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    Stephen Colbert sends off Bill O'Reilly as only 'Stephen Colbert' can

    Bill O'Reilly, left, welcomes Stephen Colbert, then host of Comedy Central's "The Colbert Report." to the set of the Fox News show "The O'Reilly Factor" in 2007. (Jeff Christensen / Associated Press)
    Bill O'Reilly, left, welcomes Stephen Colbert, then host of Comedy Central's "The Colbert Report." to the set of the Fox News show "The O'Reilly Factor" in 2007. (Jeff Christensen / Associated Press)

    With the news that Bill O'Reilly had been dismissed from his show on Fox News, it was inevitable that late-night hosts would weigh in.

    And with the exception of a spring-breaking Seth Meyers and Samantha Bee (whose "Full Frontal" is also in reruns in advance of next week's "Not the White House Correspondents' Dinner"), they didn't disappoint.

    "I owe a lot to Bill O'Reilly," admitted "Late Show" host Stephen Colbert in his opening monologue. "I spent over nine years playing a character based largely on him -- and then 12 months in therapy to debloviate myself."

    While Colbert refused to gloat about O'Reilly (on camera at least), he did throw the show to his alter ego from "The Colbert Report." "Stay strong, Papa Bear," the retired faux-pundit said tearfully after inviting O'Reilly to the same mountain getaway he shares with Jon Stewart.
     

    On Stewart's former shop, "The Daily Show," Trevor Noah began his O'Reilly segment saying he wanted to give him the send-off he deserved, something an in-denial Fox wouldn't provide despite so many departures as a result of sexual harassment accusations ("No news to report here, everything is fine. Back to you, Megyn. I mean, Greta. I mean, Gretchen.")

    Noah then offered a look back at O'Reilly's career that included a rage-filled outburst from his days on "Inside Edition" that had been making the rounds once more on social media with the day's news.

    "Some of us watch that clip and we see madness," Noah said. "But in the mid-'90s a man by the name of Roger Ailes watched it, and he saw greatness."

    Noah then recounted some of O'Reilly's moments that promoted the "white Christian resentment" that fueled Fox News, including his show's repeated coverage of "The War on Christmas." "Here's what I don't understand," the South African-born Noah said in response. "If white people don't have it good in the U.S., then which race does?"

    Noah then ran clips of O'Reilly's more racist outbursts, including telling Columbia professor Marc Lamont Hill that he looked "a little bit" like a cocaine dealer. It was the kind of deep dive into the Fox News archives that fell squarely in "The Daily Show's" wheelhouse.

    "A lot of people said Jon Stewart was the Yoda of cable news," Noah said near the segment's conclusion. "Well, Bill O'Reilly was the Sith Lord."

    Will "The Daily Show" miss its longtime adversary and the mountain of material he generated? Perhaps, but smart money says it won't have a problem finding another.

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