Those who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones.


Glenn Beck becomes damaged goods

The radio phenom takes over the morning zoo, makes fun of miscarriages and flames out. Part 2 of 3

By Alexander Zaitchik

Editor's note: This is Part 2 in a three-part series on Glenn Beck's roots. Read Part 1 here and Part 3 here.

Sep. 22, 2009 |

When Glenn Beck assumed morning-show duties at KZFM in Corpus Christi, Texas, in 1983, the zoo model was ascendant. It was the year Scott Shannon moved to New York to found Z100, where Shannon's "Z Morning Zoo" made the station No. 1 in the market within three months of its birth. Closer to Beck's new home, John Lander had just launched what would be a long-running and heavily syndicated morning zoo on Houston's KKBQ.


Like dozens of stations launching generic zoos around the country, Beck's first morning show was titled simply "The Morning Zoo." It wasn't a playbook zoo, as it lacked an ensemble, but it had a zoo spirit. It was fast-paced and featured skits and fake characters voiced by Beck. Beck's main cartoon character was named Clydie Clyde, a Muppet-voiced alter ego who sounds like the love child of Yoda and Kermit the Frog. Today the descendants of Clyde live on without names. Beck lapses into voices to imitate anyone he doesn't like, while going boggly-eyed and waving his hands around like he's slipping on a banana peel. (Clyde was based on the most widely imitated such character at the time, "Mr. Leonard" from Shannon's New York Zoo team.)


"Beck's Corpus show was just him, Clydie Clyde and the news reader," says Tod Tucker, who hosted the slot following Beck's at KZFM. "He was extremely talented and he knew it. At first we didn't get along because he was so arrogant, but we became friends. He always talked about going to New York City and making it big. That was his dream."


He didn't advertise it, but at 19 Beck was the youngest morning zoo host and program director in the country. "At the time I thought he was in his mid- to late 20s," says Barry Kaye, former program director at KITE, a rival station. "He was an incredible talent to be working at that level at that age."


"Glenn was a talented young preppy kid with a bit of an attitude," remembers Meryl Uranga, a program and music director at KZFM. "I had never smelled clove cigarettes before I met him. Hanging out with Beck was also the first time I ever saw certain drugs. He partied a lot."


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Comment by Marklar on April 1, 2011 at 10:31am

I think the Beck Deception group was probably killed by Tweek when he left.


Comment by Tara on March 31, 2011 at 1:52pm
Hmmm, that's a good question Justin, I just tried looking for it and can't find it. I believe the name of the group was called the "Glen Beck Deception"  or something similar to that.
Comment by Justin Mckay on March 31, 2011 at 1:44pm
I was going to put this in the Glen Beck discussion group. Does anybody know what happened to it?
Comment by Tara on March 30, 2011 at 11:43pm
It just goes to show you Vince, people are suckers for a good act and Beck, though not even a good actor reels all the suckers in with his pretentiousness. The idiocy of it all drives me nuts. Many people still must love to be tricked and fooled. 
Comment by TheLasersShadow on March 30, 2011 at 4:37pm
This is a very good article read the entire thing, very telling who beck really is.

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