Yesterday Glenn Beck engaged in a maudlin, self-serious and highly choreographed conversation with his audience, comparing himself to Paul Revere and telling them that we were heading for "deep and treacherous waters." Without saying much of anything he created a false sense of drama that was outsized even for him.
Tonight Jon Stewart used that springboard to leap into a new comedic realm, devoting a full 15 minutes to a parody that was equal parts criticism, mockery and homage. Stewart nailed certain of Beck's signature moves and camera nod, and while we could attempt to describe it, such comedic treats are best watched.
Beck, for his part, seemed to anticipate this onslaught. As Mediaite noted, at some point during tonight's episode, "Beck turned to camera to speak directly to Stewart and ostensibly told The Daily Show host 'what are you going to do without me to kick around' (or words to that effect)." Stewart's response, at the very end: "You were good for business."
Here's Stewart's performance, broken into three clips:
As for what FOX should do with the now vacant 5 p.m. spot once Beck is gone? Well, like any good populist, they should leave it to the will of the people (or at least those on Twitter). Herewith, a few of the best tweets from the much-contributed to #beckreplacement thread, which started almost immediately after news of his departure broke:
In The Crosshairs with Ted Nugent
Will It Burn? With Rev. Terry Jones
Hell Bent for Leather, with Nick Gillespie
Are You Smarter than a Palin?
No Ayn No Gain
Hour-long Goldline infomercial