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This week brought about the end of an era, as Fox News confirmed it had severed ties with longtime host Bill O'Reilly following reports tied to sexual harassment lawsuits that he's faced over the years. For ages, one of O'Reilly's biggest public critics has been Stephen Colbert, who brilliantly brought his former Colbert Report persona back to The Late Showto not only say goodbye to Papa Bear, but to blame the American public for making it happen. Check it out!
As it's stated at the top of that clip, current Late Show host Stephen Colbert spent a large chunk of his TV career playing a heightened version of right-winger Bill O'Reilly, taking shots at the host and Fox News from a strongly satirical point of view. (As opposed to The Daily Show's Jon Stewart, who used both clever satire and blatant disdain in handling O'Reilly's career.) It seemed strange enough that this latest Fox News scandal had been going on so long without Stephen "My Other Bald Eagle Is Also a Bald Eagle" Colbert rising from the ethers to comment on it in full. Thankfully, the comedian and the Late Show staff were able to bring the pseudo-pundit out of hiding for a mini-diatribe.
With a firmer grasp than ever on the late night ratings game, Stephen Colbert is allowed to take off work every now and again, even if it's just for the 90 seconds that it takes THIS Stephen Colbert to get his thoughts about Bill O'Reilly off his chest. (And since Colbert has the chest of a man, one might jokingly assume O'Reilly wouldn't be interested in staying there anyway.) Considering O'Reilly's ousting was inspired by allegations of sexual harassment in the workplace -- allegations he continues to deny -- bringing the Comedy Central character by to inject humor into the sensitive subject matter is slightly uncomfortable, although hardly more uncomfortable than O'Reilly-centered attacks and defenses made elsewhere on TV and online.
Plus, Colbert even offered O'Reilly an olive branch of sorts by offering him a glimpse of peaceful and dairy-ful seclusion.
It's a shame that Jon Stewart didn't show up somewhere to also make a statement about the matter. Maybe tonight. While we can't make any wagers on when we might see that other Stephen Colbert again -- possibly when bears enter the next presidential election -- you can catch the real Stephen Colbert every night on CBS on The Late Show. Check out one of Colbert and O'Reilly's last talks on the next page, and head to our midseason premiere guide and our summer TV schedule to see what new shows are hitting the small screen in the near future.