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Watch Stephen Colbert Pretend to Mourn His “Papa Bear” Bill O’Reilly

Turns out that Bill O’Reilly’s banishment from Fox News is such sweet sorrow for at least one person—fake Stephen Colbert, the assumed persona the comedian played for a decade on the Colbert Report. On The Late Show, Colbert gets to be himself, but last night he brought us a very special message from his conservative commentator character, who was inspired by O’Reilly.

As Colbert explains in his monologue, he’s indebted to O’Reilly, because The Colbert Report was heavily influenced by O’Reilly’s blowhard style. And so he decided to bring back fake Stephen so that he could bid adieu to the man he always referred to as “papa bear.”

But before fake Stephen Colbert is beamed in via satellite from the cabin in the woods where he now lives (with Jon Stewart, milking goats) real Stephen doesn’t hold back on letting us know what he really thought of O’Reilly.

Citing 20th Century Fox’s still-too-celebratory statement that “By ratings standards, Bill O’Reilly is one of the most accomplished television personalities in the history of cable news,” Colbert adds, coolly, “By moral standards, he was a self-righteous landfill of angry garbage.”

Colbert continues in this vein: “We all saw this coming at us, like an old man cornering an intern in the break room.” Of his time as a comedic O’Reilly clone: “I spent over 9 years playing a character based largely on him, and then 12 months in therapy to de-bloviate myself.”

Then it’s time for the return of Conservative Pundit Stephen Colbert. “Suddenly sexual harassment’s a crime? But that’s the country we live in now—Obama’s Trump’s America.”

Oh fake Stephen Colbert, we missed you! We, however, will not mourn that the man who helped inspire your attack-dog pundit style is being consigned to the dust bin of Fox “Sexual Harassment Central” News.

Now that Bill O’Reilly has reached his day of reckoning at last, how long can Donald Trump, the sexual grabber-in-chief and an O’Reilly supporter who assured the nation that O’Reilly did nothing wrong, remain unreckoned with?

(image: screengrab)

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Kaila is a lifelong New Yorker. She's written for io9, Gizmodo, New York Magazine, The Awl, Wired, Cosmopolitan, and once published a Harlequin novel you'll never find.