Glenn Beck celebrated his 50th birthday on Monday, and his family and staff made sure he would never forget the day. Though Beck had an entire show planned, he was interrupted after just a few minutes by his radio co-hosts Pat Gray and Stu Burguiere, who took him on a whirlwind trip through history, back to his earliest days.
The biggest surprise may have been the 1958 Chevrolet Apache Beck’s wife, Tania, gave him. But she didn’t ask him to come outside to see it — the group arranged for the truck to be driven right onto the set of Beck’s show, with his family inside.
“I got my grandpa’s truck!” Beck said in shock. “Oh my gosh, this is so great! This is so great … I have wanted an old truck like my grandfather’s for I don’t know how long.”
Here are a few more pictures of the vehicle:
The entire program had a game show-like feel, with laugh lines and cheesy music as Gray and Burguiere brought in guests from Beck’s past.
The guests included former Mount Vernon Mayor Bud Norris, who knew Beck as a young teenager and gave him a key to the city of Mount Vernon many years later, and Michael O’Shea, the former general manager of Kube Radio, who helped Beck craft his resume at age 16 or 17 and asked him to pay forward the favor when he grew older.
Beck said that he always remembered O’Shea’s help, and paid on the favor when he hired Burguiere.
Tim Hattrick, Beck’s Y95 co-host in Phoenix also made an appearance, as did Mike McGowan, one of the men Beck fired back in the days when he was still a “dirt bag,” as Beck describes his former self.
“Last time I saw you Dumb and Dumber was in theaters,” McGowan said. “We didn’t have cell phones and computers.” McGowan graciously added that he knew the station was in trouble when they went from “Phil Collins to Nine Inch Nails,” at Beck’s direction.
Next up was Vinnie Penn, Beck’s KC101 co-host who now hosts 960 WELI in New Haven. The two joked about an individual they frequently made fun of — the Jeff Fisher of the day, Beck explained — and Penn said the man is now a pharmaceutical salesman.
“That guy who caused Glenn and I to abuse Xanax is now peddling it for a living,” Penn said jokingly.
Gabe Hobbs, who helped launch Beck’s career in Talk Radio, and Jon Huntsman Sr., a friend and mentor of Beck’s, also joined the show.
Huntsman praised the man Beck has become, saying many of his listeners don’t realize how much he has done to fight cancer.
“You’re one of my heroes,” Huntsman said simply. “It’s hard to believe you’re fifty.”
The program concluded with memories and birthday wishes from Beck’s wife and children — some were tearful, some lighthearted. Beck’s son-in-law recalled looking up Beck on the Internet before meeting him, and being terrified for the encounter after watching the first clip he found. Beck’s daughter Mary, who has cerebral palsy, fought back tears as she spoke about a time her family dropped everything to be with her when her body was “breaking down” and they didn’t know why.
“It just reminded me how much I’m loved, even when it’s inconvenient,” she said with a tearful smile.
You can see clips from the moving show, below. The first shows Gray and Burguiere interrupting Beck’s broadcast for the birthday surprise; the second is the interviews with Beck’s family, and Beck receiving his birthday present.
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