No, Glenn Beck isn't just a bad dream you woke up from a few weeks ago; he's the rising star of Fox News Channel and still America's leading populist demagogue. How will he stay on top?

The last major populist ranter, Lou Dobbs, now appears to be close to finishing out his days at sad, third place CNN, where even the network president is taking potshots at the xenophobic anchor's ratings ("He could stand to attract a few more viewers").

Beck, a "rodeo clown" and would-be comedian, is clearly planning to avoid this fate by blending his political ravings with weird, wacky hijinks that prove he is just that crazy — and just that hard to look away from. If it's easy to become inured to his strategy day-to-day, reviewing the collective evidence really drives the point home, as seen in the clips compiled by video intern Luke Sacherman and posted at left.

Glenn Beck: Flash in the pan or enduring part of the Fox News circus? Only time will tell, but neither Fox not America's many populist demagogues over the centuries have yet lost by underestimating their audience.