In a fairly surreal meeting of the minds, Beck sat down for a 'Today' (weekdays, 9AM ET on NBC) interview with Kathie Lee Gifford, and it didn't take long for him to tear up. Talking about his childhood, he said, "When you live in an alcoholic family or an abusive family, you tiptoe, you don't want to step on any mines," he said, fighting through tears. "Now the 'Today Show' is going to make fun of me again," he continued.
"This is only the third time that I've actually done live TV, so buckle up 'cuz it could get very, very bumpy," he said on that first broadcast. The mostly goofy clips that followed confirmed that, as Beck struggled to find the correct camera to address and pieces of his backdrop fell behind him, interrupting a rant about out of control government.
According to Beck's website, GBTV will be a streaming network featuring a daily two-hour show, hosted by Beck. GBTV will also feature "a wide range of original and licensed information and entertainment programming."
"GBTV is the future," Beck said in a statement. "The confines of traditional media no longer apply. GBTV is about getting active in the community, participating in stories, and finding new ways to deliver news, information and entertainment directly to the audience."
GBTV subscriptions start at $4.95 a month for access to Beck's daily show. For $9.95 a month, users can get GBTV Plus, which offers access to the entire network including radio offerings, documentaries and specials.
The real-life couple will play parents to a young girl who is brutally beat up by her "friends." These "friends" then upload footage of the savage beating to the Internet. According to Deadline, the story is based on true events of Tori Lindsay, a 16-year-old high school student.
Heche and Tupper met on ABC's 'Men in Trees.' This is their first on-screen pairing since the series.
In other TV news ...
Although the spoof was often longer in ambition than execution, Stewart did an excellent job of parodying Beckian logic in a nifty riff on the Nielsen ratings.
"People will tell you Glenn was fired because of plummeting ratings: 30 percent of his viewers have abandoned him, his audience's medium age is now dead of natural causes," Stewart-as-Beck-commenting-on-Beck hysterically explained.
Beck has signed a new deal with Fox News, but he will be transitioning away from doing a daily show for the top cable-news network.
According to a press release, Fox News and Beck's production company, Mercury Radio Arts, "will work together to develop and produce a variety of television projects for air on the Fox News Channel as well as content for other platforms including Fox News' digital properties."
There's no current end date for Beck's daily program, only that it will end some time in 2011.
Stephen Colbert is preparing for this potential "Beckpocalyse" with his "Emergency Beck Pack," which he introduced on 'The Colbert Report' (Weeknights, 11:30PM ET on Comedy Central).
It's a spoof, beef stroganoff-filled version of the survivalist-themed backpack Beck has pitched to his 'Glenn Beck Program' audiences.
So, what else is in a Beck Pack?
"One copy of every book Glenn has written, plus enough empty space to fit in the ones he writes between the time you order and the time the backpack is delivered next week," Colbert explained.
"Who is more insane: Charlie Sheen or Glenn Beck?" Stern asked Stewart.
"It's an interesting comparision," Stewart responded. "I'm going to go with -- and again, people may be surprised by this answer -- I would go with the guy whose skin you could flake off and smoke like crack. I'm going to go with Charlie Sheen."
Perhaps as a nod to a more universal recognition of Beck's often stretched logic, 'The Daily Show' (Weeknights, 11PM ET on Comedy Central) had correspondent Jason Jones report "live" from inside Beck's brain.
"I don't have much time in here John, but I just overheard Van Jones and Code Pink talking about how they were going to topple Saudi Arabia with nothing but the Saul Alinsky playbook and some pot brownies," Jones said, as images of cats, Groucho Marx, Chairman Mao and Woody Harrelson flew about Beck's brain.
"Man, I can't imagine what it was like in here when this guy drank," Jones continued.
A cheap shot at the recovering alcoholic sure, but can you imagine?
"[Saying that] it's a government takeover of health care [is] a big lie, just like Goebbels," said Cohen, referring to Adolf Hitler's propaganda minister. "The Germans said enough about the Jews, and the people believed it."
Kelly took issue with the congressman's choice of words. Democratic strategist Richard Socarides told Kelly, "The leading commentators on this network use this kind of language." She protested, "That's just not true."
Trust 'The Daily Show' (weeknights, 11PM ET on COM) to then find clips of Fox News' Bill O'Reilly comparing some blogs to Hitler's publicity machine, and Glenn Beck calling a pro-Obama book and video "propaganda pieces and, I'm telling you, they would make Joseph Goebbels proud."
During Glenn Beck's appearance on 'Today' (weekdays, 7 AM ET on NBC), co-host Meredith Vieira asked him if he regrets some of the controversial statements he's made in the past, given the recent national debate over heated political rhetoric.
"Anything that I've said in jokes, no," Beck responded.
"Ask Jon Stewart that question," Beck repeated, when Vieira pushed him to clarify. "Ask 'The Simpsons' ... If you ask the questions to those guys, I think you'll get the same answer: Comedy is comedy."
Beck has an interesting point here. Some (but not all) of his oft-repeated controversial statements were made in jest, and elements of his cable news program are intentionally comedic.
Perhaps the difference between what Beck and Stewart do is that Beck has a serious show that dabbles in comedy, whereas Stewart has a comedic show which dabbles in seriousness. Nevertheless, because of folks like Beck and Stewart, the line between comedy and journalism has become increasingly blurred when it comes to political discourse.
Bill O'Reilly Ribs Glenn Beck About Scaring His Children With a 'Shark-topus' Sand Sculpture (VIDEO)
"Let me break it to you, your kids are afraid of you," O'Reilly said, ribbing Beck like he often does.
Now that Fox News' alpha dog had jumped aboard the Beck-as-a-child-frightener narrative, Beck happily continued with it, and added that his shark-topus had also scared another child on the beach.
Scaring kids on vacation ... " O'Reilly started.
"... That's what I do best," Beck finished, without missing a beat.
Someobody get these two a sitcom.
Beck had installed the phone in hopes that progressive leaders would call the show and offer their reassuring counter-arguments to the economic gloom and doom Beck regularly preaches on-air.
"They never called, they never will call, I'm not waiting for their call anymore," Beck said, before disconnecting the phone.
"The left wants a violent revolution," Beck continued, seemingly emboldened by the symbolic disconnecting of the phone. "Tonight, I am going to issue my own call for a revolution, except this call is for a personal revolution. And let it begin right now!"
Well, happy 2011 to you, Glenn. Please just let us know if the revolution will be televised.
So how long did it take before Beck tried to tie Assange to George Soros, who Beck has been spending the last month railing against as the nefarious 'puppet master'? Not long at all.
"Assange is a guy who loves to have just all open society," Beck said near the beginning of the segment. "Sound familiar, 'open society,' Beck repeated, before making the point that Soros is chairman of a foundation called the Open Society Institute.
Per usual, O'Reilly was fairly skeptical of Beck's conspiracy theories, although the two hosts were united in their belief that Soros represents a danger to society.
Perhaps the most disappointing thing about the segment was that Beck and O'Reilly didn't have nearly as much fun pronouncing Assange's perfect super-villain last name as other cable news figures have been lately.
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