From THINK PROGRESS (December 4, 2009):
Last night, Fox News host Glenn Beck premiered his new live show based on his book The Christmas Sweater, which was simulcast to hundreds of movie theaters across the country. Sponsor Fathom Events called it a “once in a lifetime event,” during which “Glenn will tell you about the real life events that inspired him to write” the book, play clips from his 2008 national tour, and “share stories of the overwhelming response he received.” Despite heavy promotion on Beck’s radio and TV shows, and in-theater trailers, ticket sales were weak in major cities: Beck sold only 17 tickets in Boston, […]
(CAUTION: Those last 2 links–hilarity alert!! The funniest insincere sincerity you ever saw, kids!)
[…] another 17 in New York, and just 30 in Washington, DC. Raw Story reports that, while sales were better in more conservative areas, even Seattle — which is near Beck’s hometown — couldn’t muster a strong crowd:
While it performed better in the south and in rural, more conservative areas, his ability to draw viewers in major US markets was a bust.
“The theater’s almost empty,” a representative at Regal Cinemas in Manhattan told Raw Story moments before it began.
Despite purporting to be a champion of the “little guy,” Beck set tickets prices at $20 — more than double the average ticket price. Blogger Joseph Childers reports that the production value looked “cheap,” and “the bulk of the evening consists solely of Glenn Beck acting out every role in his hokey story, with only his limited repertoire of accents and pantomime filling out the ‘cast’.”
From JOSEPH CHILDERS at TRUE/SLANT:
The Christmas Sweater may seem to be the same kind of run-of-the-mill holiday tale of redemption and hope that we see every year about this time. But considering that the climax involves right-wing talk-show host Glenn Beck, in the guise of a 12 year old version of himself, crying on the stage floor in the fetal position while a large black woman sings hymns to him, I think it might leave viewers with a few more questions than the usual family fare.
With that in mind, I’d like to offer my services. Being True/Slant’s resident expert/masochist regarding Mr. Beck’s artistic side projects, I was naturally drawn to the multiplex to check out the live-action version of his debut novel. I also convinced my wife to accompany me to the show, and I’m thoroughly confident that she’ll start speaking to me again by at least the beginning of next week. I can’t answer all of these questions, but maybe seeing your confusion in print will help calm your inevitably shattered nerves.
1. Why Does It Look So Damn Cheap?
Glenn Beck is a lot of things, but hurting for money ain’t one of ‘em. He reportedly pulls in around $18 million a year from live events and his TV, radio, and book deals. So why does the production budget of The Christmas Sweater look like it topped out at 11 bucks and change? I’ve seen small-town Christmas pageants with better production values than this thing.
The bulk of the evening consists solely of Glenn Beck acting out every role in his hokey story, with only his limited repertoire of accents and pantomime filling out the ‘cast’. Sure, there are a few TV’s behind him on stage, but they only show, at the most, ten or twelve still photos the entire time. And they couldn’t even get that right. Despite only needing a few sound effects, I counted several missed cues, and near the end, Beck talks to the wrong camera for a solid minute.
2. How Can One Man Expel That Much Liquid From His Body?
If Barney Frank and Michael Moore ran a marathon train session on Rush Limbaugh, I doubt it would produce the amount of sweat Glenn Beck expels in five minutes. Not even counting the words coming out of his mouth, I’m amazed at the amount of disgusting stuff that exits this guy’s body on stage. Spittle, sweat, and tears ooze of out of him constantly; I think I counted four shirt changes in an hour and a half. Nipples, shoulders, neck, stomach: every part of Beck’s body is a soldier in his sweat army. I was in constant awe at Beck’s inability to stay even moderately dry for more than two minutes, and my perpetual scanning for new leaks to spring probably meant I missed some gems of wisdom to share with you, and for that, reader, I apologize.
You’ll have to go to the link to read the rest. It’s just too damned funny!