Rush Limbaugh Rush Limbaugh (Micah Walter / Reuters)

The praise was solicited, not spontaneous, but accurate nonetheless. On Wednesday’s edition of “The Five” on Fox News, co-host Dana Perino, noting the show’s impending two-year anniversary, asked call-in guest Rush Limbaugh why he thought “The Five” was successful.

And so Limbaugh riffed:

It’s real. There’s nothing contrived about it. And you all seem to enjoy what you’re doing. And I — it’s got passion. I think passion is the magnet to anything. Particularly talk. If people are speaking about something passionately and if they have a level of intelligence about it and if they’re sufficiently informed, it’s going to be like a magnet to people.

And you all seem to like each other and even during times where there might be striking disagreement, it doesn’t seem filled with stress or friction. But it’s unpredictable.

You guys might identify what you’re going to talk about but nobody knows where it’s going to go and nobody knows who is going to say what when. So it’s something you can’t predict. It’s — I think it’s got all the elements.

But you guys make the show because it’s a personality-driven and it’s just real. It just happens and it’s relevant. It’s topical. And all of you are relatively intelligent.

Bold text added to highlight genuine media insight by Limbaugh. “The Five” is a rollicking and festive TV production with compelling personalities and a chemistry that television executives torture themselves to replicate. Like any cable-news show, it has its moronic moments. Yet the roundtable format and friendly rivalries among the co-hosts give air to views that may not break through on other Fox News programming.

And co-host Greg Gutfeld is a quirky talent with perhaps the best smirk in the business.

To boot, “The Five” has done well in the ratings, a dynamic that surely owes something to the Fox News plug-in factor.