— The Late Show (@colbertlateshow) April 20, 2017
Stephen Colbert brought back his Colbert Report alter ego to say farewell to Bill O’Reilly, who was forced out at Fox News on Wednesday, April 19, after numerous sexual assault allegations surfaced in recent weeks.
“I owe a lot to Bill O’Reilly. I spent over nine years playing a character based largely on him, and then 12 months in therapy to de-bloviate myself,” the Late Show host, 52, said, referring to his Comedy Central show that ended in 2014.
He then introduced “Bill O’Reilly’s biggest fan,” his Colbert Report character, to issue a statement about The O’Reilly Factor host’s sudden departure from Fox News.
“Hello, nation. Shame on you,” Colbert said. “You failed him. You failed Bill O’Reilly. You didn’t deserve this great man. All he did was have your back. And, if you were a woman, have a go at the front, too. And what, suddenly sexual harassment’s a crime? That’s the country we live in now. Obama’s Trump’s America.”
“I guess I always knew this day would come,” the conservative pundit continued. “When I first saw Bill on TV, I knew in my heart that nobody could possibly sustain such a broad character for that long.”
He ended by inviting O’Reilly, 67, to come and live with him and former Daily Show host Jon Stewart in a mountain cabin.
“It’s fun, you’ll like it,” Colbert said. “We’ve got an animal sanctuary, Jon and I milk the goats, and soon I hope we’ll be milking you.”
Then, getting emotional he added, “Stay strong, Papa Bear.” He then walked off camera moaning, “Oh god, is this really happening?”
As Us Weekly reported earlier on Wednesday, 21st Century Fox said in a statement that “after a thorough and careful review of the allegations, the Company and Bill O’Reilly have agreed that Bill O’Reilly will not be returning to the Fox News Channel.”
The move came after The New York Times revealed in an April 1 story that O’Reilly and Fox News had reached financial settlements totaling close to $13 million with five women who filed complaints against the longtime host over the years.
More than 50 advertisers pulled their ads from The O’Reilly Factor and women’s rights groups called for the news anchor to be fired.
O’Reilly, who previously denied any wrongdoing, issued a statement on Wednesday reflecting on his 20 years with the network, saying, “It is tremendously disheartening that we part ways due to completely unfounded claims. But that is the unfortunate reality many of us in the public eye must live with today. I will always look back on my time at Fox with great pride in the unprecedented success we achieved and with my deepest gratitude to all my dedicated viewers. I wish only the best for Fox News Channel.”