Papa Bear is angry that his acolyte is leaving, it seems.
While Colbert's Comedy Central show, "The Colbert Report," is a deliberate parody of "The O'Reilly Factor" and Colbert refers to O'Reilly as Papa Bear on the air, the Fox News host seemed less than positive about Colbert's prospects in his new role.
"Traditionally late night has been light and breezy, with a minimum of political posturing," O'Reilly said. "But Colbert has built an entire career on pleasing the left."
"It'll be hard to fathom that 40% of Americans who describe themselves as conservative will watch Colbert. And that's a lot of folks to lose from the jump."
O'Reilly wasn't entirely dismissive, however, concluding, "Colbert will have good writers, and surely he knows his challenge. Place your bets."
This is in striking contrast to the statement O'Reilly released to Time last week. When news of Colbert's new job broke, he wrote, "I hope Colbert will consider me for the Ed McMahon spot."
Still, it's all more positive than O'Reilly's rant against Colbert last week before the news broke in which he called Colbert a "deceiver" who "gives cover to powerful people who are selling Americans a big lie that this country is bad."
Despite Colbert's tongue-in-cheek hero worshop of O'Reilly over the years, it appears the teacher-student relationship has come to an end.