If you thought Stephen Colbert was done celebrating Bill O'Reilly's departure from Fox News, maybe you forgot the amount of time Colbert spent immersing himself in a character based on O'Reilly. But with time comes a bit of sobriety, so on Thursday's Late Show, Colbert engaged in a little happy dancing but also pleaded for his life. "It's hard to believe he's leaving," Colbert said of O'Reilly. "I mean, as the sign outside Fox News says, 'Nobody Moves This Man.' Nobody! Except for the janitor who scraped him down this morning."
"But remember, Bill still has his books, he still has his rage, and his Fox News payout worth a reported $25 million," Colbert said, looking on O'Reilly's bright side momentarily. "If you do the math, that is twice as much as they paid his accusers— Oh my god, you know what that means? Bill O'Reilly sexually harassed himself." As Colbert looked ahead to a life without The O'Reilly Factor, he wondered what O'Reilly was going to do.
To figure that out, Colbert turned to O'Reilly's 1998 novel, Those Who Trespass, which he actually dedicated to the women in his life — "or as they're affectionately known, the plaintiffs," Colbert joked. The book features a brash TV journalist, Shannon Michaels, who was fired from his network news job. When Michaels had his job taken away from him, Colbert read, he found solace in "planning and carrying out the executions of those people who had humiliated him." Seriously, if you were Colbert, you might be a little nervous reading that, too. Watch below. Peter Weber
Late night comedians went all in on Wednesday's ouster of Fox News host Bill O'Reilly, the toppling of a TV giant. But Jimmy Kimmel left the punch line to his sidekick, Guillermo Rodriguez. "Fox News decided to extend Bill's vacation to forever," Kimmel said on Wednesday's Kimmel Live. "I tell you, of all the jobs President Trump promised to create, you wouldn't think Bill O'Reilly's would have been one of them. But it is. So O'Reilly's out, and tonight Fox News released an exclusive preview of his soon-to-be replacement." He wasn't talking about Tucker Carlson Tonight, but rather The Guillerm O'Factor, and you can watch the sneak preview below. It's a contender. Peter Weber
On Wednesday's Late Show, Stephen Colbert did a little jig on the grave of Bill O'Reilly's Fox News career, but he also said he's "not going to sit here and publicly gloat" about the downfall of a TV personality whose microwave he once stole. In the second part of his monologue, he explained why. "Here's the thing, I owe a lot to Bill O'Reilly," he said. "I spent over nine years playing a character based largely on him — and then 12 months in therapy to de-bloviate myself. So tonight, we at The Late Show are proud to issue a statement from Bill O'Reilly's biggest fan, conservative pundit Stephen Colbert."
He cut to his Colbert Report alter ego, "live" from the cabin in the woods he shares with Jon Stewart. "Hello nation, and shame on you," that Colbert said. "You failed him. You failed Bill O'Reilly. You didn't deserve this great man." After railing against the decline of America, to where you can't even sexually harass anybody anymore, he invited O'Reilly to join him and Stewart in the woods. Then Late Show Colbert took over again. "In case you're a fan of sexual harassers who are on TV all the time, you still have Donald Trump," he said, moving on to the New England Patriots visiting the White House and Tuesday's special election in Georgia. Watch below. Peter Weber
During Bill O'Reilly's heyday — which, in some respects, lasted until he went on "vacation" and then was fired Wednesday — Jon Stewart's Daily Show and Stephen Colbert's Colbert Report poked at the Fox News star on a regular basis. Now Colbert hosts The Late Show, and Trevor Noah helms The Daily Show, but both O'Reilly-punching institutions got in their final licks on Wednesday night.
"Now, Bill and I did not see eye-to-eye on anything," Colbert said. "But he's been a guest on this show, and I take no pleasure in his downfall, okay? I'm not going to sit here and publicly gloat — Jimmy, can you take the camera off me for just a second?" After the camera came back, Colbert said the news isn't so surprising. "We all saw this coming at us," he said, "like an old man cornering an intern in the break room."
But then he reconsidered. "O'Reilly's suddenly off the air," Colbert said. "This is huge. It's like looking at your front yard and the big oak tree is just gone. And sure, the oak tree said some disturbing things about young black men — what with their rap music and their neck tattoos — but damnit, the tree had been there forever, and your grandpa liked to just sit there and stare at it." Fox News issued a brief statement "celebrating O'Reilly's career, saying, 'By ratings standards, Bill O'Reilly is one of the most accomplished TV personalities in the history of cable news,'" Colbert noted. "By ratings standards, he is. By moral standards, he was a self-righteous landfill of angry garbage."
— The Late Show (@colbertlateshow) April 20, 2017
Noah focused on O'Reilly's greatest hits (or misses, depending). "Here at The Daily Show, we want to give O'Reilly the sendoff that he deserves," he said. "Because, let's be honest, he's not going to get it on Fox," where everybody will probably pretend nothing is amiss. O'Reilly really was "the biggest figure in the history of cable news," Noah said. "At one point, no one even came close — because they were afraid he might sexually harass him."
Noah recapped O'Reilly's career, from an early on-set breakdown at Inside Edition to years of complaints about cultural oppression of white men and Christians. "Here's what I don't understand: If white people don't have it good in the U.S., then which race does?" he asked. He focused for a bit on O'Reilly's beef with black people, then noted that in the end, "O'Reilly wasn't just a famous newsman. You know all that anger and victimhood you hear from Trump voters? A lot of that started with him." So The Daily Show bid a half-serious, occasionally NSFW farewell to its "extremely old friend," and let O'Reilly play his career out, with a lot of jazz. Watch below. Peter Weber