Rush Limbaugh Is a Big Fat Idiot and Other Observations
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Rush Limbaugh Is a Big Fat Idiot and Other Observations

3.89 of 5 stars 3.89  ·  rating details  ·  5,984 ratings  ·  200 reviews
Piercing political satire from veteran Saturday Night Live writer Franken, whose incisive observations have turned the Beltway on its ear and made him our reigning liberal humorist. Includes hilarious discourses on Colin Powell, Bob Dole, Arlen Spencer, Newt Gingrich, Rush Limbaugh, and such controversies as feminism, affirmative action, and family values. On family values...more
Hardcover, 271 pages
Published June 28th 1996 by Diane Pub Co (first published 1996)
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Katie
I think that this was Al Franken's first political book, written before he turned into a politician himself. I remember reading it at the gym,on the stair machine and laughing so hard that I almost fell off ... How tragic is it that 14 years after this book was published Rush Limbaugh is still being a big fat idiot, and people still actually listen to him.
Stephen
0.5 stars. This is the book that made me wish you could give the 0 star rating. The worst part of this experience is my personal commitment that once I open a book to read it, I will see it through to the end (no matter how INCREDIBLY, INCREDIBLY PAINFUL that experience might be).

Anyway, not much to say about the body of the book other than it is poorly written, disingenuous and....biggest crime of all...NOT FUNNY.
Paul Dinger
Don't let the title fool you, this book is very short on personal insults. Rather, Franken the commedian introduces us to Al Franken the logician who demolishes all of Rush Limbaugh's prize arguments by going after his...math? By the time Franken is done, Limbaugh doesn't have a leg to stand on. Quite frankly, it is this part of Franken that is on display and makes reading this book quite a revealation. I was so rapped up in it's arguments and logic that I coudn't put it down.
Belinda
Aug 12, 2007 Belinda rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: frustrated liberals aching for comic relief
I read it the *day* it came out in hardback, and just LOVED it. Franken is brilliant, and has a crack team of ivy-league researchers to do his bidding, which doesn't hurt.
Donna
Ironically, just as I was finishing Rush Limbaugh is a Big Fat Idiot, I happened upon an essay by Limbaugh's niece, Julie Limbaugh, about the ups and downs of being second cousin to a man who makes a living by (in his own words) making half the people in America hate him. She calls her cousin's long-playing farce a "self-aware self-parody," a "caricature"--in other words, a phony act (which, not incidentally, has made him a millionaire many times over).

In this book, Al Franken, who has no fear...more
Johnsergeant
Downloaded from Audible.com

Narrator: Al Franken
Length: 2 hours and 48 min. (abridged)

Grammy Award Winner, Best Spoken Word Comedy Album, 1996

Publisher's Summary
Fed up with the Republican Right? Then you'll love Al Franken's scathingly hilarious look at America's largest talk show host and his conservative cronies. Hear this Emmy-winning Saturday Night Live writer's thoughts on exploding Medicare costs ("Why not shoot the elderly into space?"), feminism ("Limbaugh was railing about how feminists...more
Travis
Al Franken is sort of the anti-Ann Coulter. He does research and is actually funny.
Yes, his need to name drop can wear a bit thin, except it usually happens in a very funny story and gives you some insight into how out of whack some pundits and political types are.

And yes, he does take some easy potshots at Rush and company, but lets face it, most of those guys have said worse and they really do make it too easy.
Plus, Rush is pretty darn fat.

Love the bits featuring Al's assistant and Rush's fact...more
Flan
He used to be a funny guy. Now you only find it funny if you have an anger management problem and love the polemics of Karl Rove.
Amy Wilder
Read this in college at a time when I was trying to stay friends with someone who was listening to Rush Limbaugh and talking to me about it. It was really hard to have a conversation like that. When I sampled his radio program to see what I could say in answer to it, I noticed that Limbaugh would state some pretty obscure facts and to refute his arguments you would have to chase around figuring out if he made it up or just took it out of context or if he had a point - which like anyone, he somet...more
Kiri
I picked up the audio to this book. I am disgusted to say that it starts out NOT with Al Franken's work but some right-wing reviewer named Jean Kirkpatrick who goes on about her own credentials (geo-political etc) and "why oh why!! *sob cry moan*"

was she made to review this book instead of what was given to P.J. O'Rourke. My suggestion is that obviously she doesn't know anything at all (especially about political comedy - satirical or otherwise - or her professed area of expertise. WHICH IS the...more
Matt Rainson
Terrific book! All the information in is has been thoroughly fact-checked and confirmed by several sources. Among the interesting facts I learned about Rush:

- He received welfare for a large portion of his adult life.
- This "American patriot" got a 4F deferment from the Vietnam war because of hair on his ass.
- He didn't register to vote until he was 35.
- A champion of "family values" he has been married and divorced three times.

This book, sadly, came out before the Limbaugh drug scandals.

I'll en...more
Samantha
Feb 28, 2009 Samantha rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Franken fans, liberals
Of the three Al Franken books I've read, this one is my least favorite. It's also one of his earlier books, before Lies and The Truth, so maybe he just hadn't hit his stride yet, politcal satire-wise.

