After years of duking it out with (now-former) Fox News pundit Bill O'Reilly, Stephen Colbert took to his favorite outlet - a live audience and nationwide late-night TV broadcast - to bid the conservative television personality farewell. O'Reilly, who was fired from Fox News following multiple claims of sexual harassment, was an occasional guest on Colbert's shows and a constant inspiration for Colbert's jokes . . . for better or worse.
"I owe a lot to Bill O'Reilly - I spent over nine years playing a character based largely on him," Colbert waxed faux-poetic about the canned Fox host to resounding applause from the studio audience. Colbert also responded to Fox News's statement that O'Reilly is "one of the most accomplished personalities in TV news" with an appropriately descriptive jab. "By ratings standards he is," conceded Colbert. He then thoughtfully countered with, "By moral standards, he was a self-righteous landfill of angry garbage."
Colbert's The Late Show segment also included a video "statement" from the host's "conservative pundit" alter-ego, who blamed America for turning their backs (and sometimes fronts) on O'Reilly. He invited the unemployed conservative personality to come live in a remote cabin along with himself and retired satirical news host Jon Stewart. Naturally, he signed off the video with, "Stay strong, Papa Bear!"
Never one to miss an opportunity for a Donald Trump dis, Colbert wrapped up the farewell segment with a sage reminder: "In case you're a fan of sexual harassers who are on TV all the time, we still have Donald Trump." Well, at least we have that going for us. Thanks for the reminder, Stephen.