Stephen Colbert of The Late Show did not want to “gloat publicly” about Bill O’Reilly’s dramatic dismissal from Fox News over allegations of sexual harassment.
So the comedian asked the camera to pan away so he could do exactly that while the audience roared with laughter.
“Now, Bill and I did not see eye-to-eye on…anything,” he said. “I’ve done my share of jokes about him; I also stole his microwave once. It’s a true story; you can look it up.” (This actually happened). He went on: “He’s been a guest on this show, and I take no pleasure in his downfall. Okay?” After which, naturally, he gloated.
Colbert, of course, made it a point to acknowledge O’Reilly’s contribution to his show, which has a nearly decade-long history. “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.” He was talking about his caricatured namesake, the ‘Conservative pundit Stephen Colbert’ from Colbert Report, his satirical television show that ended in 2014.
He also issued an invitation to O’Reilly, asking him to join Jon Stewart and him at their mountain cabin.
And then he choked up: “Stay strong, Papa Bear.”