Fresh-faced newcomer Rush Limbaugh gets his big break and beats out an unknown Michael J. Fox for the role he “was born to play”—Alex P. Keaton, a money-minded Reagan Republican raised by two former hippies. After several successful seasons, Limbaugh leverages his popularity, particularly with men over forty in the Midwest and South, and lobbies the producers for script-editing privileges. In the episode titled “Skippy Learns an Important Lesson in Immigrant Control,” Alex convinces his goofy best friend Skippy that erecting a physical wall along the U.S. borders is “the only surefire way to make sure our jobs aren’t stolen by those dirty Canadians.”
Back to the Future
When Limbaugh, as teenager Marty McFly, travels back in time via Doc Brown’s Hummer-prototype to November 12, 1955, he immediately leaves Hill Valley and drives to Montgomery, Alabama. After some snooping, he locates a soft-spoken seamstress named Rosa Parks. He tells Parks, “If you put your mind to it, you can accomplish anything,” but warns her that putting her mind to anything involving buses will result in the destruction of her home by his Hummer. He then advises her to put her mind to sewing up a small tear in his Calvin Klein underwear. Upon his return to 1985, the F.B.I. arrests Doc Brown for nuclear trafficking with the Libyans, thanks to a now-crumpled letter Marty sent to J. Edgar Hoover back in 1955.
In a deleted scene on the DVD, Limbaugh, as mild-mannered Scott Howard, watches his harrowing transformation into a werewolf in the bathroom mirror. He points his index claw at his reflection, and says, “You’re exaggeratedly ‘acting’ out your lycanthropic symptoms. You’re not really a wolf—you’re letting yourself be exploited for entertainment purposes.” In a cast interview, Limbaugh criticizes the filmmakers for including scenes in which Howard takes no precautions to avoid metamorphosing for activities in which being a wolf poses no distinct advantage, such as receiving back tests in class on which he received an A. He also notes a “goof” that has always irked him: it is an infraction for an opposing basketball player to stand directly under the basket during foul shots.
Production is shut down as Limbaugh, in full Method portrayal as a flashy plastic surgeon forced to do community service in a South Carolina hamlet’s hospital, steals the set’s fake prescription pads and goes on a two-week morphine bender because, he says in a Motel 6 room where the crew eventually tracks him down, “You don’t understand the pressures on me—brought up by liberals, traveling back and forth in time in thirty-year leaps, turning into a goddamn werewolf during puberty. But I can stop anytime I want.”
Limbaugh’s Deputy Mayor Mike Flaherty must briefly take over New York City’s reigns in one episode when the mayor is under general anesthesia for a colonoscopy. Seizing his one-hour window of opportunity, Flaherty passes a raft of bills cutting funds to public schools, drastically curbing welfare rolls, banning gay marriage, evicting Al Franken, and planting the idea in the head of George Steinbrenner, in a cameo, to trade some day for Alex Rodriguez. In a reunion episode interview, Limbaugh admits he erred in this last regard: “All I’m saying is I’ve never seen A-Rod the way he’s appeared in these last few postseasons—locking up in the clutch, unable to throw in a straight line, painting himself as a victim in his press interviews. So, I will bigly, hugely admit that I was wrong, and I will apologize to all Yankees fans.”