Longtime "The Rush Limbaugh Show" producer and call-screener James Golden -- better known to millions of listeners as "Bo Snerdley" or "Mr. Snerdley" -- honored the iconic broadcaster as a friend and colleague on "Hannity" Thursday.
"Our beloved Rush has returned his talent to God," an emotional Snerdley told host Sean Hannity, riffing on Limbaugh's favorite self-description as having "talent on loan from God."
"We can't wrap our arms around this," Snerdley added. "We can't wrap our brains and our hearts around this ... we are so thankful to him.
Limbaugh died Wednesday at age 70 from lung cancer complications.
"You know, Rush is to me a second-generation Founding Father," Snerdley continued. "One man changed so many trajectories in this country. When Rush began his career, there were 1,200 radio stations, roughly, doing the talk radio format. Today, there are over 12,000."
"There was nowhere on TV that you could get conservative ideology; that you could get the values that represent what most Americans believe until Rush," Snerdley went on. "He changed the media. He changed the landscape."
He added that Limbaugh's audience didn't fall into any particular demographic, but instead ran the gamut from "small children" to the "senior of senior [citizens]."
"Beyond all of those accomplishments," Snerdley said. "Rush Limbaugh was one of the finest human beings that you would ever want to meet. A generous, wonderful, beautiful spirit; humble, a gentleman ... never looked down on people."
Snerdley admitted that it angers him deeply to hear and read media obituaries of Limbaugh that describe him as a racist or a misogynist or spreading other "falsehoods" about his life and career.
"It burns me to my soul when people sully his reputation with falsehoods, calling him a racist. This man was just an incredible phenomenon -- and we love you, Rush."
Limbaugh would over the years include Snerdley in his program, offering him airtime as the "Official Obama Criticizer".
Hannity remarked that when he and Snerdley worked out of adjacent radio studios at New York's WABC radio, he would often come in to greet the Limbaugh show staff and witness Snerdley bantering with and at times hanging up on callers.
"There were two shows going on [at once], true or false?" the host asked.
"That's very true, Sean," Snerdley chuckled.