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 on CNN. He then Channel Hoppped twice: first to Fox News Channel in 2009, and then to TheBlaze (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:

  • 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.
  • The Alcoholic: Glenn Beck has been sober for decades now, but he does not shy away from his past struggles with alcohol and drugs.
  • 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.
  • Arc Words:
    • White House czars.
    • Muslim Brotherhood
  • Big Bad: That would be George Soros, from Glenn's point of view.
  • Catchphrase:
    • 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 
  • 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.
    • Frequently parodied, most famously via his "The Bees...Know" sketches.
  • 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 get 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.
  • Hitler Ate Sugar: He draws the many parallels between Progressives and Nazis.
  • 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?"
  • Large Ham: Him, Pat, and Stu are really prone to Chewing the Scenery, Suddenly SHOUTING! followed by zen music playing as they cool down...and so forth. Played for Laughs, of course.
  • 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."
  • No Indoor Voice: Pat Gray when he gets worked up or when he's singing.
  • No True Scotsman: Is famously perfectionist as far as Conservatism is concerned—to the point where he's repeatedly openly considered going third-party.
  • 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. He's also given Andrew W.K. a slot on his radio network.
  • 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?'"note 
    • 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.
    • After playing a clip of Anna Nicole Smith clearly inebriated at an award show, Glenn quickly cut off any jokes and stated genuine concern for Smith's well-being, warning that she would be dead soon if she didn't clean up. Sadly, Glenn was right.
  • 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 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.
  • The Rival: Of sorts with Keith Olbermann from Countdown with Keith Olbermann. When Olbermann isn't gleefully mocking Beck (which he does a lot), he talks about him 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.
    • Similarly, Sen. Ted Cruz (who Beck endorsed in the 2016 Republican presidential primaries) fell into this by late September 2016, when Beck went from comparing Cruz to George Washington to complaining that he should have endorsed Rubio. The offense? Cruz issuing an official endorsement of the party nominee: Donald Trump (who Beck was openly very critical of).
  • 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.


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