Rush Limbaugh is a Big Fat Idiot and Other Observations has a great title, mostly because it's to TRUE. How it differs from his other books that I've read is that it is a series of independent essays compiled into a collection. And while I enjoy his sharp wit and scathing humor most of the time, som...more
Lynne
I'm so glad I didn't know who Al Franken was when I first started reading this book. It might have dissuaded me from ever reading it! Franken's honest disdain for the ultra-right is refreshing, and just as timely now that the ultra-right is trampling all over women's rights as it was fifteen years ago when written. (Most of the liberal type jokes center around Clinton's presidency.) I very much enjoyed this one, and would recommend it to anyone who's disgusted with the far-right taking over and...more
Neil Schleifer
As a dyed-in-the wool New York liberal, how could I NOT read this book and love it :-) Seriously, though, folks, Senator Franken is an astute observer of the hypocritical who maintains a terrific ability to make a valid point while couching it in humor. If O'Reilly or Limbaugh actually read that, no, I don't think he'd win over any converts, but I know he'd get Rush to laugh and get O'Reilly to at least chuckle until he started "spinning" like a top.
Libbie
Very funny stuff. Al Franken was part of the SNL team during the glory days of SNL, when it was actually funny and often featured brilliant political satire. Franken's understanding of politics is astute and his smartass comments are great. Even 13 years after this book was written, it's still hilarious for anybody who lived through the Bush Sr. and Clinton administrations.

And Rush Limbaugh is indeed a big fat idiot.
Joe
Very distorted material and never made me laugh once. Even if you like Franken and hate Rush you'd think it would be revolting to make fun in the title of a book of anyone being overweight. The funny part is Franken is now fatter than Rush. Do you think a book called "Al Frankem is a big Fat Idiot.' would sell?
Mark
Hilarious! Franken can't help but be funny. The best part is that all he does it spit out facts. And I think that the fact that everything (which seems so ridiculous) is true, makes it even funnier. Oh and pay attention to the chapter numbers. They gradually get larger like Rush's ass.
Patrick
I wasn't a huge Al Franken fan when this book first came out. I knew him from Saturday Night Live and I thought his Stuart Smalley stuff was worth a good chuckle. This book changed that for me. It revealed Franken's brilliance in all its glory. I am now a hardcore fan of his.
Amy
Rush Limbaugh? Truly is a big fat idiot.

Although recently in I think a New York Times piece he did point out that Bill O'Reilly is actually Ted Baxter.

Not enough to make up for his big fat idiocy, but still.
Josh
I grew up with this man’s lunatic ravings constantly blaring from the family radio. For any recovering conservative turned progressive, this is a laugh-out-loud-must-read.
Scott Okamoto
Fish in a barrell. A small barrell. So easy, it's almost not fun. But, it is deliciously fun to read about neocons and Limbaugh and how they lie and distort.
Drew
I read this book years ago and still remember how it had me rolling on the floor laughing my butt off! Al Franken is one sharp cookie!
Nirzwan
I already hated Rush, so why not add some humor and even more facts about his stupid hypocritical face
Gennadyi
Feb 06, 2008 Gennadyi rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: politicos, lefties and self loathing righties
Shelves: funnies
a funny and factual comedown on the right by al franken. expect cheap shots and iron clad logic.
Paul
Truly dreadful. Full of lies and half-truths, this book has been thoroughly debunked.
Sheffy
literarily a piece of crap--but funny
Al Young
This book was where Franken went from a guy only hardcore SNL fans knew to one of the big liberal villains of the day. It is also one of my favorite books ever (a friend of mine tipped me off, I remember).

As the title implies, we get silly left-leaning observations that may be closer to Howard Stern to PJ O'Rourke. There is Franken having fun goofing on Limbaugh's fact checker. Franken conducting Lexis/Nexis searches like Pat Roberson AND crazy. There is Franken revealing Republican talking poin...more
Sarah
I picked this book up after watching Al Franken speak at the 1996 White House Correspondent Dinner and cracking up. Even though the topics are dated to the mid nineties, Franken's poignant observations still resonate today. Really love the section about saving costs on medicare and NASA by sending the elderly into space. I didn't realize how much I like Al Franken (nor how intelligent his humor is) until picking up this book. Great read!
MikeS
Al Franken is funny. Really. Funny. As a primer into the world of political talk show hosts, this may not be the ideal source… but have I mentioned that it’s really stinking funny? Franken’s ability to satirize just about any aspect of (extreme) right-wing personalities, positions, shows, etc. is pretty impressive. However, after a while, some of the mock cut and paste interviews became a bit tedious and I found myself wishing he would return to his standard of self deprecating witty observant....more
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Alan Stuart "Al" Franken is an Emmy Award–winning American comedian, writer, progressive political commentator, and, recently, politician. He gained fame as a writer and a performer for Saturday Night Live, eventually writing and appearing in several films. Since then, Franken has become more known for his political commentary, writing numerous bestselling books and hosting a nationally-syndicated...more
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