Stephen Colbert revived his Colbert Report persona on The Late Show on Wednesday to say goodbye to Bill O’Reilly, who was let go by Fox News yesterday after revelations that he had a long history of sexual harassing co-workers. “I owe a lot to Bill O’Reilly,” Colbert said. “I spent over nine years playing a character largely based on him… So tonight, we at The Late Show are proud to issue a statement from Bill O’Reilly’s biggest fan: conservative pundit Stephen Colbert.”
A teary-eyed right-wing Colbert then proceeded to chastise the nation. “Shame on you: You failed Bill O’Reilly,” he declared. “You didn’t deserve this great man. All he ever did was have your back. And if you were a woman, have a go at the front too.”
The former Colbert Report host continued to lament the state of the country – “Suddenly sexual harassment’s a crime?” – and slyly mock O’Reilly’s one-dimensional persona: “When I first saw Bill on TV, I knew that no one could possibly sustain such a broad character for that long.”
As The Late Show host, Colbert was far more direct in his criticism of the former Fox News star. “We all saw this coming at us, like an old man cornering an intern in the break room,” he said. Colbert acknowledged that O’Reilly’s TV show was a remarkable success by commercial standards, before adding, “By moral standards, he was a self-righteous landfill of angry garbage.”
Colbert also took a moment to offer consolation to O’Reilly’s fans. “In case you’re a fan of sexual harassers who are on TV all the time,” Colbert said, “we still have Donald Trump.”
Bill O’Reilly ousted from Fox News. Watch here.