O'Reilly and Beck taking their act on the road

The two Fox News stars join forces to tell live audiences about simpler times and evil liberals

Published November 17, 2009 4:30PM (EST)

Supergroups are never as mind-blowingly awesome as you think they’ll be. The Traveling Wilburys, for example, seemed like a good idea, what with the combination of George Harrison, Bob Dylan, Tom Petty and Roy Orbison. But the music was largely terrible. Same basically goes for the Highwaymen, with Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson and Waylon Jennings: great on paper, disappointing in reality.

There might be a lesson in this for Bill O’Reilly and Glenn Beck.

The two Fox News stars have announced that they’re hitting the road together this January on the “Bold and Fresh Tour.” Beck and O’Reilly are currently scheduled to hit five locations along the east coast. One show, in Westbury, N.Y., is already sold out. Says the tour website:

Don't miss out on the rare opportunity to see these two men live on stage. It's an event that makes professional wrestling seem like a night at the opera. You'll hear from Bill, you'll hear from Glenn, and then...they'll take the stage together. What happens then? Heaven only knows, but one thing is for sure-you'll want to see it with your very own eyes.

Beck has done a fair amount of live performance before. Typically, his act tends toward being sickly sweet. (See “Glenn Beck’s Christmas Sweater: A Road to Redemption.”) So it seems like a fair guess that, despite the billing, O’Reilly and Beck probably won’t be smashing chairs over each other. (Don’t they agree on most things anyway?) The tour title, after all, itself is borrowed from O’Reilly’s simpler-times memoir of his Levittown roots, "A Bold Fresh Piece of Humanity."

So, here’s my guess: Beck and O’Reilly will go easy on the epoch-changing, night-to-remember fireworks. Instead, much like the Traveling Wilburys, they’ll probably just ladle on the sentiment and the boring nostalgia. The one bonus is there's a good chance they'll add some crazy to the mix as well.

By Gabriel Winant

Gabriel Winant is a graduate student in American history at Yale.

MORE FROM Gabriel Winant

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Bill O'reilly Fox News Glenn Beck War Room