Colbert opened his show on Wednesday night by cracking a few jokes about O’Reilly, calling him a “a self-righteous landfill of angry garbage.”
“It’s not that big of a surprise, I guess,” he said. “We all saw this coming at us, like an old man cornering an intern in the breakroom.”
But, as Colbert went on to note, he owes a thing or two to O’Reilly. After all, his over-the-top conservative alter-ego on Comedy Central’s “The Colbert Report” was based largely on the Fox News giant. So, with that in mind, Colbert brought back his ultra-Republican character to bid O’Reilly adieu.
“Hello, nation,” Colbert began. “Shame on you. You failed him. You failed Bill O’Reilly. You didn’t deserve this great man. All he ever did was have your back. And if you’re a woman, you know, have a go at the front, too.”
“And so what? Suddenly, sexual harassment’s a crime? That’s the country we live in now: Obama’s Trump’s America,” he went on. “I guess I always knew this day would come. When I first saw Bill on TV, I knew in my heart that no one could possibly sustain such a broad character for that long.”
O’Reilly, however, is likely to have plenty of options after his firing. One of them? To join Colbert and O’Reilly’s longtime on-air nemesis, Jon Stewart, in their mountain cabin. “Jon and I milk the goats, and soon, I hope we’ll be milking you.”
Colbert concluded by telling O’Reilly, “Stay strong, Papa Bear.” That’s before, of course, he cried out in disbelief and hurried off the camera.
Watch the clip below.