After giving late-night hosts years of material, Fox News gave them one more gift: the channel fired Bill O’Reilly in time for the story to be written into last night’s shows. Here’s a taste of the tributes to Papa Bear:
Jimmy Kimmel Live!
Kimmel noted how O’Reilly had spent Wednesday in limbo at the Vatican — in the VIP line to meet the pope. “Should the pope even have a VIP line? … How does that work? Is there a bouncer? ‘I’m sorry, this line is for big-time sinners.”
He also showed an exclusive preview of Fox’s replacement show: The Guillerm O’Factor.
The Daily Show With Trevor Noah
Noah felt O’Reilly deserved a proper sendoff, since he probably wasn’t going to get one from Fox. “They’ll probably pretend nothing is wrong. Like, ‘No news to report here! Everything is fine! Back to you, Megyn, I mean, Greta, I mean, Gretchen, I mean, Bill, I mean … Who’s left?'”
After showing some of O’Reilly’s greatest moments (like his Inside Edition meltdown, the War on Christmas and his Harlem dining experience), Noah used a Star Wars analogy to illustrate the pundit’s influence.
“A lot of people said that Jon Stewart was the Yoda of cable news. Well, Bill O’Reilly was the Sith Lord. I wanna be Daisy Ridley. Can I be Daisy Ridley?”
The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon
Fallon opened by discussing O’Reilly’s future prospects: “Experts say it’s unlikely that any self-respecting network will ever hire him. Then CNN said, ‘Welcome aboard!'”
He also referenced the beleaguered Fox star’s Rome vacation.
“I saw that earlier today, O’Reilly actually met with Pope Francis at the Vatican. When he saw O’Reilly go into confession, the next guy in line said, ‘You know what? I’ll come back tomorrow.'”
The Late Show With Stephen Colbert
Colbert admitted that he owed a lot of his success to the Fox host, having “spent nine years playing a character based largely on him and then 12 months in therapy to de-bloviate myself.”
So it was only fitting that Colbert trotted out his old Comedy Central faux-pundit and his perpetually arched left eyebrow. First, he shamed America for having failed Papa Bear O’Reilly (“All he did was have your back — and if you’re a woman, a go at the front, too”). Then he invited the ousted talking head to come live in that cabin with the woods with him and Jon Stewart. (We were hoping Stewart might pop his head out of that door but alas, he never did.)