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Rush Limbaugh Is a Big Fat Idiot

3.93  ·  Rating details ·  8,028 ratings  ·  261 reviews
Rush Limbaugh claims his talent is on loan. With this book, Franken demonstrates that he owns. The frankly Democratic author's shtick reminds us how much of a free ride conservatives have gotten in the mainstream media. For instance, he really drives home the weirdness of the conservatives' preachiness about "family values" in light of Newt Gingrich's and Bob Dole's first ...more
Paperback, 313 pages
Published 2004 by Penguin (first published 1996)
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3.93  · 
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 ·  8,028 ratings  ·  261 reviews

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Apr 09, 2009 rated it really liked it
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.
Paul Dinger
Jan 09, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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.
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.
Aug 12, 2007 rated it it was amazing
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.
Aug 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
This had me guffawing on a flight from Copenhagen to New York. It's amazing how little things have changed since the time when John Kasich could be accurately described as "boyish" (*shudder*): people were still entertaining weird white nationalist populist fantasies, clamoring for a border fence, and hoping that wealth indicated some form of competence. Franken skewers them all, most notably: Rush, Newt, and ol' Ronnie.

One issue I had with this: does Franken really think that Clinton was the g
Jan 23, 2010 rated it it was ok
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?
Apr 30, 2008 rated it did not like it
Truly dreadful. Full of lies and half-truths, this book has been thoroughly debunked.
Jun 06, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
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.
May 08, 2007 rated it it was amazing
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.
Sep 25, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Amy Wilder
Jan 19, 2010 rated it liked it
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
Feb 28, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  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
Apr 01, 2009 rated it liked it
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
Nov 24, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: audiobook, audiblecom
Downloaded from

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
Apr 16, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: politics
Al Franken is sort of the anti-Ann Coulter. Only 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
Feb 09, 2008 rated it did not like it
He used to be a funny guy. Now one would only find it funny if you have an anger management problem and love the polemics of Karl Rove.
Jul 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
Read this after Franken's Giant of the Senate, because I enjoyed that so much. Decided it would be fun to start at the beginning with Franken. Well actually, the beginning was when he was on Saturday Night Live, and I didn't think he was very funny. In fact, I cringed each time he was onscreen because I thought his humor was stupid and his voice annoying. Well, times have changed. It's kind of sad that 21 years after he wrote this book, much of what he says is still valid today. (Pat Buchanan wa ...more
Jul 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is a brilliant book that is remarkably prescient, particularly given the current state of affairs in D.C. Some of the same players are still active, despite this book having been written back in the early '90s, before Franken became a senator from Minnesota, and a fine one at that. Please read and enjoy this wonderful book.
Matt Rainson
Apr 27, 2008 rated it really liked it
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
Although written in the 90's many of people are still around like Limbaugh(still fat I believe), Newt Gingrich(ignorant and arrogant), Bill & Hillary Clinton, Pat Robertson(still a nutcase) and even himself(despite his recent Senate resignation). More voices like his are still needed. I found it kind of interesting that many of the same issues like immigration, taxes, health care were big issues. Even a "security fence" was mention by a certain presidential candidate so it kind of show's "Th ...more
Sep 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: humor, satire
Wait. What’s this buried in a long-forgotten pile of marriage memories?

My wife gave me this book, which she inscribed to me as part of that year’s Valentine's Day bounty, a few days after the book published.

Finding this funny book brings to three the number of Al Franken books I read. But I found this one too late for him to inscribe when he appeared here early in the summer during his book tour for Al Franken: Giant of the Senate, published in May. On that fine and funny afternoon, Al also in
Nov 18, 2014 rated it it was ok
The book is a long running joke. I understand that. I just wonder if Al Franken was at first serious about proving how detrimental Limbaugh was to listen to but then got so disgusted with the people who listen to Rush who are too lazy to actually stop and think about and research Limbaugh's BS that he couldn't take the book seriously. I personally after reading the book was annoyed at the misfactoids that Rush spews out myself. Then again, am I just being force fed something without looking behi ...more
Apr 18, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
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
Aug 08, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: humor, politics
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.
Apr 18, 2007 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who know more about the author and the subject of his ridicule
I started reading this book in April. Started reading it again in July. Then finally brought it back to the library, 3 months and $15 in library fines later. I really didn't think it was very funny. I picked it up because I thought I might learn something about Al Franken's political views, but I learned little except that he thinks Rush Limbaugh is the biggest piece of (insert your own noun here) in the country. Maybe Franken is meant to be a politician after all.
Donald Powell
Al Franken is very intelligent, witty and articulate. I read this because I was so impressed with "Giant of the Senate". This effort, more than twenty years old, was an earlier version of the man he has become. It was a good reminder of the people and events of that time. It remains relevant for its analysis of the hypocrisy, lack of logic and misguided philosophy of those he skewers.
Jan 23, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Since reading this book, Al Franken is my hero, at least as far as the political arena goes. He's very smart and gets to the heart of an issue while not being afraid to call a spade a spade. The book never failed to keep my interest, and that's an easy thing for a book to do (fail, that is). And best of all, he's a democrat.
I need to say that I hadn't been exposed that much to Rush Limbaugh. I've only read about him. So I know why Al Franken wrote the way he did in his book. I just failed to understand.

Lack of relevance.

So instead of taking this book as a witty (or even satire?) comeback, I could only see plain rudeness.
Oct 13, 2017 rated it liked it
This was an ok book. I really enjoyed Al Franken, Giant of the Senate, so decided to read some of his earlier work. This book is not as well written or focused. It's also a lot more snarky. Not that most of Franken's targets didn't deserve it, but it got a bit much after awhile.
Sep 27, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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.
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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
“So I've always been interested in politics. And I thank my parents for that. As you can see, there's a strong element of moral indignation behind this interest, and indignation is well and good in doses, but I noticed fairly early in life that some people live to find stuff to be indignant about. And it's pretty unattractive. That's why I decided to become a wiseass.” 0 likes
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